President Schilling’s Board Report for June 23, 2020

The following is a report to members of the North Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees.

Presented by Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D.

on June 23, 2020

In the past few weeks, our campus community has been deeply affected by the social unrest across our communities and the globe, and the demands for change in the equitable treatment of African Americans have been heartfelt, personal, and courageous. I have appreciated the leadership of our faculty, staff, and managers who have shared their experiences with racism in their personal and professional lives, and who have been honest about the changes needed at Cypress College. All communications sent to our students and campus community can be found on our website in the President’s Blog page, but we will not be content to issue words without action in support of anti-racism at the college. Below are some the initial steps we’ve taken in the last few weeks.

Community College Equity Leadership Alliance: Cypress College has joined 59 other community colleges, including Fullerton College, as part of USC’s Race and Equity Center. This alliance will provide the college with access to a 12-month curriculum led by racial-equity experts; an online resource library of rubrics, readings, and case studies; guidance on designing action plans; and climate surveys for students, faculty, and staff members. The Kick Off convening on Monday, June 15, introduced 20 of our campus leaders to the steps we will need to support, understand, and participate in, to enact the anti-racism changes our college will be developing in the coming year.

Student Town Hall: Cypress College Associated Students held a student forum on Wednesday, June 10, via Zoom as a start to the student-led dialogue to come together in support of racial equity and identify strategies to promote a better environment for our students. Sociology Chair and Legacy Coordinator Regina Rhymes and Legacy Counselor LaRon Armstead served as moderators, along with our AS President Nicolette Garcia and other AS officers. There were approximately 60 participants at the event with conversation that ranged from a sharing of valuable insight on recent events around the country, to steps the campus can take to start addressing the discrimination and disadvantages inherent in our society and education system.

Racial Equity Task Force: On Thursday, June 18, all black employees at Cypress College were invited to an e-convening on racial equity at Cypress College. They were encouraged to discuss the challenges they face at the college and in the District, and make recommendations to campus administration for lasting change. We plan to host similar e-convenings with other demographic groups on campus with the goal of bringing recommendations to the campus at large in the fall.

Our Covid 19 Response Team continues to meet throughout the summer to address planning for the fall semester. The Response Team is identifying the equipment, PPE, and other safety requirements for an eventual re-opening of the campus, when it is deemed safe. The C19 Response Team is working in tandem with our Emergency Operations Committee to plan for C-19 related and other emergencies requiring a clear and informed response. We are grateful for those, including Senate President, Craig Goralski, who are willing to continue work this summer towards a successful and eventual safe re-opening in spring.

CARES funding: Our Presidents Advisory Council met recently to discuss the allocation of the second 50% of CARES stimulus funding focusing on the following categories: 1) Support for remote instruction; 2) Technology to support students and employees in a remote environment; 3) Facility modification in response to C-19 safety; 4) PPE and cleaning supplies for C-19 support; 5) Student Basic Needs.  We will continue to have ongoing discussions in the fall about how to ensure these funds support instructional, safety, and basic needs of our employees and students.

Charger Experience Commencement Photos: Graduating students who purchased a Chargers regalia package were provided the opportunity to come to campus for a professional Cypress College photo taken in their regalia. Students scheduled appointments on Tuesday, June 9, or Wednesday, June 10, and received a complimentary 5×7 commencement photo. Approximately 150 graduating students participated over the two-day period.

Caring Campus Kick Off: This spring, Cypress College was accepted into the Caring Campus program sponsored by the Institute for Evidence-Based Change. Caring Campus’ purpose is to create a college environment that increases students’ sense of connectedness and belonging and, in turn, lead to the completion of each student’s education goals. 20 classified employees will serve as Caring Campus coaches this next year and all managers who have classified staff reporting to them will be attending the Caring Campus Kick-off to be held via Zoom on June 25th.

Cypress College in the News: The following news releases were shared in the OC Breeze recently. To read more click on the highlighted links: Cypress College Earns 2 National Rankings, Ranked #3 Best Community College and #8 in Success Rate: Cypress was named the #3 best community college in the nation by College Consensus, and #8 in student success among 4-year public colleges by The Chronicle of Higher Education, a recognition of the great work our faculty and staff are doing to help students complete their goals. The Chronicle list ranks colleges that mainly serve students who are seeking an associate degree or preparing to transfer to a four-year institution by the percentages of first-time, full-time students who completed within 150 percent of the normal time, or transferred to another higher-education institution.

Cypress College Partners with National Guard in 22-Week Jobs ChalleNGe CTE Academy Cypress College was awarded the 2020 National CyberWatch: Innovations in Cyber Security Education award for its work with the California Jobs ChalleNGe last semester. This is the second consecutive year in a row that the Cypress College Cybersecurity Program is being honored. The program is led by Ben Izadi and Russ Alizadeh and the Dual Enrollment team, led by Dr. Henry Hua, Stephanie Teer, and Stephanie Flores, was also involved in the effort, along with the Auto Technology program faculty. The Jobs ChalleNGe program is a collaboration with the National Guard and Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

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