Fall 2019 In-service Speech

President Margaret Hamilton
Fall 2019 In-service Speech
September 26, 2019
“Teaching and Learning: Collaboration for Success”

Good morning! Welcome to the 2019 Lane Community College Fall In-service Day.

Our theme this year is “Teaching and Learning, Collaboration for Success” to remind us that it takes teamwork and collaboration to support our mission: We are the community’s college; we provide comprehensive, accessible, quality, learning-centered educational opportunities that promote student success. Our mission is realized by measurable strategic directions that guide our institutional indicators and our work plans: student learning and success; quality teaching; accessible, equitable and inclusive programs; community engagement; financial and environmental stewardship. We bring one simple and consistent message to the community: Lane Community College stands for student success; access, equity and inclusion; and being a regional economic driver.

When I first arrived at Lane, we had many challenges facing us. Some of those challenges seemed insurmountable:

  • NWCCU academic warning
  • $10 million budget gap
  • Cuts to academic programs
  • Enrollment in rapid free fall; a decline of 50 percent since 2011
  • $90M deferred maintenance budget
  • 10-year-old governance system feeling its age
  • Email system (GroupWise) no longer supported by a vendor
  • Transition in leadership—new board members, new president, new deans

Some people would have walked away from these challenges—but you didn’t. You pulled together to take these challenges on, one at a time, with the goal of turning the ship around.

Together, we took on some really big initiatives in 2018-19:

  • NWCCU accreditation planning
  • Program review
  • Assessment of student learning outcomes
  • Guided pathways
  • Governance review
  • College services reform
  • Honors/PTK
  • OER
  • Facilities master planning
  • Equity lens
  • Email conversion

None of it was easy; all of it was critical, to students, employees and to the college.

There were lots of slips and falls. Reviewing governance was very messy. There was no rule book, but there was the desire to make our governance system more inclusive and more efficient, and to more focused on student success. Assessment of student learning outcomes turned out to be tedious. But faculty found out quickly that working collaboratively was the best approach. And then there was our GroupWise email system. There was a love/hate relationship with system. GroupWise was like an old friend whom you did not want to lose but you realized it was time to move on, so I.T. took it on…thank you!

So here we are in 2019 and we have a lot to be proud of. Most significant is how you moved the needle with enrollment. I am happy to announce that as of Monday, enrollment was up 6 percent. Enrollment increases do not happen because of any one initiative. It takes a combination of initiatives for enrollments to turn the tide. And it usually takes about three years for to turn a college around. Faculty, classified, and managers all worked together to remove the barriers affecting enrollment. It is really nice to see your hard work pay off!

Last fall, we set our initiatives within our three priorities and they were ambitious. To address student success, you worked on:

  • Creating a service mindset with the Titan Pride campaign
  • Developing Centers for Excellence with a focus on the guided pathways
  • Review of the governance system
  • Rebuilding Honors and PTK
  • Disaggregating data to inform achievement gaps
  • Reforming college placement

To make Lane a more accessible and equitable campus, you worked on:

  • Polling our readiness for a bond
  • Building an alumni association
  • Improving access to the adult learner through building online capacity
  • Recruitment in Springfield
  • Equity lens training

To serve as a regional economic driver you took on:

  • Redesign of college services
  • Reestablishing relationships with business and industry
  • Creation of new in-demand CTE programs
  • Stackable credentials in CTE to address business and industry needs

So let’s take a look at some of our accomplishments for 2018-19 year in review (video). Give yourselves some applause on a great year!

Many people at the college go the extra mile every day and deserve recognition, but each year we recognize a few Mighty Titans for their good work. Please join me in congratulating instructors who were selected for the Faculty Recognition Award in 2018-19. Faculty, please stand to be recognized as I say your name: Marge Helzer, Anne McGrail, John Steele, John Price, and Steve Webb. Please join me in a round of applause for our winners.

Next we would like to recognize our 2018-19 Classified Employee Recognition winners. Awardees, please stand as I say your name: Tammy Walters, Eiko Treder, Joy Crump, Marcia Koenig, Mung Nguyen, Tina Reyes, Amanda Blunt, Kathryn Blair, Allene Gibson, Marla Norton, Brendan MacDonald, and Colby Sheldon. Please join me in a round of applause for our classified employee winners.

Each year, Lane recognizes one individual who best personifies the mission of Lane. It is my honor to congratulate this year’s Employee of the Year—Marla Norton. Marla, please come join me at the podium while I read what some of your colleagues had to say about you.

“Marla is always welcoming and humorous. She treats all faculty, staff and students with respect and grace. She is patient, helpful, and responsive. The faculty and staff in Performing Arts call her their angel. Marla is a model of helpfulness and collegiality. She contributes thoughtful observations and treats everyone with respect and genuine affection. What you may not know about Marla is that she is very funny. Every time you see her, you can be assured of a laugh or two.” Congratulations, Marla!

Every year, we also recognize those who are no longer with us, and who made a difference at Lane. Please join me in a moment of silence as we honor those who passed.

As we start the new academic year, what are our next mountains to climb? Our biggest challenges will be the 2020 $120 million bond campaign; the 2021-26 Strategic Plan; 2020-21 NWCCU accreditation; and governance redesign based on the 11 recommendations.

These are our institutional priorities:

Student success/learning and achievement (Paul will discuss more later)

  • Holistic student support and wellness services
  • Center for teaching and learning
  • Guided pathways

Access, Equity and Inclusion

  • Transition our cultural competency training into a sustainable program
  • Develop systems to evaluate the effectiveness of equity lens training
  • Address intersectionality of our students. Explore the creation of a Center for Intercultural Education. Students identify with more than one group.
  • Governance redesign: 11 recommendations through an equity lens
  • Website redesign: a more inclusive and accessible website
  • Focus on the adult learner (evenings, weekends, short term certificates)
  • Recruitment into Springfield and north Eugene

Economic and Workforce Development

  • Step up our collaboration with business and Industry partners
  • Promote local small businesses through our locally sourced food court
  • Redesign CTE degrees into stackable credentials that lead to industry credentials
  • Rebuild our Workforce Development and Career Center

Community Engagement/External Affairs

  • Improve our image in the community
  • Build community support for our bond campaign
  • Explore partnership with Lane County HHS to offer FQHC in Cottage Grove
  • Collaborate with Pacific University for a satellite location on our main campus
  • Improve morale through more open communication, dialogue (forums and chats), employee recognition – inside and outside the campus

Institutional Effectiveness and Planning and Structural Stability

  • LCC Accreditation Self Study Plan
  • 2021 Strategic Plan
  • Strategic Enrollment Management Plan
  • Compliance Plan as required by NWCCU
  • Emergency Plan: not just reaction but prevention
  • Facilities Master Plan that will guide us through the bond
  • Titan Court re-evaluation
  • Bookstore launch with Follet
  • Food services (Bartolotti’s, Doug’s Place, J & J’s Coffee, and Taco Intrusion
  • Bring legal services into the college

These priorities are a big lift and will take a great deal of collaboration to make them happen. It is going to take having the right people with the right experience in the right positions to make it happen. So with a retirement and a resignation in Building 3, we had an opportunity shift the people we have to better prepare for our upcoming projects and priorities.

Support Governance- The recommendations that came forward to improve our governance system included the recommendation to provide more support to all the councils. It makes sense to post a classified position at the beginning of the year to support all governance work. We will be posting this position this fall.

Support Institutional Effectiveness and External Affairs. I am creating a vice president’s position to support institutional effectiveness priorities, the 2021 strategic plan, accreditation self-study, and program review, as well as manage external affairs including the 2020 bond campaign and infrastructure plan, marketing and community engagement, alumni engagement, rebuild our grants capacity and liaison with our foundation. This vice president position will support the development of new funding streams and revenue we need to sustain operations and thrive as a college.

How will this work?

  1. Brian Kelly will take on the VP for Planning, Institutional Effectiveness and External Affairs position.
  2. We will not fill the AVP for PIE position.
  3. We will post a vacancy for VP of College Services with a title that reflects finance and administration.
  4. With food services and the bookstore under private management, we no longer need the position of Executive Director for College Services so Deborah Butler is transferring from her current position to Chief of Staff- to assist with tracking and implementation of all or our initiatives.
  5. Dennis Carr, who is retiring from HR, offered to help us out part-time during the search.

So as we think about what it will take to get through the next two years, we need to break down our silos and work together as one college. We all need to be on the same team to gain support for a $120 million bond. We must work together to conduct our NWCCU self-study. We must create a new strategic plan for the future. It is going to take a lot of collaboration and focus if we are serious about creating a new reputation for Lane Community College. It is also going to take improved communications throughout all levels of the college. So beginning this term, I will work with our students and employee groups toward a more proactive communication strategy including town halls with our employee groups each term; town halls with students each term; and posted office hours for any employee or student to see me or any of the vice presidents.

It is time for LCC to determine what we would like our reputation to be and to create that reputation one step at a time. I am asking you to help us create LCC 2.0; a LCC that looks at all of our students and employees through an equity lens; a LCC where all employees treat each other with respect and tolerance; a LCC where every program on this campus is accessible and affordable; a LCC where every four-year college and university is our partner; and a LCC where business and industry works with us to create a skilled workforce.

After the break, you will hear from our keynote speaker, Carla Gary, who will help us transition from talking the talk about equity and inclusion to walking the walk. You will also hear from VP Paul Jarrell, who will drill down into our academic and student affairs priorities for the year.

Before I give my closing remarks, I would like to recognize all the people that helped put fall in-service together. Please join me in thanking them.

This morning, we celebrated our accomplishments; we identified our priorities and we discussed how working together will help us accomplish our goals. I would like to leave you with a video that sums us the seven keys to creative collaboration, and how to set us up to be awesome. Thank you for sharing your time with us this morning. (video).