Dr. Simpson Delivers Annual Report to Trustees
President Bob Simpson presented his final Annual Report to the NOCCCD Board of Trustees on Tuesday night, lauding Cypress College students and the employees who support their success. The annual report presentation encompasses the Cypress College Annual Report and the Cypress College Institutional Effectiveness Report.
In providing an overview of the two printed documents, Dr. Simpson covered eight primary topics:
- Measure J Bond Projects
- Participation in the Baccalaureate Degree Pilot Program
- Diversity and Inclusiveness
- Academic Achievement
- Completion and Transfer
- Environmental Stewardship
“It is my honor this evening to present to you an overview of the 2015-2016 academic year at Cypress College. The College’s accomplishments will resonate and propagate decades into the future,” Dr. Simpson said in opening his presentation to the Trustees for the North Orange County Community College District and other leaders.
The Board’s decision to approve a new Science, Engineering, and Math Building served as the first significant highlight in Dr. Simpson’s report.
“This new building will support the education of our next generation of scientists, engineers, technology experts, and mathematicians,” he said. “In this new facility, students will learn concepts we can’t yet conceive.”
Construction of the new SEM building is scheduled to be completed in 2020. The project will run in tandem with construction of a new Veteran’s Resource Center and Memorial Plaza that includes a bridge spanning the pond.
The presentation continued with an update on development of the College’s baccalaureate degree in Funeral Services. One of 15 programs included in California Community Colleges pilot program, instruction in the Funeral Services B.S. degree program will begin in fall 2017. In the past year, curriculum has been developed and the accrediting agency approved the key components of the bachelor’s degree.
A highlight of the year was the Yom HaShoah event in May. Focusing on the College’s core value of Inclusiveness, the Yom HaShoah commemoration featured portraits of Holocaust survivors created by Photography Department Chair Clifford Lester. About 1,000 people attended the event, which featured survivor Dr. Jacob Eisenbach.
In the area of equity, Dr. Simpson highlighted the first-ever Equity Summit held in April and the shift in employee demographics to more-closely resemble the student body. He also noted that nearly half of the incoming freshman class were first-generation college students.
Speaking about academic achievement, Dr. Simpson said the number of associate degrees awarded has grown significantly in the past five years from 753 to 1,201. The number of certificates awarded has also increased over that same period. In addition, 458 transfer degrees were awarded in 2015-16, up from 114 in 2012-13.
The College also exceeded its target for both degree and certificate completion. The most common degrees awarded by Cypress College are in Liberal Arts, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Life and Physical Sciences, Math, and Business. Students earn the highest number of certificates in Automotive Technology, and in the Hotel, Restaurant, and Culinary Arts program.
Finally, speaking about environmental stewardship, Dr. Simpson noted a recent state award presented to the College as a leader in energy efficiency. Water consumption at the College was reduced by 30% and electricity usage by 5.4 million kilowatt hours last academic year. More than 8,600 energy-efficient lighting fixtures and bulbs were installed by College employees — generating an annual savings of approximately $80,000.
“These are good times at Cypress College and the unsolicited accolades we have received are the result of commitment, hard work, and a true investment in our students,” he said. “Fifty years ago, people of foresight and vision committed to the development of a new college serving the needs of North Orange County. We and the students who have been served over the years are the recipients of that grand vision. Today, we are laying the groundwork for the next 50 years. It is a privilege to be a part of that legacy and to know that because we have dared to Dream Big Dreams, we are now positioned to Do Great Things.”
He closed with the observation that the two printed documents “validate the commitment of the College to our Core Value of Excellence.”