Remarks to Accreditation Commission
President's Message

January 7, 2010

Following are the comments I shared with the Commissioners’ at the ACCJC meeting this morning

I want to thank you for the opportunity to address you today. I speak to you as the President of a college that has undergone a profound change this past year. We have learned a great deal about accreditation and about ourselves.

In responding to the Show Cause action, DVC has come together, put aside old differences, and worked collaboratively in new ways.

In February 2009, the college established six workgroups, each charged with responding to one or more of the recommendations from the commission. An oversight task force composed of the co chairs of the workgroups (plus a few additional members) coordinated all activities related to our response to the Show Cause Action.

We prepared and submitted a Show Cause Report (October 15, 2009) as directed. In addition we also submitted a first Addendum (October 23, 2009) and a second Addendum on (December 17, 2009).

The fact that we continue to work together is very clearly stated in a recent email from the President and Vice-President of the Faculty Senate to all faculty members. They were addressing the outcome of a meeting in which the Faculty Senate Council addressed a proposal to alter the validation process for Instructional Unit Program Reviews. Their email reads, in part:

    • Some faculty shared the perception that the proposed Instructional Program Review changes represented a conflict between Faculty and Administration reinforcing the perception that not much has changed at DVC. But let us be clear: there was no conflict between Administration and Faculty. In fact, Administration was amenable and cooperative as the Faculty Senate Council met to resolve the concerns about the proposed changes. We’d like to emphasize that working through this issue is an example of us NOT being the “old DVC.” The “old DVC” would have made this a battle. This [new] DVC worked collaboratively through the issues to arrive at a solution that considered the needs of the whole institution.

Other changes include:

  • Clarification of the decision-making roles of the various constituent groups and codifying those roles in college procedures. More importantly, we have changed our focus from one based on constituent-based representation on major college committees to one focused on representation from functional areas to better serve our students.
  • We have gone beyond merely planning to change the way we do things to actually implementing our plans and regularly evaluating our processes and procedures, making modifications as needed, for continuous improvement.
  • The college has established and is working through a process to integrate planning with resource allocation. We have established an Integration Council to serve as a forum for college-wide dialogue and to recommend the allocation of college resources based on program reviews and college-wide plans. An interesting by-product of the creation of the Integration Council is that it is currently hosting broad-based discussions on gathering information for the budget reductions currently facing DVC.
  • Program reviews from 45 instructional units were submitted on time and are currently going through an approved validation process.
  • On December 14, 2009, the newly created College Council discussed DVC Procedure 4001.07, a procedure mandating that all courses be evaluated and updated on a regular basis. This procedure was mutually agreed to by the President of the Faculty Senate and me on December 15, 2009.
  • The process of responding to the Show Cause action and in doing so, keeping the entire college well informed and involved has led to an expectation that college business will be conducted transparently, with agendas and minutes widely available, and we have created a communication structure to support that expectation.
  • The college published Program-Level Student Learning Outcomes in the 2009-2010 College Catalogue Addendum. These outcomes will be published in the full College Catalog for 2010-2011.
  • The Contra Costa Community College District is on track to implement a new budget process beginning in July 2010. This model will link revenue earned to expenses.

Finally, let me close by saying that DVC views the accreditation standards not as obligations to be met, but rather as guidelines to best practices for serving our students and our community.

Thank you for your time and attention.

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