Happy Holidays - Update

December 11, 2008

As fall quarter ends, I want to offer my very best wishes to each of our faculty, classified professionals and administrators for an excellent holiday break, a chance to gather together with family and friends and take a breather from the intensity of our work.

We began the academic year with strong enrollment and a shared excitement as our students streamed onto the campus amidst one of the more electrifying presidential campaigns in history. Then came the sudden collapse of the financial system and the state budget crisis, and a growing sense of anxiety with those in Sacramento not yet having found a way to bridge the gap between revenue and expenditures.

Through it all, we have continued our critical work with our students. At De Anza, we are not simply expenditures in the legislative ledger; we are counselors and teachers, custodians and lab techs, administrators and administrative assistants, food servers, tutors, outreach staff, grounds crew and all the other real and tangible roles we play here. But we are also more than those roles: members of families and communities, friends to one another, participants in a much broader community of commitment to an educational enterprise that offers hope and promise for students who need us. It is good and honorable work, and I am proud of it.

Our enrollment looks strong for winter, and many of our staff will use the break to manage those enrollments, get students registered and ready, and continue the planning for whatever financial consequences flow from the governor's and legislature's deliberations on the budget.

Finally, an update on administrative positions: As you know, we were not successful in filling the open position of vice president for Student Services. We are reopening the search, which I have asked Dean Stephanie Sherman to chair. I have asked Robert Griffin to continue as the "consulting vice president" in Student Services, and he has agreed. This will give us continuity and leadership in that area. Second, we will open a search for a new vice president of Educational Resources and College Operations to fill the vacancy that will occur in January with the departure of Jeanine Hawk. I have asked newly appointed Vice President of Instruction Christina Espinosa-Pieb to chair that search. We will also look for someone to assume Jeanine's duties on an interim basis until the permanent position is filled.

Again, thank you all for your excellent work, and for your enduring commitment to De Anza and our students. Have a good break, and happy holidays.

Best Wishes,
Brian Murphy

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