Welcome to Fall + De Anza in the News

September 23, 2009

Dear Colleagues,

The first three days of instruction have been as busy as any of us can recall, with more than 25,000 students enrolling in courses, large waves of students streaming across the main quad, and a stunning number of cars circling the parking lots.

You may have also noticed the several news trucks and camera crews on campus as tales of our enrollment crunch began to spread (I have included links to stories and articles at the end of this message; check them out). On Friday we had over 13,000 students on waitlists for course sections. Since many students put themselves on multiple waitlists, we checked to see how many individuals this represented: 8,400. Of those 8,400 students, 2,300 had not been able to enroll in a single course section. As I know you are acutely aware, behind each of these numbers is a unique story, a real person who needs our classes.

It has been incredibly inspiring to see the response of all of our faculty and staff in trying to accommodate as many students as we are able under the strictures of the state budget, in reaching out to every individual we can, in remaining patient and caring. At the same time it has been inspiring to see the patience and persistence of our students, as they seem to understand perfectly that it isn't the fault of their instructors or the administration that lines are long and most of the courses full. As part of enrollment management, we have attempted to shift resources from some low-enrolled sections to those with highest demand, and at the same time keep the integrity of a full and robust schedule. Thanks to the deans, department chairs, faculty and classified professionals who worked over the summer to adjust class schedules and enroll more students.

A particular shout-out to Associate Vice President Donna Jones-Dulin and the construction folks who made sure that the perimeter road was poured, surfaced and striped over the weekend before classes started. With all the traffic and parking challenges, can you imagine what it would have been like without the road open? We also owe a huge debt to the grounds crew and custodial staff who labored to ensure that the campus was welcoming and clean, even amidst extensive construction trenches and fencing.

In the next few weeks we will host a town hall meeting and a series of small division and program meetings to discuss the budget and budget planning. Vice President Letha Jeanpierre gave a brief outline of our challenges on Opening Day, and we will continue budget discussions over the next several months.
None of our anxiety about the budget has distracted us from our real calling: to engage the students here by the thousands, to bring them into our community with affection and care and respect, and to do the work we care so deeply about. I welcome all of you to the new academic year.

Brian Murphy

Media Coverage
KTVU-TV, Channel 2 (Monday, Sept. 21)

KPIX-TV, CBS, Channel 5 (Monday, Sept. 21):

KGO-TV, ABC, Channel 7 (Monday, Sept. 21):

KRON4-TV (Tuesday, Sept. 22)

KNTV, NBC, Channel 11, and Telemundo (recorded on campus)

KCBS Radio, 740 AM/106.9 FM (Monday, Sept. 21)

KLIV Radio, CNN, 1590 AM (Tuesday, Sept. 22)

San Jose Mercury News (online version Monday, Sept. 21)

Inside Higher Ed (Wednesday, Sept. 23)

The Chronicle of Higher Education (Monday, Oct. 5)

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