Saddleback College Foundation Raises Over $1.5 Million for Osher Scholarship Endowment

Saddleback College is pleased to announce that the Saddleback College Foundation raised $794,562 under the statewide Osher Initiative for California Community College Students which combined with $397,281 in matching funds and a lead gift of approximately $335,588 provides an increase of over $1.5 million to the foundation’s scholarship endowment.

Saddleback was tasked by The Bernard Osher Foundation to raise $671,175 over the past three years to receive their matching fund gift, and the college exceeded this goal by raising an additional $123,387 making it one of only 33 colleges out of the 112 California community colleges that met or exceeded its fundraising goal.

Dr. Tod A. Burnett, stated, “These scholarships mean the world to our students and I am very proud of everyone in our college community who personally donated and helped solicit donations to this worthy cause.  I am extremely thankful to our Saddleback College Foundation and The Bernard Osher Foundation for believing in community college students and the benefits of a community college education.”

Donna Varner, President of the Saddleback College Foundation, stated, “It is a joy to be able to award scholarships to so many deserving students every year.  This endowment allows us to positively impact more lives than we ever thought possible and everyone in the foundation is grateful to those who donated.”

As a result of this endowment, the foundation awarded 49 additional $1,000 scholarships to deserving students at the college’s annual scholarship ceremony in May, and expects to award over 80 of these scholarships next year and every year in perpetuity.

The Osher scholarship program is a result of an initial $25 million gift and $25 million in potential matching funds from The Bernard Osher Foundation to the Foundation for California Community Colleges to establish an endowment to provide permanent scholarship support to community college students throughout the state.  All told, this unprecedented gift resulted in a permanent scholarship fund that exceeds $67.7 million statewide, enough to fund more than 3,300 scholarships a year, forever.

Library Road Closures

Due to construction for the new Library Bridge, access on Library Road will be impacted on the following dates:

September 2 – Road closed to all traffic

September 8 – One way traffic only in the easterly direction.  Both lanes of traffic will be open during peak traffic times

September 9 and 10 – Road closed to all traffic

September 16 – Road closed to all traffic

Flex Week Wrap-Up

One of my favorite weeks of the year has once again come and gone. This year’s In-Service Week was another great success. I always enjoy welcoming our faculty and staff back to campus and meeting for the first time the newest members of our Saddleback College family. Special thanks to Professor Jane Horlings, our superb Flex Week Coordinator, who puts in countless hours organizing the week. I also want to thank everyone who made presentations this year!

President-Hosted Events

I was pleased to see you all at the President’s Faculty Breakfast and President’s Classified Staff Luncheon on Wednesday, August 17th; and the President’s Associate Faculty Dinner on Thursday, August 18th.  Those who attended these events were the first to see my Annual State of the College report. If you missed this information, it is available online here.

At the faculty breakfast, I was pleased to announce 17 new tenure track faculty that were hired to begin this semester. While many colleges are looking at layoffs as a way to cut costs, Saddleback is so proud to be able to hire new, quality faculty!

Welcome to all the new tenure-track faculty!

Our new tenure-track faculty are: Deanna Avetisian, Mathematics; Teresa Bear, Chemistry; Christina Bowles, Nursing; Hencelyn Chu, Medical Laboratory Tech/Phlebotomy; Carolyn Danko, Nursing; Ryan Even, Photography; Kirill Gliadkovsky, Music; Lawrence Grihalva, Emergency Medical Technician; Safiah Mamoon, Health Information Technology; Maria Mayenzet, Screen Acting and Video Production; Patricia McGinley, Nursing; Jedrek Mularski, World History; Candy Nelson, Nursing; Lucas Ochoa, Speech Communication; Stephen Robertson, Speech Communication; Penelope Skaff, Matriculation Coordinator/Counselor; and Kolin Williams, Veterans/Generalist Counselor.

At the Classified Luncheon, I was pleased to announce even more new hires! Seventeen classified staff were welcomed to Saddleback College and we are delighted to have so many people who will assist in helping our students achieve their goals.

Welcome new classified staff!

The newest classified staff are: James Baldwin, Administrative Assistant, Transportation Services; Ion Brezoi, Custodian, Facilities: Custodial; Rafael Granados Gomez, Groundskeeper, Facilities: Grounds; Elliot Klinge, Front of House Office Manager/Box Office Assistant, Fine Arts; Gina Lakow-Oram, Health Office Assistant, Student Health Center; Inna Link, Admissions and Records Specialist I, Admissions, Records, and Enrollment Services; Michelle Macdougall-Jackson, Theatre Production Manager, Fine Arts; Thomas MacKenzie, Application Specialist II, Distance Education; Andrea McGinley, Financial Aid Specialist, Office of Financial Assistance; Anthony Micallef, Senior Accounting Specialist, Saddleback College Foundation; Ashley Mooney, Program Assistant, Health Sciences; David Mora, Custodian, Facilities: Custodial; Courtney Motak, Program Senior Lab Technician, Health Sciences and Human Services; John Oropallo, Building Maintenance Worker, Facilities: Maintenance; Joyce Speakman, Administrative Assistant, Mathematics, Science, and Engineering; and Robyn Wilson, Senior Health Office Assistant, Student Health Center.

Patti Flanigan, Dean of Online Education and Learning Resources, Addresses the Audience

Finally, at the Associate Faculty Dinner, we were pleased to see more than 100 smiling faces in attendance! It was a great event and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting some new people and getting reacquainted with old colleagues.  It was also a pleasure to host this dinner with Dean Patricia Flanigan and Professor Teresa Bear, who organized a wonderful event to provide information on the resources available to our associate faculty.

The Annual State of the College Report

This year, I once again presented my Annual State of the College Address, which includes my top ten projects for the 2011-12 academic year. This year’s report is entitled “Being the First Choice” and is based on the college’s vision statement that was developed in 2009:

“Saddleback College will be the first choice of students who seek a dynamic, innovative, and student-centered postsecondary education”

In the report, I discuss what it means to be the first choice, and how our number one focus must be student success.  Over the past three years we have made great strides in our infrastructure and have improved immensely through the accreditation process.  Now it is time for our college to come together and find ways to help our students better prepare themselves for college, and the steps they need to take to success in their academic endeavors to achieve their educational and career goals.  We have all the tools in place to be the first option of graduating high school students and now it is time to put those tools into action.

Student Success

Fostering greater student success is at the top of my priority list, and it is also on the top of Chancellor Gary Poertner’s priority list. In his Opening Session, he stressed the importance of working collaboratively as a district to ensure our students get the highest-quality education possible. Everyone is on board with the student success efforts, including State Chancellor Jack Scott, who recently announced that the state board of governors launched a student success task force to develop a strategic blueprint to help community college students to succeed.

To meet the task force’s goals by 2020, California’s community colleges will need to at least double the number of completions. This means that Saddleback will need to double its number of degrees, certificates, and transfers over the next decade—and together we can achieve this critical goal. Beginning this fall, our college will embark on a campus-wide effort to discuss what’s at stake and begin the conversation of how our entire campus can take part in improving our completion rates.

My Top 10 Projects

Again in this year’s report, I presented my Top 10 Projects for the coming academic year.  These are the projects that I am personally focusing on during the 2011-12 school year.  This year, they are:

1. Student Success Meetings – The college will hold campus-wide meetings to discuss student success. We must bring together our entire college community to discuss what’s at stake and begin the con-versation of how the whole campus can take part in our student success efforts.
2. High School Partners – The college will develop and implement a comprehensive pilot program with local high schools to enhance student preparedness and success while marketing the college to prospective students.
3. Accreditation – The college’s accreditation will be reaffirmed after addressing the ACCJC’s recommenda-tions for the district and submitting a successful follow-up report in preparation for a second team visit in the fall.
4. Major Facility Projects – The college will complete renovation of the James B. Utt Library and Learning Resources Center and finalize architectural designs for constructing the new sciences building and for renovating the technology and applied sciences building.
5. New Faculty Center – The college will renovate the Center for Instructional Design and Distance Education (CIDDE) to provide a more optimal learning environment for faculty to strengthen teaching techniques and use instructional technology for on-campus and online classes.
6. Capital Campaign – The Saddleback College Foundation will initiate a major capital campaign to raise external resources for renovation of the athletic stadium and construction of a new wellness center.
7. Alumni Outreach – The college and the Saddleback College Foundation will reach out to all of our more than 500,000 alumni for the first time in history.
8. Economic and Workforce Development – The college will survey the south Orange County community to assess its economic and workforce training and development needs.
9. Student Success Technology – Saddleback will implement new technologies to facilitate greater student success while realizing significant efficiencies.
10. Advanced Technology and Education Park (ATEP) – Saddleback will establish a vision for the college at the district’s ATEP development project in Tustin.

Click here to view the full text of my Annual State of the College Report.

This year, I hope you will all join me in making student success a priority! Have a wonderful fall semester and I’ll see you on campus soon!

Welcome Back Students!

Dear new and returning students,

Today marks the beginning of classes in the new academic year and we want to wish everyone the very best for the fall semester.  These are challenging times, especially with the weak economy and state fiscal problems.  Saddleback College is fortunate to be able to continue to offer the same number of classes as last year, and thanks to our faculty and deans we are able to provide opportunities for even more students.  This comes while most every other college in the state is forced to reduce their offerings.  Saddleback is committed to student success, and we are here to serve and assist you, so please take advantage of all that the college has to offer.

Have an exciting first week!