Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Welcome Back! Part II

(This is the second part of a welcome message delivered at DACC Convocation on Monday, August 18, 2014.  Part III will appear tomorrow)

Perhaps at this point it would be fair for you to ask me what I have learned since June 1st, and certainly it would be appropriate for me to help you learn something about me. 

As I have spent half of my time on campus and half of my time in the community some themes have emerged.

1.  The community values DACC and our contribution to workforce training, workforce development, and community service.  Don't ever under estimate our mission and its importance to the people of Dona Ana County.

2.  We make a tremendous difference in the lives of our students and we owe them our very best each and every day.  I have talked to many students this summer, but one story sticks out in my mind.  I am only sharing a few details so you can't identify the student.  However, this woman returned to college severa; years ago after a significant change in her life.  She and he child were left homeless.  She came to DACC, applied for Financial Aid, and was able to live in NMSU student housing.  She was taking her last classes this summer.  She shared that because of DACC and the opportunity to live in NMSU student housing that she was able to take care of her daughter and get an education so she can provide a living for both of them. 

3.  Each and every one of you contributed to our success or our failure.  If anyone of us fails in our responsibilities, we let each other down.  Within DACC we are a system and each of us contributes to that system.  Consider for a moment our own body.  If my arm suddenly decided it wanted to be a leg - besides looking a bit funny - my function would change or be less efficient or effective.  Better yet, when I broke my collarbone many years ago - my right arm no less as I am right handed - I was less effective in carrying out my daily functions until it healed. 

My point:  We must recognize that each of us has a specific function within this institution.  For DACC to function at our most efficient, effective and optimum level, we each must function as we were intended - and - we must give our very best each and every day - because the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. 

Each job within the institution exists because it is necessary in order for us to carry out our mission.

Remember each job is important to DACC, but DACC is also important to the NMSU system.  I neither came here to break us off from NMSU nor was I brought here to facilitate being taken over by NMSU. 

We must recognize our role within the system....and NMSU needs to understand our role within the system.  We are not a research university - we are a community college we serve very different conmplementary missions.  Together we are stronger because our missions are diverse. My job is to help NMSU understand our unique and vital role in Dona Ana County and to bridge the gaps between each institution.  I am also here to help all of us understand NMSU's role and perspective.  To that end I work closely with NMSU to ensure communication between and among our institutions. 

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