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From the President

Welcome and An Update

April 4, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

I'm sorry that I missed the opportunity to see you at the district events today, and sorry that I will not be at our own lunch at De Anza tomorrow, or able to greet our students on the first day of spring quarter. Like so many, I have tested positive for COVID-19. This was the result from an antigen test this morning, and I expect that the PCR test I underwent today will also yield a positive result. I'm fortunate that my symptoms are mild at this point -- and grateful that vaccines, boosters and testing are all available to us, as are ever-improving treatments for those who require them. I will continue to follow all county guidelines, including the "strong recommendation" to use masks, which the district will continue to require indoors for at least the next month.

I look forward to seeing you soon for what promises to be an exciting spring quarter -- including our first in-person graduation in three years, and the first I will experience on the De Anza campus. Prior to graduation, there is much for us to anticipate on behalf of our students -- sharing the excitement of a new quarter, the joy of learning about the universities our transferring students will attend, and enrolling new students to be with us in the fall, when we will look forward to more on-campus classes. 

This spring, we will also have the culmination of an excellent, comprehensive strategic planning process. Thank you to the leaders of that undertaking -- Lydia Hearn, Mallory Newell and Marisa Spatafore -- and to the hundreds of De Anza faculty members, classified professionals and administrators who have participated in developing what will be the center of our Educational Master Plan.

Thank you, as well, to the Shared Governance Task Force, which recently completed its recommendations to College Council and, therefore, its work. While I have said to College Council that I have concerns about the proposal in its current form, I have confidence that, in whatever form participatory governance improvements ultimately take, there will be a positive outcome for the college. We will soon revisit this as well as other critical issues related to staffing that have advanced to College Council.

As president, and as is the case with everyone on senior staff, ensuring the well-being of the college as a whole is my role, and my responsibility. In that spirit, I also want to say that in my experience in higher education, with the joys of spring quarter come some degree of fatigue, and often with that, additional tension. This year, that typical spring fatigue is compounded by the weariness and losses of the pandemic. In the face of this, it's important that we all remember: Respect matters. Kindness is crucial. Generosity and grace should prevail. We must model this for students -- and we must show it to each other. 

My best wishes to you for an excellent spring quarter. Please be well.

With appreciation,

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