President Burnett Focuses on a ‘Culture of Excellence’ in Annual State of the College

Dr. Burnett asks for a show of hands of those in the audience that attended Saddleback College.

Dr. Burnett asks for a show of hands of those in the audience that attended Saddleback College.

Dr. Tod A. Burnett, president of Saddleback College, welcomed more than 100 elected officials, business and industry representatives, and other community members at the college’s annual State of the College breakfast this morning.  The State of the College report is entitled “A Culture of Excellence” and outlines the college’s priorities and goals for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Dr. Burnett welcomed Assembly Member Bill Brough, who offered remarks on his support of Saddleback College and an update on his work in Sacramento.  Additional speakers included South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees Vice President Tim Jemal, Associated Student Government President William Vassetizadeh, and Saddleback College Foundation President Mike Hamilton. Students of the Saddleback College Commercial Music Ensemble, directed by Dr. Ariel Alexander, performed.

President Burnett provided an update on the college, with themes covering student success, economic and workforce development, enrollments, and facilities.  The top 10 projects for the year were highlighted, which included: Governance and Organization Manual; Disaster Preparedness Training; Employee Training and Development Survey; Reimagine Student Services; Title IX Coordinator; Instruction, Student Services, and Administrative Services Operating Guidelines; Economic and Workforce Development; Accreditation; Institutional Effectiveness; and Enrollments.

An update on the college’s economic and workforce development plan was presented by Dr. John Jaramillo, dean of business science and economic and workforce development, and Israel Dominguez, director of economic and workforce development.  The plan includes implementation of a one-stop career placement center, small business hub, partnerships with business and industry, contract education, and business training and consulting.

Guests included:

Assembly Member Bill Brough

South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees
Tim Jemal, Vice President
Marcial Milchiker
Bobbi Jay

City of Mission Viejo
Mayor Cathy Schlicht
Mayor Pro Tem Greg Raths
Wendy Bucknum, Council Member
Ed Sachs, Council Member

City of San Clemente
Lori Donchak, Council Member

Rancho Santa Margarita
Mayor Brad McGirr
Michael Vaughn, Council Member

City of Aliso Viejo
Mayor Pro Tem Mike Munzing

Capistrano Unified School District
Gary Pritchard, Member, Board of Education
Dr. Kirsten Vital, Superintendent

Saddleback Valley Unified School District
Ginny Aitkens, Member, Board of Education
Dennis Walsh, Member, Board of Education
Dolores Winchell, Member, Board of Education

Long Beach City College Board of Trustees
President Jeff Kellogg

Representatives from the Offices of Congresswoman Mimi Walters, Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, and Irvine City Council Member Lynn Schott.

9/11 Commencement Ceremony Held on Campus

9/11/15 commemoration ceremony

9/11 commemoration ceremony held at the Veterans Memorial

Today we gathered at the Veterans Memorial for a commemoration ceremony hosted by the Saddleback College Police Department to remember and honor those we lost in the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001.

The event was led and organized by Saddleback College Police Lieutenant Michael Betzler. Following his opening statements, Sheriff Explorer Post 449 presented the colors and Erin Long, senior administrative assistant in student development, beautifully performed the national anthem. Guest speakers at the ceremony included Orange County Fire Battalion Chief Cliff Bramlette and United States Marine Corps Sergeant Juan Valdez. Each provided moving testimonies about the events of 9/11. In a final nod to the victims and the heroes, Dr. Kathy Werle, Vice President for Instruction, placed a wreath at the Veterans Memorial on behalf of the college.

Fourteen years after that tragic day, Saddleback College continues to remember and honor those we lost. I want to thank all of those in attendance that helped us in this tribute to them.

Tod A. Burnett, Ed. D.