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From the President

An Update on Senior Staff Leadership

Jan. 31, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

Not long ago, I was thrilled to let you know that faculty member Lydia Hearn had accepted the position of interim associate vice president of Instruction. She has done incredible work – in just a few months – in what is a broad, challenging and time-consuming role.

I am therefore very sorry to tell you that Lydia needs, for family reasons, to return to her faculty position in English. I want to share with you part of what she wrote the Academic Services and Learning Resources Division just a bit ago:

"It is with great sadness that I will be stepping down as the interim associate vice president of Instruction and returning to faculty effective the end of winter quarter. Some of you may have noticed that recently I have been absent from several meetings. I have had to attend to a significant increase in family obligations that will continue to need my attention, and I do not feel it is fair either to the college or to my family to continue in the AVPI position. My family always comes first with me, as I hope it does for you too, so I trust you will understand my decision."

Lydia immediately became an integral member of senior staff, and I was pleased and touched to see that she also wrote in her message:

"I also want to thank Senior Staff for their care, empathy, and support throughout the past six months and throughout this transition. They have welcomed me wholeheartedly, valued my experience, and approached their decisions for the college with empathy and expertise. I appreciate the humanity with which they lead the college and with which they have supported me in this decision. Should my circumstances change, I hope to once again serve in an administrator or other leadership role, helping to lead the college in the great work to which all of you contribute."

Because of the brief time Lydia served in the role, the district's hiring practices permit us to return to the interview pool to fill the position. I am pleased to announce that Dean of Language Arts Thomas Ray – another excellent applicant – will now serve in the interim role.

Pending board approval, Thomas will begin as interim AVPI tomorrow, Feb. 1, and hold the position through Dec. 31. Lydia will return to teaching in spring quarter, so we are fortunate to have a transition period for this complex role. This timing also allows us to plan for interim leadership of Language Arts while Thomas serves as interim AVPI. 

While I am sorry that Lydia is stepping down, she is choosing, as she said, to put her family first. I know that we all understand and support this. My thanks and best wishes to Lydia, my thanks and congratulations to Thomas, and my thanks to all of you for being the supportive community that you are.

With appreciation,

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