Winter Quarter Greetings

Jan. 11, 2013 

Dear Colleagues,

Happy New Year. I hope you had a wonderful holiday break and an excellent start to the winter quarter.

The quarter has begun well for the college, with additional high-demand classes available for our students and enrollment at De Anza up by about 2 percent. I want to thank the many faculty and staff who worked so hard to bring more students to the college and into classes, and who are always dedicated to helping our students succeed. The enrollment recovery is extremely welcome.

There is more good news: The governor’s budget released yesterday is the first in recent memory without cuts to the community colleges, and gives us hope that the state's economy is slowly recovering. Nothing is final until the budget is passed, and we cannot rest easy. Once again, our students will be deeply engaged in the struggle to ensure greater funding for the community colleges, as will faculty and staff unions. All of us need to support these efforts.

Yesterday’s message from Chancellor Thor, regarding the planned postponement of layoffs until June 30, represents good news for the college, both for our colleagues facing layoff and for our students. Neither our enrollment increase nor the governor's budget eliminates the structural deficit of the district, but the number of eliminated positions will be significantly fewer than originally planned thanks to the passage of Proposition 30. But "fewer" is not "none," and we will grieve the loss of any of our colleagues. Both the college and the district will be working closely with our affected colleagues and their employee groups in the months ahead.

Let me underscore Chancellor Thor’s caveat about the necessity to enroll and retain students, and reduce non-instructional expenses, in order to have the planned layoff date extended.

Again, my deep and sincere thanks to you for your hard work in enrolling and keeping our students. It was wonderful to come to campus on Monday and see faculty, staff and students at the welcome tables, giving directions and information about open courses, and providing the kind of personalized attention students so deserve. It makes a difference.

Brian Murphy

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