District Monthly Update: August, 2023

Submitted by achetcuti on

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Dear Santa Rosa Junior College Community,

I am pleased to share with you the District updates that were provided to the Board of Trustees at the August meeting.

This is a new monthly communication you will receive from me following the monthly Board of Trustees meeting to celebrate the accomplishments and successes of our colleagues across the District. These updates are a chance for you to learn more about the excellent programs, services, initiatives, events, and work we undertake in support of our students. While this is by no means a comprehensive list of the July achievements, I invite you to read below to learn more about each part of our community.


President’s Office

  • I visited the Santa Rosa campus, Petaluma campus, Public Safety Training Center, SRJC Roseland, and Shone Farm and appreciate the warm welcome and informative tours from the representatives of each site.
  • The Board of Trustees held a facilitated session to inform my goals and evaluation process followed by a Board self-evaluation.
  • Cabinet held a retreat to build foundational knowledge of matters related to supporting a healthy, effective, and mission driven college that is committed to students, their success, and our fiscal health across the District.
  • I attended multiple community events and appreciate the many invitations I have received welcoming me to the community.  
  • I joined my first meeting for President Biden’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), which provides cultural policy recommendations to the President and the heads of the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Institute of Museum and Library Services. 
  • Please save the date for the President’s Investiture & Celebration on Friday, October 20th. An investiture is a formal ceremony to confer the authority and symbols of high office and acknowledge entrance into a new era. Time, location, and details for an evening celebration will be shared at a later date.


Academic Affairs

  • Stakeholders in Math, English, ESL, and the Academic Senate, collaborated toward completion and submission of the District’s AB 1705 Implementation Plan to the California Community College Chancellor’s Office.  The AB 1705 Implementation Plan identifies broad areas in which the District plans to utilize a one-time, state funding allocation to develop corequisite support models, expand professional development, align concurrent student support services, and innovate course sequencing to maximize the probability that students will enter and complete transfer-level coursework in English and math.
  • Members of the District’s Strategic Enrollment Management Implementation Team attended an intensive, four-day Enrollment Management Academy through UC San Diego’s Department of Educational Studies.  Key takeaways included ways to enhance schedule development, FTES targets, course productivity rates, the Student-Centered Funding Formula, student retention strategies, and effective implementation of the District’s Strategic Enrollment Management Plan. 
  • District leadership attended an initial gathering for an exciting new regional partnership, the Sonoma County College and Career Access Pathways (CCAP) Initiative.  This new initiative places SRJC in unique collaboration with local agencies, including SCOE, the CTE Foundation, Casa Grande High School, Petaluma High School, Elsie Allen High School, and Windsor High School.  Broad opportunities include actively engaging District leadership in co-creation of shared visioning and goals, identifying and removing barriers to equitable access and successful completion for students historically underserved in dual enrollment, and developing policies and procedures to sustainably integrate dual enrollment as District priorities.


Student Services

  • We are continuing to expand programs and projects to support our IDEAA (Inclusions, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, Anti-Racism) vision, with new goals and projects launching this fall.  
  • The final design of the SRJC Roseland construction project was approved. ​ 
  • Polly O’Meara Doyle Hall, our Student Housing project, will open on August 11, 2023. We are currently 96% leased and in the process of training the Resident Assistants.
  • The Student Services relationship and trust building project: Creating a Culture of Well-Being begins phase two this fall which will continue our work on cultural humility, community building, and restorative practices.
  • Student Services aligned with the Strategic Enrollment Management Plan by launching numerous enrollment management projects focused on outreach, engagement and retention, including the upcoming Welcome Day.


Finance and Administrative Services

  • The SIS implementation project continues to move forward smoothly. The teams are meeting regularly to work on the design and configuration of our new SIS, as well as to learn the new system from the ground up, and the sponsor team meets weekly to ensure the project is on track. We continue to anticipate that we will fully cutover during Summer 2025, however the timeline for the all phases of the project can be found here.  
  • The Governor signed the 2023/24 State Budget, which includes a sizeable COLA of 8.22% for California Community Colleges. While we are extremely grateful for this ongoing funding source, the State Budget package also included reductions to Deferred Maintenance/Instructional Equipment and Enrollment and Retention Funds allocations from the previous budget year. To offset impacts, the state is allowing flexibility between those two funding sources and the Covid 19 Recovery Block Grant (C19RBG) in the new budget year. While we will be losing over $9 million from the reductions, a large portion of the $13 million C19RBG funds are unallocated and can be partially used to backfill. Additional information will be shared in the budget presentation at the September meeting of the Board of Trustees.
  • Previously, the District was approved for $15 million in Round 1 of the CCC Affordable Student Housing Construction Grant program for Polly O’Meara Doyle Hall. When we designed the structure of the housing bond program, we included the option to redeem $15 million of bonds early in anticipation of the possibility of funding being awarded from the state. This grant allows 70 of the 352 beds to be offered at a reduced rate to some of our students with financial need. The $15 million was received from the state in 2022/23 and used to redeem the bonds. In the final 2023/24 budget agreement, a provision was included that pulled back the previously allocated funding and instead required districts to issue local bonds with financial support from the state instead of supporting the repayment. This disadvantages SRJC because of the structure and timing of our program. We continue to work with the Chancellor’s Office and other affected districts to find an alternative that meets the needs of all parties.
  • With the final 320 report completed for 2022/23, we are thrilled to report that we grew our full time equivalent students (FTES) by 5.4% to 13,110 FTES. While we still have a large hill climb to return to a level that ensures ongoing fiscal stability, it is the first year that we have been heading in a positive direction since 2017/18. Additional information will be provided in the budget presentation at the September meeting of the Board of Trustees.
  • Finance and Administrative Services is thrilled to welcome Capital Projects to the unit. We are mapping out the financial and project path for the remainder of the bond and intend to maximize what will be able to be accomplished utilizing partnership funding from other areas.


Human Resources

  • SRJC received the INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award for the past three consecutive years and SRJC was the only California Community College recipient of this award. This award recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.
  • In collaboration with Academic Affairs, SRJC was awarded the EEO Innovative Best Practices Grant to facilitate faculty support and retention. The grant award provides $300,000 to the District to implement its proposed project, “SRJC: Cultivating an Ecosystem of Belonging” involving a strategic coaching program for academic deans and instructional departments to support retention of new faculty in culturally responsive ways. The pilot program would serve as a model to bolster the retention of new and existing employees across the District.
  • We continue to infuse PDA Day workshops with IDEAA (Inclusions, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, Anti-Racism) themes.
  • We implemented a Courageous Leadership Academy Fall 2022 focused on anti-racist and inclusion topics which will continue with a new cohort in 23/24.
  • We updated hiring committee orientation to include a discussion on implicit bias in hiring and IDEAA objectives.
  • We will once again hold the Affinity Group New Employee Welcome Reception Fall 2023.


Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Research, and Planning

  • Our major accomplishment is finishing out the strategic plan and aligning our PRRP timeline with our strategic plan.


Office of Marketing and Communications

  • Phase 2 of the Fall Enrollment campaign is running with print and digital advertising in English and Spanish, video advertising on YouTube and Hulu, and radio advertising on traditional stations as well as streaming services like Pandora and Spotify.
  • Planning is underway for the Polly O’Meara Doyle Hall ribbon cutting on September 8th.
  • A new partnership was developed with Motimatic, a third party company who targets social media advertising to SRJC stop out and drop out students. Motimatic ads focus on behavioral based messaging to connect students with reapplying, enrolling, or seeking support from SRJC to return.
  • SRJC leadership connected with the Press Democrat team at their Open House, building relationships with the editors and reporters who cover SRJC.
  • We received confirmation on the approval of trademark requests for SRJC’s logo.
  • We responded to various media inquiries seeking content experts for articles, student housing, new state assembly bills, interviews with Dr. Garcia, and more.


SRJC Foundation

  • As of June 30, the SRJC Foundation had secured $10.7 million in revenue for FY23.
  • As of June 30, the SRJC Foundation investment portfolio achieved an 8.79% return for FY23.
  • We installed three new SRJC Foundation Board of Directors including Dr. Angélica Garcia; Troy Sanderson, President and CEO at Exchange Bank; and Evan Hershey, Financial Advisor at Caldwell Sutter Capital.
  • In July we recorded a $500,000 pledge from the Richard and Saralee Kunde Fund to name the Center for Agricultural Education at Shone Farm.
  • We are $10,000 away from unlocking our $500,000 matching grant from an anonymous donor for the new Student Housing Endowment that will help subsidize rents at Polly O’Meara Doyle Hall.
  • We are in the final stage of planning for the Health Sciences Open House scheduled for August 24, 4-7pm to be held at the William B. Race Health Sciences Building.


In community,

Angélica Garcia, Ed.D.
707-527-4431, angelicagarcia@santarosa.edu

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