Welcome to Spring Quarter 2008

April 18, 2008

Dear Colleagues,

I hope the first two weeks of spring quarter have been rewarding for you. As of this morning, our enrollment is up 6.03% in WSCH compared to last spring. This growth reflects an increase in retention at De Anza among continuing students, as well as our increased outreach to local communities. I want to thank everyone on campus -- faculty, classified professionals and administrators -- for the excellent work that makes these numbers possible. These are not abstractions, but represent real, individual students who have been challenged and engaged, inspired and supported. Thank you all.

We are delighted that Fujitsu Computer Systems has made a $1 million gift to De Anza ($500,000 as a cash gift to the Planetarium and $500,000 in technology for use across the campus). In honor of this generosity, the Planetarium will be renamed the Fujitsu Planetarium at De Anza College. In addition to the gift, Fujitsu will offer free training and technical support in using this new technology -- such as Fujitsu's tablet computers -- in the classroom and beyond. We will soon announce a process for allocating these wonderful new resources. Please join us at the gift announcement and naming celebration beginning at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 6. You will be receiving an e-mail invitation very soon.

In other news, we have opened searches for the vice president of Instruction and the vice president of Student Services. The committees are now beginning to review applicant files. In both cases, we will be hosting public forums for the finalists, so look for announcements regarding the times and places for these events. We are also looking forward to the statewide Equity=Excellence conference hosted by De Anza College on May 1 and 2 at the Santa Clara Hyatt Regency, featuring national leaders in the fields of pedagogy and equity strategies for colleges and universities.

The governor will soon release the May revise of his 2008-09 budget proposal; we will then have a better sense of what the immediate budget future will look like. His January budget suggested a cut to the community colleges of more than $400 million and proposed to limit our growth. Since that time, a key factor has been added to the equation: the property tax shortfalls occurring throughout the state, which will have a direct impact on the district. We will provide information and analysis as we obtain it. In the meantime, our students are organizing a march on Sacramento next Monday, April 21 and have distributed info campuswide.

Please check the California Budget Project Web site at www.cbp.org for details on the governor's proposed budget -- not only out of concern for our own budget but out of concern for all worthy state programs. In many ways, the next year will help define what kind of state California is and will be.

Good news for the district and college is that Measure C is now moving forward, after the litigants exhausted all legal options to oppose our bond. We are now moving forward with the projects the college reviewed and prioritized in our facilities master planning process in 2006.

My best wishes for a productive and rewarding spring quarter. I look forward to seeing you at the naming celebration for the Fujitsu Planetarium at De Anza College on May 6 and the Spring Fling on May 14.

Brian Murphy

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