Messages to Faculty and Staff

Report on Hate Crime at De Anza (Posted February 8, 2018)

Message from the Chancellor and Presidents (Posted January 22, 2018)

Chancellor's Equity for Excellence Project - E4E (Posted November 7, 2017)

Puerto Rico Rising (Posted November 5, 2017)

Accreditation and Enrollment (Posted October 16, 2017)

North Bay Fires (Posted October 13, 2017)

Welcome to Fall 2017! (Posted September 20, 2017)

Foothill-De Anza Statement on Rescission of DACA (Posted September 5, 2017)

Important Information from the Board of Trustees Meeting of August 28, 2017 (Posted August 30, 2017)

Prohibition of District-funded Travel to States that Discriminate (Posted August 10, 2017)

Spring Convocation 2017 (Posted February 28, 2017)

Happy Winter 2017 (Posted January 9, 2017)

Recent Actions by the Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees (Posted December 13, 2016)

Election News (Posted November 9, 2016)

League Report Live on the Web (Posted October 10, 2016)

Welcome to the New Academic Year (Posted September 18, 2016)

The Tragedy of Orlando (Posted June 12, 2016)

Good News on Baccalaureate Degrees and the Budget (Posted Jan. 20, 2015) 

Chancellor's Retirement Message (Posted Dec. 2, 2014)

District Opening Day 2014: Chancellor's Remarks (Posted Sept. 22, 2014)




Report on Hate Crime at De Anza

Dear Colleagues,

On the evening of January 24, De Anza was the site of a hate crime that is an outrage against our entire district family.  We pride ourselves on an authentic commitment to equity and inclusion and hateful acts will not be tolerated.

At the Board of Trustees meeting on February 5, a number of students from De Anza and Foothill addressed the board during public comments with a range of concerns that included the content and timeliness of administrative communications, support services for heightened fear and anxiety, and opportunities for campus wide discussion of next steps to further cultivate a safe and welcoming environment.  The student voices were eloquent and compelling.

While Brown Act rules prevented Board discussion of or formal action on items not on the agenda, individual trustees praised the students for appearing before the board and expressed heartfelt sympathy and understanding.  They also directed staff to provide a followup report on the issues presented.  President Murphy immediately offered to meet with concerned students at their convenience the following day and did so. 

A series of campus events in response to homophobia and hate crimes had already been scheduled by the Office of Equity, Social Justice and Multicultural Education and the invitation flyer is included below.

I long for the day when such events are unnecessary.

Working with you to see that day become reality,


In response to the recent hate crime, please join the Office of Equity, Social Justice and Multicultural Education for a film screening and community conversation:

Compassion, Care and Advocacy in Response to Homophobia and Hate Crimes

  • Date: Wednesday, Feb. 14
  • Time: 1:30-3:45 p.m.
  • Location: Conference Room B, Campus Center

You are invited to a screening of “The Laramie Project,” an important film about the 1998 murder of University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard. Stay after for a student-centered conversation about LGBTQQI+ allies and campus support – and how we can respond to homophobia with compassion, care and advocacy. Materials and resources provided by the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

First in aseries of campus events: Engagement in the Face of Hatred

Sponsored by

  • California History Center Audrey Edna Butcher Civil Liberties Education Initiative
  • Office of Equity, Social Justice and Multicultural Education
  • Jean Miller Resource Room for Women, Gender and Sexuality
  • Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action
  • Office of the President



February 7, 2019

Message from the Chancellor and Presidents

Dear Colleagues,

Earlier this evening the Board of Trustees approved our request to engage community members in a conversation about maintaining and upgrading classrooms and labs to meet the educational and career goals of our diverse student body.

Thanks to your tireless efforts, our colleges continue to provide students of all ages with high quality, affordable higher education, job training, and preparation for university transfer – and we are proud our district is a recognized educational leader throughout the state and even nationally for this work.

The public continues to be a valued partner in our work and our students have benefitted from voter-enacted educational bonds that allowed the district to make critical repairs, upgrades, and improvements to the colleges. Today's fast-paced environment makes it even more essential that we continuously update our classrooms, labs, and facilities to meet the 21st century needs of students, faculty, and staff.

The district conducted a survey in late 2017 to assess the community's willingness to support a bond in 2018, which would require approval by 55 percent of district voters. We were extremely pleased to learn that as many as 77 percent of the survey respondents were willing to support a bond this November to continue to maintain and upgrade district classrooms, labs, and facilities. Information about the survey results can be viewed here.

As you will see, district voters are interested in specific priorities, such as the following:

  • Continuing to prepare students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities
  • Better preparing students and workers for good-paying jobs
  • Upgrading classrooms and labs in science, technology, engineering, math, healthcare, early childhood education, and auto repair/technology training programs
  • Expanding resources for veterans and accessibility for students with disabilities

We will launch an external districtwide conversation by mid-February to solicit additional input from the public as well as from all of you. We look forward to expanding and deepening our community partnerships in service of student access and success. 

Warm regards,

Judy Miner, Chancellor 

Thuy Thi Nguyen, President, Foothill College 

Brian Murphy, President, De Anza College


January 16, 2017



Chancellor's Equity for Excellence Project - E4E

Dear Colleagues,

On District Opening Day I announced the Chancellor's Equity for Excellence Project – E4E – and was thrilled by the number of people who attended my workshop or expressed their interest in participating during the year!  I’m writing now to invite you to the initiative's kickoff meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 14, from 3-4:30 p.m. in the ETS Training Room, Building D-120 (the old District Office Building) at Foothill College. 

E4E seeks to advance student equity and retention through validation, and every employee in the district is eligible to participate. For those who choose to do so, the required reading cited below provides the validation theory to be incorporated in one's daily work or the development new strategies to support our students:  

Enrollment Management Journal: Volume 5, Issue 2

Those who sign up for the 2017-18 E4E team will become part of a cohort of individuals who will receive specialized training, support and opportunities to make connections with underrepresented students. Participants will be eligible to apply for funding to attend the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE), the leading national forum on issues of race and ethnicity in American higher education.

Themed meetings of the cohort will be held throughout the year to discuss the reading, develop projects, and share what you have learned from the work. Participants should plan on attending a minimum of two cohort meetings - see the schedule below.

E4E team members selected to attend NCORE will be asked to make short presentations after the conference summarizing what they have learned during the year.

If you have questions about E4E, please contact Paula Norsell in the Chancellor’s Office or Pat Hyland, district director of equity and employee relations.


Nov. 14 (Tuesday) - 3-4:30 p.m. - Kickoff meeting

ETS Building Training Room, D120, Foothill College (the old district office building)

Jan. 25 (Thursday) - noon-3 p.m. - Project discussion

Don Bautista Room, Campus Center, De Anza College (lunch provided)

March 7 (Wednesday) - 12:30-1:30 p.m. - Project progress/results

Toyon Room, upper Campus Center, Foothill College (lunch provided)

April 10 (Tuesday) - noon-1:30 p.m. - Bring a student to lunch

Don Bautista Room, upper level Campus Center, De Anza College (lunch provided)

May 4 (Friday) - noon-2 p.m. - Learning from NCORE

Toyon Room, upper Campus Center, Foothill College (lunch provided)

June 8 (TENTATIVE) - noon-1:30 p.m. - E4E: the year in review

Toyon Room, upper Campus Center, Foothill College

Greatly looking forward to working together,



November 7, 2017



Puerto Rico Rising

Dear Colleagues:

A number of community leaders including our own Mayra Cruz, District Academic Senate President, have organized an effort to transport badly needed supplies to Puerto Rico.  Please see the attached fliers for the locations of the fire stations that will be collection sites on November 18-19 as well as the De Anza collection sites on November 15-16.   

Kudos and thanks to the students, faculty, and staff of De Anza's Child Development and Education department who made it possible for Foothill-De Anza to participate as a sponsor of Puerto Rico rising.  And thanks in advance to all of you who will generously donate to such a worthy cause.

With appreciation,



November 5, 2017


Accreditation and Enrollment

Dear Colleagues:

Many, many thanks to all of you who contributed your time and talent to the countless efforts leading up to and during the accreditation site visits!   I was incredibly proud to hear compliments about every aspect of the visits and especially happy about the kudos from the team members about their interactions with our students.  I share the enthusiasm about the positive reports as reflected in the emails from Presidents Nguyen and Murphy.

On a more somber note, at the end of this email is an update on our Fall 17 enrollment and the dispiriting news about our budget. 

Following is an excerpt from President Nguyen's accreditation message to Foothill:

"Below is a summary of the team’s observations as conveyed by the team chair (Dr. Linda Rose) at the exit interview, with my comments:

Recommendation for Compliance (Standards I.B.7, I.C.5; and III.A.3)

            The college does not meet this set of standards: the team recommends that the college regularly review and evaluate its institutional policies, procedures, publications and practices across all areas of the college, including instructional program, student and learning support services, resources management, and governance processes to assure effectiveness in supporting academic quality.

            My Comments: the key words are “regularly review”.  There are policies and procedures (and possibly publications and practices) that have not been reviewed for many years.  I have preliminarily spoken with the chancellor and president’s cabinet about how to proceed with such review.  It would involve collaboration with central services and De Anza College.  More to come on this item later. 

Recommendation for Improvement (Standards I.A.2; I.B.4; and I.B.9)

            The college meets this set of standards.  However, the team recommends the college still focus on making improvements: in order to improve institutional effectiveness and enhance the college’s culture of evidence-based decision-making, the team recommends that the college engage in continuous, broad based, systemic evaluation and planning by assessing, analyzing, organizing, and applying its assessment data to establish a robust set of evidence to determine how effectively the college is accomplishing its mission and meeting its institutional priorities to meet the educational needs of the students. 

            My Comments: the key words are “institutional effectiveness” and “evaluation".  Does the college make a point to systematically evaluate whether or not it is effective in what it has implemented?  The team observed that the college is indeed making progress in evaluating its effectiveness, but wanted to make this a recommendation nevertheless to encourage the college to follow-through on such efforts. 

Commendation: Exceeds Standard IV.A.1

            The visiting team commends the college’s leadership for creating an environment where support for administrators, faculty, staff and students (regardless of their titles) to take initiative and encouraging innovation to create equity-based, student-centered programs and services that meet regional and statewide workforce and educational needs. 

My Comments: the key words are “college’s leadership”, “innovation”, “equity”, “workforce and educational needs”. 

Although not required to do so, many accreditation visiting teams do point out one or more areas for praise (exemplary practices) in which a college not only meets the standards, but exceeds it in a noteworthy manner.  Since Standard IV falls under the heading of “leadership and governance,” the team is praising the people at Foothill College – that is, YOU!  Whether you are in a “leadership” position to support innovation or someone who actually takes initiative and innovates (no matter your title), you have impressed the visiting team. 

This commendation speaks to campus culture, and as a college president, I could not be more elated by such praise.  It is that “can-do” culture (especially in the areas of equity, workforce, and education in general) that will position Foothill College to be an institution of even greater transformative change and enable us to close that equity gap (once and for all). " 

Following is an excerpt from President Murphy's accreditation message to De Anza:

"At the exit report, the chair noted several areas of commendation, including the college’s:

• commitment to equity and student civic engagement as being core elements of our identity and informing all programs and planning;

• “heart” for underrepresented students;

• welcome and support for online students;

• support for a vibrant student life through programs and facilities design; and

• avid commitment to professional development.

De Anza College, she said, should be proud.

It is worth noting that the chair, while delivering her report, wore a De Anza College T-shirt she had purchased at the Bookstore.

Evaluation teams also identify areas in which they have “recommendations.” There were two recommendations related to ACCJC Standards, including a technical issue in which some SLO course outlines may not have matched or were inconsistent on syllabi. In addition, after reviewing a percentage of online courses, there was a sense that they did not demonstrate sufficient interaction. It must be noted that we were only three weeks into the quarter, using a new course management system. In addition, not all aspects of online interaction were apparent to the visitors, including student and instructor emails and grade book comments.

The final comments – which do not pertain directly to the Standards – were the recognition that we have a continuing decline in enrollment, making even more difficult how to handle the structural budget deficit the college and district are managing, and second, support for taking a long-term view of our enrollment and budget planning, communicating the mission and values in doing so. The team recognizes that the college is fully aware of our enrollment decline, and wanted to support us in our planning for a long-term approach, as opposed to a short-term “fix.” Both of these comments align with our own plans to develop both a three-year budget reduction scenario and, significantly, initiate a long-term strategic planning process, as I had announced on Opening Day."

Enrollment and budget update

Because our enrollment decline surfaced as an issue, I want to provide the latest information.  On District Opening Day, you saw the data on our losses in recent years and estimates of the structural deficit if we stabilize enrollment over the next three years.  However, initial census reports show that we have not yet reversed the decline districtwide and the projected loss in revenue is approximately $1 million for Fall 2017 alone.  To review our current three-year budget reduction plan, please visit  Please know that we stand by our commitment of no layoffs during 17-18.

I want to assure you that Chancellor's Cabinet will be even more proactive in the coming year to identify and support opportunities to increase enrollment and retention.  I have scheduled a number of meetings with senior and middle managers at our colleges as well as partners in high schools and universities to develop actionable strategies for this academic year.  

I am grateful to each and every one of you for your dedication and commitment and will keep you apprised of our progress.

Warm regards,



October 16, 2017


North Bay Fires

Dear Colleagues:

Following an intense week of accreditation activities, I wanted to offer my heartfelt concern for all those in the Foothill-De Anza community who have been affected by the fires. By now many of us are aware of students, employees, and friends in the North Bay whose lives have been upended by loss or who are still grappling with uncertainty about the extent of the damage they may face.

Three of our own police officers live in evacuation areas and are awaiting news about when they can return and what they may find.  Our district lobbyist and friend, Patrick McCallum and his wife, Judy Sakaki, president of Sonoma State, had a harrowing escape when they awoke to the fire raging in their home and surrounding neighborhood.  Thankfully, their physical injuries were limited to minor burns on their feet as they fled without shoes.

President Frank Chong of Santa Rosa Junior College reported what is currently known about his community. Much of the fire damage was near both of their Santa Rosa and Petaluma campuses. Thus far, their campuses have been spared, but not their students and employees. At last count, over 200 students have lost their homes, as have more than 50 faculty, staff and administrators.  Their Foundation has pledged $100,000 to provide their students and employees some support and they invite donations to the SRJC Fire Relief Fund at

Because of the unprecedented levels of air pollution from the wildfires, authorities are urging people throughout the Bay Area to remain indoors. Both Foothill and De Anza have announced closure of various buildings and facilities and their websites will carry updates.

On both campuses, please also be mindful of our grounds and custodial colleagues who work outdoors. If they need to temporarily cut back on their activities, I look forward to everyone’s sensitivity and understanding.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District reports that air quality may continue to be poor in the days ahead due to active fires and changing wind patterns. Information about Spare the Air Days and Health Alerts is available here:

I encourage any employees who need assistance in following up with benefits such as MetLife Accident Coverage, the MetLaw Legal Plan, Healthy Paws (for pets) or health insurance to call upon the district’s Benefits Units in Human Resources, which will assist as best they can.  Being in these situations, personally or by connection through loved ones, can be very stressful, so please remember that professional help is always available through our Employee Assistance Program (

Please take care of yourselves and each other.  As we learn more about the impact of this tragedy on Foothill-De Anza students and employees, we will let you know how you might help.

Joining you in sympathy and support for our communities,



October 13, 2017


Welcome to Fall 2017!

Dear Colleagues,

I am greatly looking forward to seeing you on Thursday at District Opening Day, which starts at 8:15 a.m. in the Flint Center at De Anza! Please come early to mingle, enjoy a continental breakfast and say hello. Even though the Flint Center garage won't be open until next week there is plenty of parking available.  

If you haven't yet, please read through the fabulous lineups for the Applied Equity Workshops that will be held after the program at 9:45 a.m. and the general workshops after lunch from 1-2 p.m. As you may recall, we've "gone green" and print only a limited number of paper copies of the workshop schedule, so checking them out ahead of time is advisable. It's definitely worth reading beyond the titles to the narrative descriptions to fully appreciate the excellent content your colleagues are offering. 

The schedule with complete workshop descriptions is attached to your calendar invitation and also is available at this location on the district website:  In addition, we will have posters outside the Flint Center with a listing of the workshop titles and their locations. Almost all the sessions are in the Media & Learning Center just a few steps away.

Campus division or departmental meetings are scheduled from 2-5 p.m. We are pleased to remind adjunct faculty members that they are eligible to be compensated for attending District Opening Day. Check in with your divisions or departments for details.

District Opening Day is one of the few opportunities we all have to come together, hear about what's going on across the district and learn from each other. Please add your unique spark to the mix on Thursday and at your college Opening Days on Friday. 

Warm regards,



September 19, 2017



Foothill-De Anza Statement on Rescission of DACA

Dear Colleagues,

We condemn today's decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and want to make clear our continuing commitment to our students regardless of their immigration status.  This morning, California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley issued the following statement:

“Ending DACA is a heartless and senseless decision that goes against American ideals and basic human decency. Those who are affected by this decision were brought to this country as children and are pursuing an education and making contributions to their communities. Some have served in the armed forces defending this country. In California, we don’t put dreams – or Dreamers – on hold. The California Community Colleges remain committed to serving all students, regardless of immigration status and to providing safe and welcoming environments in which to learn. We will do all within our power to assist students affected by this decision, and we will advocate tirelessly in Congress for a permanent resolution to this issue.” 

Also attached to this email is a legal update from Jacob Knapp, Acting General Counsel for the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office.

The Foothill-De Anza Community College District stands with Chancellor Oakley and all the other colleges and universities throughout the nation who are aghast at this decision. As your CEO leadership team, we were already advocating with Congress and will continue to do so in order to protect our students.  We are deeply grateful that on December 12, 2016, our Board of Trustees passed a resolution unequivocally supporting undocumented students and affirming the privacy of student records:$file/2016-44_Affirmation%20of%20Privacy_Resolution.pdf

Nationally, American Council on Education President Ted Mitchell said in part:

“ …  The bottom line is that we must find a way to ensure that these extraordinary and gifted young people are allowed to stay in the only country, the only place they know as home. They are Americans, just like their classmates and friends, in every way but immigration status. The only humane thing to do is to ensure that Dreamers can continue to work, serve in the military, attend college and thereby contribute to the health and strength of our institutions, our communities and our nation.”

We continue to uphold our commitment to our district mission that includes “an equity agenda guided by core values of excellence, inclusion, and sustainability.”  As our students return to campus on September 25, please let them know that they are welcome, valued, and appreciated.  For those seeking advice and resources, helpful sites include the following:


Judy C. Miner, Chancellor

Brian Murphy, President, De Anza College

Thuy Thi Nguyen, President, Foothill College


 September 5, 2017


Important Information from the Board of Trustees Meeting of August 28, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I wanted to let you know about some financial concerns and strategies that we presented to the Board of Trustees at their meeting of August 28 in response to continuing enrollment declines.

Also, the board took a first step toward exploring the possibility of a local general obligation bond measure in 2018.

Budget reduction targets

We are losing $6 million in state revenue this year because of a sharp drop in enrollment in 2016-17. Since declining enrollment is a trend we haven’t been able to reverse over the past six years, the board agreed with a Chancellor’s Cabinet recommendation to act immediately to bring expenses into line with our reduced revenues over the next three years. 

We have asked the campuses and district office to make a total of $2 million in budget cuts in the current 2017-18 fiscal year.  The reduction targets are based on the percentage of revenue allocated to each entity in the budget:  

  • 50 percent to De Anza, or  $1,000,000 
  • 35 percent to Foothill, or $700,000 
  • 15 percent to Central Services, or $300,000 

We’ve also set expense reduction targets of $3 million for 2018-19 and $5 million for 2019-20. These targets are based on projections that enrollments will be flat or declining by no more than 1% over the next three years. The targets will be reviewed quarterly for any changes in key assumptions, so they may be adjusted.

To give you a more detailed picture of our budget situation, town hall meetings will be held in November at various locations throughout the district. In the meantime, if you would like to review the budget information we presented to the board this week, please visit the district budget page at

Polling for a possible bond

The board authorized the district to retain a consulting firm to conduct polling to determine support in the local community for a general obligation bond measure on the June or November election ballot in 2018. 

It may seem counter intuitive to seek a bond when enrollment is down, but this would not be a bond focused on construction of new buildings. A bond would provide for:

  • technology upgrades
  • instructional equipment
  • sustainability measures
  • safety measures
  • deferred maintenance
  • vehicle replacement

These needs have been identified in our facilities, technology and educational master plans and also will also be addressed in a new energy and emissions management plan.

You will be hearing more about these issues at District Opening Day and in the budget town halls later in the fall. I’m writing today because I want everyone to be aware that we can no longer delay expense reduction in the hope that ongoing revenue will increase. The good news is that we have time to honor our governance processes and engage in transparent, inclusive and purposeful decision-making. Additionally, advocacy is underway to modify state funding formulas to allow for a longer period of stability funding during times of enrollment volatility.

On September 1,  I will celebrate my 29th anniversary at Foothill-De Anza and have been reflecting back on the budget crises I have experienced with a great many of you over the years. Our history has taught me that we have faced successive challenges with better insight from lessons learned. This upcoming chapter will call upon us again to respond with the dedication, creativity, and empathy that distinguish our district. What a privilege it is to serve you!

Warmest regards,



August 30, 2017


Prohibition of District-funded Travel to States that Discriminate

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to alert you to an important change in rules regarding district-funded travel that may affect your plans to attend conferences and training workshops in the future.

As you may know, at the beginning of this year, California enacted Assembly Bill 1887, which prohibits state funds from being used for travel to states that have passed laws authorizing or allowing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, same-sex relationship, or same-sex marriage.

While the state's travel prohibition does not specifically apply to local educational agencies such a the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, the Board of Trustees and the district's executive administrators believe it is important to uphold the district’s commitment to equity, inclusion, and diversity in both word and deed. In keeping with this commitment, at the August 7 meeting, the Board of Trustees adopted a resolution supporting provisions of Assembly Bill 1887 and prohibiting the use of district funds and resources for travel to the states identified by the California Attorney General as having passed laws that authorize discrimination, currently Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.

The prohibition on travel to these states is effective immediately and will only be overridden in extreme circumstances. To read the full text of the resolution, click HERE.   Individuals who have already made plans to travel or anticipated doing so, should contact their respective president or vice chancellor regarding next steps.  Travel that has already occurred will be reimbursed according to established policies and procedures.

Many thanks to all of you for creating and supporting a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students and employees.

Warmest regards,



August 10, 2017


Spring Convocation 2017

Dear Colleagues,

Given the great interest expressed in a districtwide convening to continue discussion of our opening day focus on student equity, I hope you will join me for:

Spring Convocation 2017
April 28
Smithwick Theatre
Foothill College

Our featured speaker will be Tim Wise, author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son.  Following his presentation, we will have facilitated discussions to reflect on his ideas and their application to our work.

Our convocation builds on Foothill-De Anza’s commitment to student success, which is driven by an equity agenda that has had various manifestations over several decades. Many of you have spent years contributing to a shared vision and I am deeply grateful for the foundation you have laid.

I will be at De Anza March 15 and Foothill March 16 to distribute free copies of Mr. Wise’s book while supplies last – see the times and locations below. Mr. Wise is an “antiracist essayist,” author, and educator who will undoubtedly be a provocative speaker.  We will welcome your candid evaluation of the event as we assess how well it helps to advance our equity strategies.

Whether or not you read the book, I urge all faculty and staff to attend the convocation. There may be more questions than answers, but the dialogue and your subsequent feedback will greatly influence our next steps.

Warm regards,


Book pickup details
De Anza
Wednesday, March 15
11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Administration 109 
Thursday, March 16
12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Conference Room 1943 (next to International Students Office)

About Tim Wise


February 28, 2017

Happy Winter 2017!

Dear Colleagues:

Happy Winter 2017!  I hope you had an enjoyable break and for those of you who worked on all the preparations necessary for the start of the quarter, a giant thank you!

I hope to see many of you over the coming months at our district wide conversations on enrollment and revenue growth, prompted by our continuing enrollment declines. You are welcome to attend any one of the sessions:

February 22 - 12:30-2:00 Hearthside Room, Foothill

February 23 - 12:30-2:00 Room 124, Sunnyvale Center

March 7 - 12:30-2:00 Conference Rooms A/B, De Anza

We will also provide additional means to submit comments and suggestions beyond the in-person meetings.

The enrollment declines reflected in our first apportionment report of the 2016-17 academic year (Summer/Fall 2016), and initial enrollment data for the current quarter underscore the importance of your participation in developing our collective solutions for increasing enrollment and revenue.  We were wise to conserve a substantial stability fund as it buys us time to develop and implement a range of strategies.  Kudos to all of you who have been addressing our challenges by working on major grant proposals, developing and enhancing online and hybrid instruction and services, improving customer service, increasing outreach, establishing community and business partnerships, and focusing on retention strategies. 

Foothill-De Anza has a history of rising to the occasion and I am confident that we are writing another chapter of exemplary service to students thanks to your dedication and creativity!

Warmest regards,



January 9, 2017


Recent Actions by the Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees

Dear Colleagues:
Our Board of Trustees meetings of November 7 and December 12 addressed three items in particular that I would like to bring to your attention.
Our Board passed two resolutions on Dec. 12 that reflect our commitment to student equity in the midst of great fear and uncertainty.

Resolution in Support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program
Resolution in Support of Undocumented Students and Affirming the Privacy of Student Records

Many thanks to all of you who have been actively involved in providing students with counseling, information, and referrals. Panels and workshops have been well received and your efforts on extremely short notice are much appreciated.
The first quarter report that came to the board November 7 continues to show a disturbing trend of enrollment decreases.  While we have purposefully maintained one-time dollars in a robust stability fund, we face unprecedented uncertainties that could exhaust our financial safety net sooner than planned.  We anticipated a softening of enrollment resulting from the temporary closure of the Flint Center parking garage as well as the improved job market. However, unforeseen challenges may arise from federal policies governing immigration, student visas, and federal financial aid.
While we are fiscally confident for 2016-2017 and 2017-2018, we will engage in districtwide discussions for revised forecasts into 2018-2019.  Our Board of Trustees will hold a study session on February 6 with a focus on budget that will be informed by the release of Governor Jerry Brown’s budget on January 10, our final enrollment data from Fall 2016, and preliminary enrollment data from Winter 2017.  We may also have some indications of national actions after the presidential inauguration on January 20.
Vice Chancellor Kevin McElroy, President Brian Murphy, President Thuy Nguyen, and I will facilitate the districtwide discussions at De Anza, Foothill, and Sunnyvale in late February through late March.  The schedule will be published by the start of Winter Quarter and everyone is welcome to attend including faculty who may wish to bring their classes.  We look forward to hearing your ideas for increasing enrollment and revenue as the first approach to closing the gap between needs and available resources.
We welcomed the seating of Peter Landsberger and Gilbert Wong and the return of Laura Casas at the December 12 meeting.  In concert with fellow Trustees Pearl Cheng and Bruce Swenson and student Trustees Courtney Cooper and Elias Kamal, Foothill-De Anza continues to be led by a board that exemplifies fiscal stewardship in service of student equity, educational excellence, and leadership in innovation.  Board officers for 2017 are Laura Casas, president, and Bruce Swenson, vice president.  Additionally, President Casas appointed Trustees Swenson and Cheng to the board’s Audit and Finance Committee, with Trustee Swenson serving as chair, and Trustees Landsberger and Wong to the Foothill-De Anza Foundation Board of Directors and the Trustee Scholarship Interview Committee. The board selected Trustee Cheng to serve as the board’s voting representative for the 2017 election of the Santa Clara County Office of Education’s Committee on School District Organization. 
In closing, let me take this opportunity to express my sincerest gratitude for the work you do every day.  Along with our students, each of you is truly inspiring!
Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season,

December 13, 2016

Election News

Dear Colleagues:
We have been incredibly fortunate to have Betsy Bechtel and Joan Barram serve with great distinction and dedication on the Board of Trustees for our district.  November 7 was their last Board meeting and it was truly a bittersweet moment as we thanked them with a standing ovation and heartfelt kudos for their countless impactful contributions to our students and community.
As a result of Tuesday’s elections, we now have the opportunity to welcome Peter Landsberger and Gilbert Wong to the Board, and also to celebrate the re-election of Laura Casas.  Our district is in excellent hands and will undoubtedly continue to be the envy of many for its outstanding trusteeship.
Earlier this year, we adopted a revised mission statement for our district that was carefully crafted over months of reflection and discussion by all our constituencies:
The mission of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District is student success.  We are driven by an equity agenda and guided by core values of excellence, inclusion, and sustainability.  Every member of our district contributes to a dynamic learning environment that fosters student engagement, equal opportunity, and innovation in meeting the various educational and career goals of our diverse students.  We are committed to providing an accessible, quality undergraduate education dedicated to developing a broadly educated and socially responsible community that supports an equitable and just future for California. 
All of the words were chosen very purposefully and I draw your attention to our commitment to “developing a broadly educated and socially responsible community that supports an equitable and just future for California.”  We are equally committed to an equitable and just future for the United States of America and we strive towards that end guided by our moral compass and living our core values.  The work we do is affirming; it is healing; it celebrates the triumph of the human spirit.  We will stay the course because that is who we are.
Grateful for the privilege to work beside you,

Judy C. Miner, Ed.D.
November 9, 2016



League Report Now Live on the Web


Dear Colleagues:

It is with great pride that I share the report that is being submitted to the League for Innovation in the Community College as part of the process for reaffirming continued participation by Foothill-De Anza. Pursuant to the Leagues’ bylaws, a change in the District’s chief executive officer triggers a review to determine that we remain exemplars of educational excellence, leadership, and innovation.  The report can be accessed at and you will see the outstanding evidence of individual and collective accomplishments throughout our District.

Please join me in thanking our tremendously terrific trio of Lori Susi, Paula Norsell, and Becky Bartindale for the countless hours they spent on producing this impressive record of Foothill-De Anza achievements.  The report is both beautiful and substantive, and reflects a genuine labor of love!

Warmest regards,


Judy C. Miner, Ed.D.


October 12, 2016


Welcome to the New Academic Year!

Dear Colleagues,
I so look forward to seeing you on District Opening Day at De Anza on Thursday, September 22, to celebrate the start of the 2016-17 academic year! This is the one time of year when we all come together and numerous colleagues and students have helped to plan a program that furthers the great work you already do.  
Details about District Opening Day are available at
Please know that although the Flint Center parking structure is closed for renovations, there is ample parking at De Anza in other lots.
Thank you in advance for the warm welcome and supportive environment that you will offer our students at the start of classes and throughout the year.  Do let me know about your proud moments as I have many opportunities to share our success stories locally, statewide, and even nationally. I would love to include yours! 
Wishing you all the best for 2016-2017,

Judy C. Miner, Ed.D.
September 18, 2016 


The Tragedy of Orlando

Dear Colleagues:
For the sixteenth time in seven years, President Obama has needed to address the nation on the occasion of a mass shooting.  Sixteen times…
The horrible tragedy in Orlando is another vicious act of cruelty that causes grief, anger, fear, and confusion. Our hearts go out to all the victims, their families and friends, and to law enforcement and first responders who heroically risked their lives to save others.  As inadequate as words may feel at a time such as this, the indomitable spirit of Orlando was given voice by Patty Sheehan, the first openly gay Orlando City Commissioner: 
"I just want to say that as a community, we are people who love, we are resilient, and we are going to show you... we are going to show you the good…" 
More than a thousand people in line to donate blood is just one example of what will ultimately define Orlando.  
As we continue to celebrate our students’ accomplishments through the remainder of June, let us hold our moments of community and kinship that much more dearly.  We are blessed to be in a community college district that embraces inclusiveness and diversity, working alongside amazingly talented and dedicated colleagues. May that be some source of solace and hope for us in the midst of so much tragedy.

Judy C. Miner, Ed.D.
June 12, 2016 


Good News on Baccalaureate Degrees and the Budget

Dear Colleagues,
I’m writing to share some fabulous news with you, give you an update on the search for a new chancellor and alert you to an exciting new training opportunity that I’m sure you’ll want to take advantage of, both personally and professionally.
First, I am thrilled to report that this afternoon the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges recommended Foothill as one of 15 colleges to offer a baccalaureate degree under a new pilot program authorized by the California Legislature last year. Foothill’s dental hygiene department submitted a stellar application to become part of this important pilot and plans to launch its baccalaureate program in Fall 2016. Congratulations!
This is a historic day for California, for community colleges, for employers and, most importantly, for our students. The opportunity for local community colleges to address regional needs for high-skilled workers will benefit the local economy enormously. And the opportunity for community college students to obtain an in-demand bachelor’s degree without leaving home or going into debt will enrich lives and change futures.
Several other career programs at Foothill and De Anza also can make strong cases for offering baccalaureate degrees, but the legislation allowed only one application per district. My expectation is that the pilot will prove so successful that the legislature will lift these restrictions. Then California can join the 21 other states that allow all community colleges that meet the requirements to offer baccalaureate degrees in career-technical fields.
Chancellor search
Since I announced my retirement plans in December, the Board of Trustees has begun the process of hiring a search consultant to assist with finding Foothill-De Anza’s next chancellor. We’ve also retained the services of retired vice chancellor and interim chancellor Mike Brandy, who will serve as search liaison. Trustees would like to have a new chancellor named before my departure on June 30, so the search will be moving quickly!
On Feb. 3-4, you will have opportunities to provide input into a chancellor’s profile that’s being developed. More information about where and when will be coming to you soon. Formal recruitment will begin in mid-February, the search committee will screen applications and conduct interviews in April and May, and finalists will visit the campuses in June. 
Watch the district home page ( for updated information about the chancellor search, including who is representing your governance group on the search committee.
Governor’s budget proposal & enrollment
The other good news I wanted to share is that Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2015-16 budget proposal for community colleges is being hailed as the best in many years. It includes an increase in base funding, additional dollars to support student success, a 1.58 percent cost-of-living adjustment, plus funding for enrollment growth. One area of concern for us, however, continues to be enrollment. As of today – census day – we’ve down from winter quarter 2014 by 28 FTES, or full-time-student equivalents, continuing our trend of flat or declining enrollment. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that California’s economy stays strong and that the California Legislature supports the governor’s budget. 
Unlimited access to
In late December, ETS announced that the district has entered into an agreement with to provide training for faculty and staff. This is a fantastic opportunity to develop professional and personal skills. is an online education company whose mission is “to help you learn the skills you need to achieve your full potential.” offers more than 2,400 courses taught by industry experts via video tutorials, covering a gamut of business, software, technology and creative skills. Most courses are eligible for a certificate of completion and some 40-60 new courses are added each month.
If you think this sounds too good to be true, just check out the website at
You can set up your own account for free using instructions on the ETS website
As you can see, we’re in for an exciting quarter. I hope it’s a good one for you!

Linda M. Thor
Posted Jan. 20, 2015 


Chancellor's Retirement Message


I want to let you know that this afternoon I informed the Board of Trustees that after 40 years in community colleges and 29 years as a chief executive officer, I will be retiring next summer. My husband and I will be returning to our home in Phoenix to rejoin our family and many friends and colleagues.

It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to serve the Foothill-De Anza Community College District for the past five years. When I joined the district in February 2010, we were in the midst of the worst financial crisis in California community college history. Today the colleges are stabilized and moving forward with an unwavering commitment to student equity, opportunity and success.

I am particularly proud that during my tenure we acquired the Onizuka property through a public benefit conveyance and the new Education Center is on track to open in Fall 2016. I was able to fulfill a nearly two-decade dream of seeing community colleges authorized to offer baccalaureate degrees. The $57 million Online Education Initiative will transform digital learning and student services throughout California. And today, Foothill-De Anza's technology infrastructure is what you would expect of the largest community college district serving the Silicon Valley. Finally, we are on a path to build a district office building and boardroom worthy of this premier college district.

I want to thank the members of the Board of Trustees for their solid support. Our district is blessed to be governed by such a dedicated and exemplary board. Also deserving of praise are the generous and caring members of the Foothill-De Anza Foundation board. I also want to thank the college presidents and district vice chancellors who have been great colleagues and friends. Finally, I want to express my appreciation to and respect for the outstanding faculty, staff and administrators of this world-class college district. I will miss you all. 

Please know that for the remainder of my time here I will give my full attention to the business of the District as it prepares for the transition to a new chancellor.

With gratitude,

Linda M. Thor
Posted Dec. 2, 2014 


District Opening Day 2014: Chancellor's Remarks

Thank you, President Swenson. Good morning!

No, I'm not Tim Cook and I don't have any new iPhones or Apple Watches to show you! But I am the first speaker on this stage since the Apple CEO launched the Apple Watch and the next-generation of iPhones on Sept. 9.

For those who aren't aware of all the hubbub that's taken place on the De Anza campus, Apple spent several weeks in August and September gussying up the Flint Center and transforming the Sunken Garden into a white, windowless, three-story pavilion for showing off its products.

A lot of media and tech people were here, tweeting and blogging.

And, yes - U2 was here.

Leading up to the event, the mysterious white structure was the talk for the town. Of course we were sworn to secrecy under our agreement with Apple, a company that likes surprises.

On several levels, this event was quite beneficial for us.

In addition to the attention it drew, the Flint Center got some new paint; the sidewalks and patios were power-washed; and the balustrades surrounding the Sunken Garden were restored or replaced, a rather expensive undertaking. There were other benefits, and the rental and other fees were substantial.

I wasn't surprised to learn that the efforts required of the De Anza staff met and exceeded Apple's notoriously exacting standards. Congratulations to all who made it happen!

Now, let's look to the new academic year. I have good news to share with you.


Before I dive into district updates and introduce our distinguished guest speaker, Dr. Manuel Pastor, I want to acknowledge those individuals who participate in governance at the college and district level.

There is no substitute for working together, which is what shared governance is about. It is essential, both for maintaining continuity and advancing the institution.

Would members of college and district governance groups please stand and be recognized? You know who you are; don't be shy now.

Please join me in thanking your colleagues for representing you so well. I appreciate your help!

I also want to shine a light on two other groups that are essential to our success.

As of today, we have more than 80 employees who've worked for Foothill-De Anza for 25 years or more. Each of you has played a role in the success of our colleges.

If you are among them, please stand so we can recognize you.

And now, a glimpse into our future.

Since the last District Opening Day, we've hired 75 new faculty, classified staff and administrators.

You were selected for these positions based on your accomplishments and character, and because we're confident that you will support our students and make significant contributions to our community going forward.

If you work at De Anza College and were hired in the past 12 months, please stand and remain standing.

Now, employees who started at Foothill in the last year, please stand.

New Central Services employees, please join them.

Let's show our new employees how glad we are to have them as colleagues!

SB 850 - Community college baccalaureate

Last year, I told you about serving on a task force that was exploring the possibility of California community colleges offering baccalaureate degrees in a limited number of applied career-technical fields.

This is a cause I've been working on for almost 20 years, first in Arizona and now here.

Much to my amazement, it looks like California may become the 23rd state to authorize the community college baccalaureate, at least on a pilot basis.

The state Assembly and Senate voted unanimously to pass the enabling legislation, Senate Bill 850. If the governor signs it, California will begin a pilot program in January that allows up to 15 community college districts to offer one baccalaureate degree each.

The degrees will be offered in fields with high regional workforce demand and cannot duplicate degrees offered by California's public universities.

In our district, respiratory therapy and dental hygiene at Foothill are eager to offer baccalaureate degrees, as is automotive technology at De Anza.

We don't know yet what the state's selection process will be - for example, whether a district will be allowed to submit multiple proposals. But whatever it is, you can bet we'll be in the running.

Based on provisions in the legislation, we estimate that the fees for a four-year baccalaureate degree from a California community college would cost $10,500.

So the $10,000 baccalaureate degree may be here!

I believe the community college baccalaureate will open doors for students who may lack the means or opportunity to leave home to continue their education.

Education center at Onizuka

Building renovations and equipment upgrades are still taking place on our campuses, but the Measure C bond construction program is winding down.

Foothill-De Anza's new education center at the former Onizuka Air Force Station will be among our last new-construction projects.

The center will create new opportunities for students when it opens in 2016, and we expect it will bump up enrollment.

It will operate as a regional center where students can take classes offered by Foothill, De Anza and our partner, Mission College, that will prepare them for the workforce or transfer.

Based on the strengths of the colleges and the needs of Silicon Valley employers, we're looking at workforce development programs under four broad headings: Health care, business, child development and information and computer technology.

For many years, the site was home to the Blue Cube, a spy satellite center with a storied history. We'll integrate the histories of the Blue Cube and Onizuka into the center.

Technology improvements

While there won't be any new buildings to open this year, technology is jumping! As always, ETS is working on a wide range of projects.

One that touches all of us is the upgrading of our data network, which began last year and is still under way. This project already has substantially improved speed, reliability and security of our network.

It's also laid the foundation for our move to a new "voice over Internet protocol" telephone system - or VoIP - to replace our aging, traditional phone system.

When the VoIP system is ready later this year, it will allow you to use your office telephone pretty much as you have in the past.

Or you can take advantage of much broader functionality, such as being notified of phone calls and messages by email when you're on the go, or making and receiving telephone calls from your computer, similar to Skype and other Internet phone services.

We're also working this year on a major upgrade to our wireless network to improve its performance.

Users with a valid CWID soon will only have to register their device once a year to use wireless - no more constantly having to log in. Wow! It's about time.

We've also heard you on the need for software tools and training.

This fall, ETS is launching a new on-demand, technology training service for district employees through For those who aren't familiar with Lynda, it's a user-friendly global service that offers thousands of sophisticated, video training modules related to software applications.

Finally, we've negotiated a districtwide license for Adobe software that allows all of us to use products like Acrobat Pro and Creative Suite applications on our work computers.

Remarkably, this license also allows faculty, staff and students to purchase Adobe software for use on their personally owned computers for a one-time fee of only $20. How great is that?

Information about how to take advantage of the new Adobe license agreement is available on the ETS website under District Standards.

Online Education Initiative

Before moving to other district updates, I want to give you a quick overview of progress on the Online Education Initiative grant that the California Community Colleges awarded to Foothill-De Anza last November.

I'm pleased to report that in July we received the second installment of this $57 million, five-year grant.

The goal is to increase the number of community college students earning certificates and degrees by creating a one-stop, state-of-the-art online education ecosystem for use by all participating colleges.

But OEI isn't just about increasing access; it places high priority on increasing student success and will offer a full range of online student services.

Members of our launch team, led by Vice Chancellor Joe Moreau, have been working non-stop for the past 10 months to get things rolling.

They laid the groundwork for hiring a permanent and stellar leadership team - which has been accomplished.

They're developing a request for proposals for a common, statewide course management system, and the RFP will be released this month.

They've journeyed up and down the state explaining the initiative and answering questions, getting people interested and involved, and working closely with the statewide Academic Senate.

As a result, 58 colleges applied for 24 slots in the OEI pilot consortium to test various aspects of the new online system.

This is phenomenal progress in very little time.

I'd like to thank the many district employees who served on the hiring committees to select the permanent OEI leadership team. And I welcome members of that team, who are here with us today.

I think this initiative has great potential to help California close its persistent achievement and opportunity gaps.

New District Office Building

As you may have heard, this spring ETS will move into what was the District Office Building.

After years of living out of "temporary" quarters, starting this spring our technology staff will have a very nice place to call home.

The idea of repurposing the district offices came about because of the growth in cloud computing and rapid changes in technology that allow fewer servers to do more work.

Without the need to build a new data center, ETS could be accommodated in the district office building and we could build new district offices that better meet our space needs.

After considering site options at both campuses and Onizuka, we've chosen Lot 7, across from the fire station at Foothill.

Here's a very preliminary first cut at what the new building might look like. It will include a separate boardroom set apart from the offices, as well as space for the Foothill-De Anza Foundation and a patio for receptions and other events.

The earliest we anticipate completing it is Spring 2017.

So for the next few years, Human Resources, Business Services and the Chancellor's Office will remain in the trailers on Lot 5 at Foothill.

Budget & enrollment update

You know Opening Day wouldn't be complete without an enrollment and budget update. Fortunately, this is no longer the main event!

The temporary tax increases that took effect after voters passed Proposition 30 in 2012 have given us a respite from budget cuts, and much needed fiscal stability.

How long that stability lasts depends in part on our enrollment and how the state budget fares.

Because our apportionment revenue is pegged to meeting state enrollment targets, our five-year enrollment decline has resulted in continuing decreases in state funding. At the close of last fiscal year, we'd served about 7,000 fewer full-time-equivalent students than we did at our peak in 2008-09.

This year, though, I'm pleased to report that as of yesterday, our fall enrollment is up from a year ago by almost 1,000 students and more than 140 full-time-equivalent students. This is fabulous news!

Many variables will play out over the course of the year, but our adopted budget for 2014-15 shows expenses exceeding revenue by just over $2 million. So we still have a budget deficit. Continuing to grow our enrollment will help close that gap.

Fortunately, we still have enough one-time dollars to close the gap this year while we plan for continued enrollment growth or expense reductions if we don't continue to grow. As classes begin, I urge you to retain every student you can and to share your ideas for building enrollment.

We've set aside funds for increased outreach and marketing, and we need everyone's help in attracting and retaining students throughout the year.

While our budget situation remains challenging, it's nothing like it was just a few years ago. If we can hang onto our enrollment growth, we'll be in a much better position.

Innovation grants & Foothill-De Anza Foundation

In 2012, a man named Robert Heath, who lived in Sunnyvale, left the Foothill-De Anza Foundation a sizeable bequest. We didn't know him, but the executor of his estate told me that Mr. Heath firmly believed in the importance of higher education.

Apparently inspired by slides about our students he'd seen at the Celebrity Forum, Mr. Heath left a $2.2 million bequest to our foundation. This is the largest unrestricted bequest we've received.

Mr. Heath's gift will be used in part to provide seed money for a new program I am very excited to announce to you today - the Innovation Grants Program.

Innovation grants will fund projects that support student equity and retention.

This academic year, we will award up to a total of $70,000 in Innovation Grants to faculty and staff.

Proposals may be submitted by an individual staff or faculty member or by small groups - however, funded projects are likely to involve collaboration among departments or between our colleges.

Priority will be given to projects that can be sustained beyond the grant and that include evidence of success in advancing student equity and retention.

Nov. 3 is the submission deadline for this year's grants.

You can find complete information about the Innovation Grants Program on the Foothill- De Anza Foundation website under Faculty & Staff.

If you haven't looked at the foundation's website in a while, please do - it's fantastic! It was redesigned with expert assistance to help us tell our stories about the transformational power of our colleges.

The foundation's site is the template for redesigning the entire district's website as we transition from antiquated Manila to the OmniUpdate platform. We hope to have all the changes in place by spring.

The foundation also has stepped up its presence on Facebook and Linked In, and is launching a major outreach campaign to engage alumni. Our million-plus alumni are a tremendous untapped resource, not just for fund-raising but for campus involvement and advocacy.

Student Success Scorecard

Our theme today is student equity.

Every year, we submit data to the state Chancellor's Office and the legislature to show how we're doing with our students and our progress in closing achievement gaps.

The results are there for everyone to see on the California Community Colleges' Student Success Scorecard website. The Scorecard shows completion and persistence rates for every California community college, as well as success on other measures such as basic skills and career-technical courses.

The Scorecard shows in stark relief the differences in outcomes between students who are academically prepared for college and those who aren't, as well as differences in outcomes between racial and ethnic groups.

It shows that both Foothill and De Anza have successful educational programs, and succeed at rates that are well above the state average by almost all measures.

Within their peer groups of similar institutions, our colleges had the highest overall rankings on multiple measures, including completion - the percentage of students who completed a degree, certificate or transfer-related outcomes.

But even on measures like completion, where we do so well, there still are large gaps between the success rates of African American, Filipino and Latino students compared to Asian and white students.

In other words, we still have a lot of work to do.

SSSP & equity plans

Scorecard data helps community colleges see their gaps, and the state is providing new incentives to close them.

Most of you probably have heard about or are directly involved in the California Community Colleges' effort known as 3SP - Student Success and Support Programs, an updated version of what used be called matriculation.

In the planning stages for several years, 3SP ties funding for community colleges to student activities that support student success, such as taking part in orientation, placement testing, completing an education plan and enrolling full time.

The colleges, meanwhile, are using Scorecard data to update their student equity plans, spelling out goals and strategies for increasing success among populations in which success has been disproportionately low.

Equity plans provide a structure for creating an educational environment in which each student has a reasonable chance to fully develop his or her potential.

All these efforts will help us do more to provide the support that first-generation college students need to overcome barriers and challenges that aren't typically faced by students from highly educated families.

Our equity agenda

Why does having an equity agenda matter to everyone?

If you've been keeping up with the local news, you're aware that equity concerns underlie recent reports about the scarcity of African Americans and Latinos in the workforce of Silicon Valley's largest technology companies.

Joint Venture Silicon Valley has taken note of the widening earnings gap between residents of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, identifying it as one of the critical issues facing our region.

In its 2014 Silicon Valley Index, Joint Venture reported that per capita income rose by 5 percent for white residents and 2 percent for Asian residents between 2010 and 2012. In the same period, per capita income fell by 5 percent for African Americans and 2 percent for Latinos.

This reflects the divide between highly educated, highly skilled workers and low-skill, low-wage workers who could do better with education and training.

This gap is something that affects the region's economic prosperity and quality of life - not just for those individuals who are struggling to survive here, but for all of us.

Helping to reverse these disparities is something that community colleges are uniquely suited to do.

Student stories

I'd like to share two student stories that came to my attention during year-end celebrations in June, illustrating, in different ways, why our work is so important.

More than a few people were in tears as Beau Hastings described the crooked path he took to earning his pharmacy technology certificate and degree from Foothill College.

For many years, Beau struggled to get his life stable and on track. He took stock after a disabling injury on a construction job and decided to go back to school. But the going wasn't easy and he suffered many setbacks, including a life-threatening illness.

He'd been taking one class at a time for several years when he entered the pharm-tech program in Fall 2013. He struggled with basic arithmetic and failed the first midterm exam. He spent many hours outside of class working with tutors and getting extra help from classmates and instructors.

Beau pressed on despite the obstacles, which included a learning disability. He did not let his failures define him. At the end of the program, he passed the national board exam to become a certified pharmacy technician.

He so inspired his classmates that they selected him to be their year-end speaker. And program Director Angela Su presented him with an award recognizing his tremendous progress and accomplishment.

At the ceremony, Beau thanked each of his instructors, tutors, classmates and family members for contributing to his success. His 13-year-old daughter was among those in tears.

"Although it took me eight years, I finally did it," Beau said. "I turned my life around and made my family proud for the first time in my life."

At De Anza, Desiree Berdejo spoke about what she'd learned about herself and the larger world around her as she worked toward a certificate in leadership and social change.

"Two years ago, when I first arrived at De Anza, I never would have thought I'd be standing here today as a certified social change agent," she told her classmates. "At the time, I didn't know what social change was or that I was capable of doing it.

"My view of the world was so much different before; there was so much I was completely unaware of.

"Throughout my first year, I learned that I wasn't just small and unimportant, but rather that I was actually capable of doing so much more, regardless of my own insecurities and barriers."

She went on to detail some of the specific skills she'd acquired, from how to speak in public at a national conference to something that all students in this program are required to learn - how to use a spreadsheet.

She concluded her presentation with a quote from Oprah: "I was once afraid of people saying, "Who does she think she is? Now I have to the courage to stand and say, 'This is who I am.' "

I'll tell you, that kind of empowerment makes my day!

It also provides the perfect segue to the screening of a video about community colleges and the enormous impact Foothill and De Anza can have on students' lives.

Student interns under the direction of the Faculty Association produced the video. FA President Rich Hansen will take it from here.

(Showing of FA video)


Thank you, Rich, and thank you to the talented students involved in making the video, including the videographer, a De Anza College graduate. We're grateful to those who shared their stories, and to the Faculty Association for helping spread the word about the value of our community colleges.

Introduction of keynote speaker

Now I'd like to introduce you to someone who has spent his life promoting equity, inclusion and community empowerment, Dr. Manuel Pastor.

Dr. Pastor is professor of sociology and American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California, where he directs the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity and co-directs the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration.

Dr. Pastor's 2012 book, Just Growth: Inclusion and Prosperity in America's Metropolitan Regions - written with Chris Benner - explores how income inequality contributed to the recent financial crisis and how increasing equity and inclusion contributes to a stronger recovery.

He's also written books about the ways in which regional social movements for equity are reshaping cities, and the challenges and opportunities growing out of major demographic and cultural shifts.

Dr. Pastor holds master's and doctorate degrees in economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He's taught at UC San Diego, UCLA, Occidental College and UCSC, where he was the founding director of the Center for Justice, Tolerance and Community.

He's been honored with many awards and received fellowships and grants from many of the most prestigious foundations in the country - too many to list.

A short biography prepared for The Funder's Network ( ) tells some of the story behind his story:

In high school, "Manuel Pastor's teachers neither expected nor encouraged him to go to college." He was placed in mostly remedial courses and later surprised everyone with the highest SAT score in the school.

"His rise to becoming a nationally renowned academic and thought leaders is a classic American 'beat-the-odds' story."

But Dr. Pastor "doesn't think anyone should have to beat the odds just to get an education, and he's devoted his career to making sure that opportunity isn't reduced to a game of chance."

His father, a janitor who eventually became an air conditioning repairman, had only a sixth grade education, "but he was able to fix almost anything and was conversant in public affairs and a variety of other subjects. He set a lasting example for his son about the realities of equity."

Dr. Pastor "believes that community, in particular community organizing, is crucial to navigating the new economic reality and lifting up and advancing the issue of equity."

I'm honored to present to you Dr. Manuel Pastor.

(Manuel Pastor speaks)


Thank you, Dr. Pastor. Thanks to all of you for being here today, and to De Anza for hosting us.

I hope you are as excited as I am about the opportunities we have this year to make a deep and lasting difference in students' lives.

Workshops start momentarily, and run until noon. All workshops are being held nearby in the Media & Learning Center. More information can be found on signs outside.

Lunch is on your own today, followed by campus division and departmental meetings in the afternoon.

Thank you and have a wonderful year!


Posted Sept. 22, 2014