Welcome to Spring Quarter 2012

April 10, 2012 

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to spring quarter. I hope that faculty and students were able to enjoy the all-too-brief break between quarters. Much appreciation, as always, goes to our employees who worked throughout the break to register students and prepare for their return.

As of this morning, our enrollment is down slightly from the same time last year. We will be working over the next two weeks to get as many students as possible into as many classes as possible, for their benefit and the college's. Please encourage students to enroll in another course if they are able. The district continues to face further reductions in funding if both colleges do not meet enrollment targets.

Additional reductions in funding will also result if the state revenue measure on the November ballot fails. This, together with the presidential election, underscores the need to educate our students and ourselves about what is truly at stake in the upcoming elections, and the need to participate in the democratic process. This fall, we will hold a coordinated series of election information events, and I encourage you to participate. I'm proud that our Institute for Community and Civic Engagement (ICCE) was awarded a grant from the county Registrar of Voters to involve historically underrepresented communities in the upcoming election and is partnering with Parents for Great Education and other community groups to coordinate My Vote Our Future. See the website for details and to view two terrific short videos produced by De Anza graduate and former DASB president Marlo Custodio.

Current De Anza student leaders have been working with ICCE and administrators to plan "Funding Our Future: A Student Budget Dialogue with Legislators," a student-focused conversation sponsored by Assemblymember Jim Beall next Thursday, April 19, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in Conference Rooms A&B. Two De Anza College students will serve as panelists with other Bay Area students, and several other area legislators will also participate. Please encourage students to attend and consider bringing your classes.

I also encourage you to participate in the several events this coming Thursday, April 12, on "Remembering Trayvon Martin," sponsored by the Office of Equity, Social Justice and Multicultural Education. These events will give us an opportunity to reflect upon and discuss the many issues raised by the shooting and the reactions to it.

Gun violence also reared its head in Oakland at Oikos University. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims and the institution's employees and its students, whose backgrounds mirror those of so many of our own students. Along with the deep sympathy, there is often a feeling of fear and increased vulnerability as well. This is understandable. I want you to know that college and district leadership review and improve our own security on an ongoing basis. We will be sponsoring several staff training sessions on responding to threatening situations, and working to ensure that our security protocols are widely shared across campus.

My very best wishes for spring quarter.

Brian Murphy

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