Archive of Chancellor's messages to faculty and staff
Instance of COVID-19 at Foothill-De Anza (Posted June 29, 2020)
Remote Work and Breaking News (Posted June 18, 2020)
In Recognition of Juneteenth (Posted June 18, 2020)
Affordable housing survey - please participate! (Posted June 10, 2020)
Welcome, President Holmes! (Posted June 3, 2020)
Thoughts on Recent Events (Posted June 1, 2020)
Continuation of Remote Work (Posted June 1, 2020)
Fourth President of De Anza College (Posted June 1, 2020)
Updates on Fall 2020, Budget, and a Lawsuit (Posted May 14, 2020)
Finalists for De Anza President (Posted May 8, 2020)
Extension of Shelter-in-Place (Posted May 4, 2020)
Class Schedules for Summer and Fall 2020 (Posted April 20, 2020)
COVID-19 Update for March 30 (Posted March 30, 2020)
COVID-19 Update for March 18 (Posted March 19, 2020)
COVID-19 Update for March 16 (Posted March 16, 2020)
COVID-19 Update for March 14 (Posted March 16, 2020)
COVID-19 Update for March 13 (Posted March 16, 2020)
Transition from Face-to-Face to Alternative Methods (Posted March 11, 2020)
Update on Continuity of Instruction Planning (Posted March 11, 2020)
COVID-19 update of March 9, 2020 (Posted March 10, 2020)
Followup to Postponement of March 9 celebrations (Posted March 10, 2020)
Postponement of March 9 celebrations (Posted March 10, 2020)
Election results for Measures G&H as of March 4, 2020 (Posted March 10, 2020)
District update on novel coronavirus, COVID-19 (Posted March 10, 2020)
COVID-19 Update from Chancellor Eloy Oakley (Posted June 29, 2020)
Coronavirus Update (Posted February 4, 2020)
Coronavirus (Posted February 3, 2020)
Historic Board Actions of November 25, 2019 (Posted November 26, 2019)
Interim results of assessment & visioning process posted (Posted November 15, 2019)
Vice Chancellor of Business Services (Posted November 15, 2019)
Special Board of Trustees Meeting to Consider a Bond and Parcel Tax (Posted November 15, 2019)
Assessment and Visioning Process for De Anza Presidential Search (Posted October 9, 2019)
Home Buying Assistance Program (Posted October 9, 2019)
Community Polling Results (Posted October 9, 2019)
District Opening Day is Sept. 19 at Smithwick Theatre! (Posted September 17, 2019)
Concerns Regarding Immigration and Customs Enforcement (July 8, 2019)
Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees Decision Regarding the Flint Center (Posted June 21, 2019)
Input Needed on the Future of the Flint Center (Posted May 29, 2019)
New Executive Director of the Foothill-De Anza Colleges Foundation (Posted May 10, 2019)
Join us on May 2! (Posted March 29, 2019)
Budget Reduction Summaries (Posted March 29, 2019)
Intention to Transition from At-Large to Trustee-Area Based Elections in November 2022 (Posted March 19, 2019)
Suspension of Programming in the Flint Center from July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020 (Posted February 6, 2019)
Down Payment Assistance for First-Time Homebuyers - Information Meeting Jan. 16 at De Anza (Posted December 13, 2018)
Board Action on Supplemental Retirement Plan (Posted December 11, 2018)
Foothill-De Anza Chief of Police (Posted December 11, 2018)
Reopening Foothill-De Anza (Posted November 20, 2018)
Special Message from Chancellor Oakley (Posted November 14, 2018)
Update on Vice Chancellor of Business Services Search (Posted on November 8, 2018)
First-time Home Buyer Assistance (Posted October 31, 2018)
Welcome to Fall 2018 (Posted September 19, 2018)
Postponement of Bond Measure (Posted July 10, 2018)
End of FA Work to Contract (Posted June 21, 2018)
Update on State Budget and Negotiations on Compensation (Posted June 14, 2018)
Faculty Association Work to Contract (Posted May 21, 2018)
Interim President of De Anza College (Posted May 15, 2018)
Business Process Alignment Task Force (Posted May 10, 2018)
President Murphy's Retirement (Posted April 11, 2018)
Update on "Join the Conversation" (Posted April 5, 2018)
The Importance of Conversation: Locally and Nationally (Posted February 20, 2018)
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)

 Instance of COVID-19 at Foothill-De Anza

Dear Colleagues,

Today we had confirmation of our first Foothill-De Anza employee with COVID-19.  We have daily logs of meetings and buildings where the individual had been and can report that the buildings were at both Foothill and De Anza.  We are immediately taking steps to ensure the safety of our students and employees and ask for your cooperation with the following:




We do not yet know the total impact on staff due to quarantining and sanitization so we ask for your patience as we prioritize public health over other considerations.

Be well,

June 27, 2020

 Remote Work and Breaking News

Dear Colleagues, 

Working together, we are successfully completing a truly unprecedented spring quarter and continue to navigate through one of the most tumultuous times ever. Thank you for everything you have done to help us move forward and let your loved ones know that we appreciate their support of you as this is definitely an extended family effort! 

To help you plan, I want you to know that the colleges and district offices will remain closed at least through Labor Day, Sept. 7. ­This means we will continue working from home and that summer instruction and student services will continue remotely, as previously announced.

There will be extremely few exceptions to the work-from-home rule during this period, primarily involving police, grounds, custodial, and facilities staff who will work onsite on a very limited basis after training and with all safety precautions in place.

The decision to continue remote operations is driven by our desire to protect the health of students, faculty, and staff, particularly given the continuing lack of adequate availability of supplies and equipment needed for maximum safety. Santa Clara County Public Health has not yet cleared colleges and universities to re-open, and in California and across the nation, we are seeing resurgences in COVID-19 infections after re-opening.

I know that people also are eager to have answers about the possibility of onsite classes and services for the fall, and we are working on that. We do not currently have all the information we need to tell you with certainty the extent to which we can safely reopen at that time. To be prepared for the possible continuation of remote work, we are planning a virtual program for district and college opening days that could be modified if circumstances warrant.

Fortunately, your creativity, persistence, and teamwork during this transition have shown that we can get our work done remotely.  People are working diligently and productively. With the opportunity to connect through Zoom and other online platforms, communication is probably at an all-time high, and that is a wonderful development that contributes to our success.

If you have additional needs to continue working remotely, please speak with your manager. We will do our best to accommodate you and will continue to schedule periodic opportunities to return to your worksite for essential equipment and supplies.

I am deeply grateful for all you have done and continue to do in support of student success.

As I write this, there is breaking news that the Supreme Court of the United States has blocked the attempts to end DACA.  This follows the equally good news from the court on Monday that LGBTQ Americans are protected under the Civil Rights Act.  May these decisions be a source of increased vigor and determination to prove that Black Lives Matter.

In solidarity,

June 18, 2020 

 In Recognition of Juneteenth

Dear Colleagues,

The tragedies and pain of the past few weeks deserve a dedicated time for reflection. This is why I’m asking all of you to take some time away from work this Friday for introspection, contemplation, study, dialogue, or any other activity in honor of Juneteenth . This is an opportunity for all of us to help pave the way from words to action.

Pat Hyland in Human Resources has assembled a collection of resources about equity and racism, and during my open office hour today, Karen Chow and Denica Kelly offered these Juneteenth links:

A Bay Area collective’s collection of Juneteenth resources (Denica)

Dr. Louis Henry Gates Jr. on Juneteenth (Karen)

If you would like to share any of your thoughts or experiences during my open office hour on June 24, please contact Paula Norsell so that I will know to call on you.  I look forward to us learning from each other.

In solidarity,
June 17, 2020

 Affordable housing survey - please participate!

Dear Colleagues,

As we continue to look for ways to address the high cost of housing for students, faculty, and staff, I am writing to ask your help in advancing an affordable housing development on county-owned land in Palo Alto that is being built especially for school employees. All you need to do to help is to take this short survey.

Deadline for completing the survey is Friday, June 19.

Our district was one of the early collaborators in this project, which is now moving forward under the direction of non-profit housing developers. Four other local school districts also are participating in partnership with Santa Clara County, county Supervisor Joe Simitian’s office, and Facebook.

A new kind of financing model is being used to fund this development, and the information you provide will help determine how rents for apartments are priced and who will be eligible to live in the units based on household income. By taking the survey, you will help ensure that these approximately 93 rental units, located in a prime spot in Palo Alto, will be affordable for Foothill-De Anza employees.

Thank you for taking a few minutes to complete the survey

If you have any questions, please direct them to Becky Bartindale in my office.

Warm regards,

June 3, 2020

 Welcome, President Holmes!

Dear Colleagues,

I am so pleased to report that our Board of Trustees has unanimously approved the appointment of Dr. Lloyd A. Holmes as the fourth president of De Anza College! You can read the press release on the president search webpage.

Lloyd is joining us just in time to engage in a conversation during my open office hour on Wednesday, June 3, from 11 a.m. to noon. As your chancellor, I look forward to hearing how I can support and amplify the equity work you do at the colleges and in Central Services. I welcome your participation.

Warmest regards,

June 2, 2020

 Thoughts on Recent Events

Dear Colleagues,

The murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police is one more tragic chapter in the centuries old story of black lives not mattering.  Both the lawful protests and the acts of violence throughout our country are products of historical inequities that have become exacerbated in the midst of a global pandemic and economic crisis.  A frequent comment is: Enough is enough.

As a community committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, how should we respond at this moment in time?  I have so many more questions than answers but believe that we have lost ground in our courageous conversations about race and must advance our progress in becoming a more equitable institution.  There is so much more to say and even more to do.  I look forward to engaging with you in my open office hour from 11 A.M. to 12 P.M on June 3.

In solidarity,
May 31, 2020

 Continuation of Remote Work

Dear Colleagues:
While we hoped to have some return to the campuses on during June, the District will remain closed until at least June 30th.  Any return in July will need to be staged and coordinated to comply with the Santa Clara County Department of Health requirements and mandates, and will not be able to include all employees.  We want to take all steps necessary to ensure a safe, healthy environment for everyone. 
Please do not go to campus on June 1 but continue remote work until we can offer further guidance.
Stay well, stay safe, stay home,
May 29, 2020

 Fourth President of De Anza College

Dear Colleagues,

I am thrilled to let you know that I am recommending the hiring of Dr. Lloyd A. Holmes as De Anza College’s next president. His name will appear on the agenda that will be posted tomorrow for the Board of Trustees’ June 2 special meeting. I am extremely excited about having Lloyd as part of the district’s executive team and am absolutely confident that his skills, experience, character and values are an ideal match for De Anza, particularly at this time. If approved by the board, Lloyd will start his new position July 1.

Lloyd is currently vice president of student services at Monroe Community College in Rochester, N.Y., a position he has held with distinction for the past six years. Monroe serves about 40,000 students a year at two campuses and has residence halls serving nearly 800 students and a university center where students can complete a baccalaureate degree. Monroe is part of the 64-campus State University of New York (SUNY) system of two- and four-year schools. In addition to his stellar leadership at the college, Lloyd has taken on several systemwide leadership roles, including mentoring sister colleges in implementing the SUNY Guided Pathways model, having successfully led that initiative at Monroe, and serving on the SUNY Food Insecurity Task Force, formed to address student hunger.

As an executive administrator on Monroe’s leadership team, Lloyd’s portfolio includes leading the board of the MCC Association, a not-for-profit organization that provides financial and management support for student services such as campus bookstores, a campus-based child care center, residence halls, athletics, co-curricular programs and campus food services. You can read more about Lloyd on the president search website.

Lloyd taught adjustment to college and leadership courses for several years at the University of Mississippi and for a short time taught graduate students there as an adjunct professor in the School of Education. He has worked as a residence hall advisor, financial aid advisor, coordinator of student wellness and alcohol and drug abuse programs, and dean of students. His doctoral dissertation examined the relationship between having a sense of community and student retention, and he has overseen or participated in enrollment management teams at his two most recent institutions.

Knowing how much of his life’s work is authentically student centered explains why Shelly Michael, De Anza Associated Study Body president, so enthusiastically advocated for Lloyd’s appointment after gathering input from students. It is why De Anza Interim President Christina Espinosa-Pieb and Foothill College President Thuy Nguyen are excited to have him play a catalytic role in elevating collaboration between the two colleges.

De Anza’s vision of leadership

De Anza has always been bold in its vision of who can provide exceptional leadership. None of its three prior presidents had been a president before. Founding president A. Robert DeHart was dean of students at Foothill College and directed the planning of De Anza before being named president. Martha J. Kanter was vice president of instruction at a much smaller community college. And Brian Murphy was an executive director at an institute at San Francisco State University.

In searching for the next president, I wanted to have a clear understanding of the things that De Anza values as well as areas where improvement is desired. In fall 2019, I hired a leadership and organizational effectiveness consultant to help us frame the job announcement.

Surveys and focus groups that involved approximately 300 faculty, staff, students and community members identified what De Anza wants in its leaders and values as a community, including:

  • An inspiring leader who can articulate a strong purpose and move the organization forward beyond crisis/survival mode into a culture of possibility, optimism and innovation
  • An educator who can take up matters of teaching, learning and student equity with skill and confidence, as well as an administrator who understands how college practices can negatively (or positively) affect student success
  • A leader who can empower faculty and staff to re-envision and re-energize the college to meet changing needs
  • A present and visible leader who is transparent and advocates for shared decision-making; who works with faculty and staff to develop new ways to inspire, educate and support students; and who creates and supports a workplace community where inclusion, communication, collaboration, transparency, equity, quality and accountability thrive
  • A leader who will help De Anza grow as a community to fully realize a focus on students, reduce or eliminate bureaucracy, encourage innovation, practice empathy, resolve conflicts before they fester, and find new ways to generate funding and opportunities for students.

Lloyd Holmes’ record as a leader 

I am gratified at how closely these expressed desires, needs and aspirations align with the comments I heard about Lloyd from people who have worked with him across a range of institutions over the past 15 years.

Many noted that his care for students and their success is central to his identity, along with his commitment to equity and inclusion.

Commenting on how he works with others, people described Lloyd as a leader who listens carefully to what people have to say, hears their needs and engages them in working through problems together. Many remarked on his ability to recognize talent and put together effective teams, often drawing in people who had previously been overlooked.

 “Oftentimes, leaders will surround themselves with people like themselves,” one colleague observed. “Lloyd will select people who have diversity of opinion and thought and the way they approach their own leadership. I think he’s a master at that.”

Another colleague said, “He is very spirited and likes to engage people on all levels. He looks for the silver lining of things and he enjoys student success and student empowerment.”

Other themes emerged in exploring Lloyd’s accomplishments. Multiple people commented on his ability to create, streamline and clarify processes and systems.  “I would say he helped us reach the next level,’’ one colleague said. “He has helped us do better at all of the things we already do well… He helps us see things we didn’t know were possible.”

One of Lloyd’s accomplishments at Monroe was transforming a traditional student affairs division into an organization that is considered one of the best-performing at the college. In another significant undertaking, he was instrumental in ensuring that Monroe’s new downtown campus would be successful. The verdict: “It was flawless.”

Lloyd has been highly successful at every college in every state where he’s worked. He’s been able to understand the rules and thrive.

To read more of about my thinking and what I’ve learned about Lloyd Holmes, please visit the De Anza College president search website.

Warmest regards,

May 27, 2020

 Updates on Fall 2020, Budget, and a Lawsuit

Dear Colleagues, 

I’m writing to update you on three important issues that affect how we serve our students.

FALL 2020

Discussion at the colleges has resulted in a decision to offer two forms of instructional delivery districtwide in Fall 2020:

  • Classes that are 100% online
  • Classes that are hybrid with face-to-face instruction that can move to online should public health matters dictate a return to shelter-in-place.

No courses will be scheduled as 100% face-to-face.

Face-to-face services at the colleges and the district office are still under consideration as we develop plans for returning to campus in a way that will protect public safety. We are awaiting more detailed guidance regarding requirements for:

  • Physical distancing
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Health checks
  • Contact tracing

We anticipate limited demand for face-to-face services, which also would be relatively expensive to provide safely given the aforementioned requirements. Therefore, we will continue to collaborate with union representatives to determine how we can best support remote work.  Your safety and the needs of your families are important parts of our return-to-campus planning.


I want to thank Susan Cheu, Raquel Puentes, and Sirisha Pingali for an outstanding budget presentation prepared for Administrators/Supervisors and Chancellor’s Advisory Council on May 8. Susan updated the slides late into the evening of May 7 as we received news from the Department of Finance that the state’s fiscal picture is even more grim than projected at the end of April.  The slide show is available at

There is no doubt that we will have to make budget reductions.  The extent and timing have yet to be determined, but we will rely on an accelerated governance process that uses your existing procedures and structures.

The May budget revision will be announced on May 14 and the Community College League of California (CCLC) will hold a budget advocacy webinar on Tuesday, May 19 at 11:00 a.m.  If you’d like to know more about our system’s efforts in response to massive cuts, you may register using that link. The state expects to have a fuller picture of its revenue decline by August and another budget revision is likely at that time. 


Our district has joined the state Chancellor's Office and four other California community college districts as named plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed yesterday against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The legal action challenges the restrictions imposed by the U.S. Department of Education that exclude many of our students, for arbitrary reasons, from direct federal emergency aid under the CARES Act.

The district joined the lawsuit because we want to support the most vulnerable of our students, many of whom are currently deemed ineligible for CARES emergency assistance as a result of Secretary DeVos' interpretation of the legislation.

As an open access institution, we are the social safety net for veterans, the newly unemployed as a result of COVID-19, and those who were unable to finish high school, to name just a few of the populations we serve. Lacking a high school diploma or a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should not stand in the way of our students pursuing their educational goals and ultimately contributing back to our communities.

The district is doing everything it can using Foothill-De Anza Foundation funds to support all students who are facing financial emergencies as a result of the coronavirus. We hope in the near future to be able to draw on the federal CARES Act relief funds allocated by Congress to provide direct aid to students who are struggling to continue their education.

Even though we face unprecedented challenges, what is not unprecedented is Foothill-De Anza’s ability to navigate through crises and still offer excellent programs and services guided by an equity agenda.  The next several years are likely to see increased enrollments served by fewer resources.  I believe we “got this” because I believe in you.

With appreciation and admiration for all you do,

May 12, 2020

 Finalists for De Anza President

Dear Colleagues,

Next week, three finalists for the position of De Anza College president will meet with members of the campus community via Zoom, allowing the college and the candidates to get a feeling for one another as we work together to identify the person best suited to lead De Anza College into the future.

The finalists – Drs. Lloyd Holmes, Bryan Reece and Wei Zhou – come highly recommended by De Anza College President Search Committee members, who have determined through thoughtful deliberation that these candidates have the best combination of experience, skills, and values to serve as De Anza’s fourth president.

You can learn more about each of the finalists at the president search webpage, At the conclusion of their virtual “campus visits”, you will be asked to share your thoughts about each of them with me through an online survey that can be reached from that webpage.

Zoom meetings lasting 50 minutes will be held with each finalist Monday through Wednesday, hosted by the Academic Senate, Classified Senate, De Anza Associated Student Body (DASB), and the Foothill-De Anza Foundation. Interim President Christina Espinosa-Pieb will host a meeting for campus administrators and managers, and the finalists will meet separately with the De Anza senior staff and the chancellor’s cabinet, two groups with which the college president works particularly closely.

Wei Zhou will be visiting on Monday, Bryan Reece on Tuesday, and Lloyd Holmes on Wednesday. Watch for information from the host groups about the Zoom meeting times and how to join. 

On the second day of their visit, each candidate will meet with me and, in place of an open forum, take part in a recorded interview conducted by our search consultant Dr. Fran White that will be posted on the De Anza College President Search webpage after all candidates have completed their visits. This will provide an additional opportunity to see the candidates and provide feedback to me. Questions for the interview were submitted by the Academic Senate, Classified Senate, DASB, administrators and supervisors, and a community representative of the De Anza Commission and Foothill-De Anza Foundation board.

As we approach the selection of the next college president, I feel immense gratitude and respect for our interim president, who chose not to seek the permanent position after guiding the college through two very challenging years. Returning to her position as vice president of instruction, Christina will be an incomparable resource for the person who follows her as president as there is no one who has a deeper knowledge and understanding of De Anza College. Fortunately, we will all still benefit from her sincere care for and commitment to the entire Foothill-De Anza community.

I am also grateful for the work of the search committee members who brought their passion and insight to bear in evaluating the applicants as representatives of their respective constituency groups. They have served the college and district well.

In describing what the college needs in its next president, we said:

“The president should be a unifying leader who can articulate a clear vision and inspire dedication to achieving the college’s core mission and values; an innovative leader who seeks a long-term career in a dynamic setting; and an empathetic leader who is committed to academic excellence, student equity and student success.”

Please let me know which of our finalists you think best meets that description.

Warmest regards, 

May 6, 2020

 Extension of Shelter-in-Place 

Dear Colleagues,

I want to confirm that we are continuing to observe the statewide shelter-in-place directive through May 31, 2020, and there is no lifting of our own districtwide restrictions at this time.

Next week, I will announce the colleges’ plan for instructional delivery for Fall 2020 and can share some initial thinking about the many considerations that we must address in a return-to-campus plan.  The safety of you, our students, and larger community continues to be the driving force in our decision making. We deeply appreciate all that you have been doing and enduring to respond to this unprecedented public health crisis.

Stay safe, stay well, stay home,

May 4, 2020

 Class Schedules for Summer and Fall 2020

Dear Colleagues,

This afternoon I met with leaders of our bargaining units, Classified Senates, Academic Senates, colleges’ senior staffs, and Chancellor’s Cabinet.  (Our student body presidents were invited but couldn’t attend.)  I convened the group to seek their reactions to our current thinking about Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 class schedules and offered these two proposals:

1.     Shall we schedule Summer 2020 classes totally online with the exception of allied health programs such as nursing, radiologic technology, respiratory therapy, and EMT/paramedic?

2.     Shall we schedule Fall 2020 classes online or hybrid in preparation for the possibility of a return to shelter-in-place during fall?

For Summer 2020, there was great appreciation for the urgency to establish a schedule in the midst of many unknowns including whether or not the shelter-in-place order would be lifted for all and how quickly could we sanitize our facilities for face-to-face instruction. Given the overwhelming agreement that we continue with online instruction for summer (Number 1 above), the colleges will now plan accordingly.

For Fall 2020, there was a great deal of discussion about the even greater number of unknowns in comparison to Summer 2020.  A clear consensus emerged that more time and thought are needed to consider a wider range of approaches than represented by hybrid or fully online (Number 2 above).  In response, I have asked the colleges to schedule additional discussion and consultation.  I did not specify a deadline for a recommendation from the college presidents during today’s discussion, but would like to have one in early May.

Let me conclude by thanking the 33 leaders who attended today’s meeting and helped inform next steps in a very substantial way.  The collective wisdom of Foothill-De Anza is truly one of our greatest assets!

Stay safe, stay well, stay home,

April 16, 2020

 COVID-19 Update of March 30

Dear Colleagues, 

With today's notice that six counties in our region are extending the shelter-in-place until May 1, we hope that you are taking every precaution to protect yourself and your loved ones.  We will continue to work remotely with very few individuals allowed on campus and only for approved activities deemed to be essential by our Chief of Police in consultation with relevant senior staff.

While this is disappointing news, I want to thank everyone for the tremendous effort that is going into preparing our virtual campuses for the more than 24,000 students who are already registered for Spring 2020 as of this morning.  During my open office hour at 11am on April 1, I promise there will be no April Fool's pranks but heartwarming reports of the generosity that distinguishes our community.

Sending good thoughts to you and yours,

March 30, 2020

 COVID-19 Update for March 18

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you to all of our faculty and instructional support colleagues for successfully moving our current instruction to a remote format with such short notice. You are truly remarkable!

In light of recent comments by Governor Newsom and Chancellor Oakley, we agree with the current suggestion of both the Faculty Association and our senior instructional administrators that our remote instruction should continue through the remainder of this academic year. Because there are unique challenges for our activity courses and those requiring in-person demonstrations and assessments, such as our allied health programs, we will engage in further dialogue to address exceptions to the expectation that courses will be taught remotely.

The Faculty Association and District also agree there are a number of details regarding training and support that have yet to be determined for us to successfully serve our students in the coming months.  Notwithstanding plans in progress, we felt the urgency to alert students and faculty immediately that they can count on the continuity of remote instruction through June 26. We hope this announcement might even help more students to see our colleges as excellent options to begin or complete their educational goals.

Since we don’t know what might be desirable or even possible for non-instructional work locations following the current “shelter in place” directive, all administrators and classified staff should continue under the current Remote Work Guidelines for the time being. Additional information and clarification will be forthcoming as we assess and modify our current processes as may be necessary.

Thank you so much for your patience and understanding as we respond as quickly and responsibly as we can to the most volatile environment ever. 

With good thoughts for you and yours,

March 18, 2020

 COVID-19 Update for March 16

Dear Colleagues, 

Following the order put into place today in six Bay Area counties, we are directing Foothill-De Anza employees to shelter at their place of residence starting at 12:01 a.m. March 17.  This immediate transition to working remotely accelerates the plan we began to implement last week.

Santa Clara County’s order allows individuals to leave their homes to perform work or services for “essential businesses” including colleges, so a very limited number of employees will have occasional access to district facilities for work that is deemed essential and which cannot be done at a distance. Those cases will be determined in consultation between employees and their managers at the colleges and Central Services.  Your manager will identify the work you can do from home because we strive to support teaching and learning and to maintain district operations as seamlessly as possible. For safety and energy savings, a number of buildings will be locked down as has already occurred at the Sunnyvale Center.  Our buildings may be closed, but we are open! 

The shelter-in-place order from Santa Clara County is in effect until 11:59 p.m. on April 7, 2020, or until it is extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended by the county’s public health officer. Please be sure to monitor health orders in your home county as there may be variations in specific directions.  

Information will be coming shortly from the district Office of Human Resources to answer questions about pay and other issues during the period of sheltering in place. 

My heartfelt thanks to everyone whose organization, collaboration, and dedication have allowed us to comply with a major directive with only 11 hours notice!

Be well,

March 16, 2020

 COVID-19 Update for March 14

Dear Colleagues,

In light of so many additional developments in the COVID-19 situation, I just wanted to take a moment to assure you that district leadership is continually discussing how to address emerging issues.  School closures, municipal restrictions, and emergency declarations are just a few of the many factors that affect how we operate and how our students and employees navigate both personal and professional lives.

During the week of March 16, we will provide more guidance regarding remote work and how more employees can be assisted through so much rapid change.  While we have been focusing on instructional delivery, we want to examine ways our support and administrative work might also transition to remote delivery to the greatest extent possible.  We look forward to consulting with our classified and administrator colleagues as we juggle multiple concerns on behalf of students and employees.  Our guiding principle is mitigating the spread of the virus.

Our Board of Trustees is also looking at ways to hold meetings while implementing social distancing now that the Governor has declared waivers of certain provisions of the Brown Act.  We will hold an emergency board meeting in the near future to adopt a resolution that allows us to take advantage of any federal or state funding that may be available during this crisis.

Thanks to all of you who have been sharing recommendations for ways to engage students and each other during this challenging time.  One faculty member shared that he will be using the portal to send encouraging messages to his students and suggested we might even have a “studenthood” week to coincide with our professional development week of April 6. 

As the days ahead are filled with uncertainty, I encourage us all to think about the current situation as not just a public health crisis but a stressor on our humanity.  Let’s be intentional about compassion and patience even though it can be very hard right now.  We will never achieve perfection but we can do exceptionally well with everyone’s help! 

Virtual hugs,

March 14, 2020

 COVID-19 Update for March 13

Dear Colleagues, 

Thanks to an outstanding recommendation from our Faculty Association, Foothill Academic Senate, De Anza Academic Senate, and District Academic Senate, the week of April 6 will be dedicated to professional development for faculty and classified professionals, and April 13 will be the start of Spring Quarter classes.  The end date for the term remains unchanged.

The addition of a professional development week means more time to access the wealth of web resources to learn about the technological tools available for teaching, learning, and working remotely. As our district reduces face-to-face interactions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, some of you will be asked to work in new ways and possibly take on some new tasks. Many of you may be working virtually for the first time and we want to assist in building the professional skills that will ease these transitions to alternative modes of delivering instruction and services.  Thank you in advance for creating a safer environment for our students and each other!

Information about professional development offerings for the week of April 6 will be coming from the colleges and Central Services shortly. For the time being, if you are interested in some of what’s already available, here are two websites you will want to know about:

District Technology – Educational Technology Services
CVC-Online Education Initiative – CVC-Online Education Initiative

Many thanks to everyone who has offered suggestions and dedicated time and energy to ensure continuity of instruction and services: union representatives, Academic and Classified Senates, administrators and supervisors, Chancellor’s Advisory Council, and students!  Stay tuned for updates during the week of March 16.


March 13, 2020

 Transition from Face-to-Face to Alternative Methods

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we carefully plan our responses to the ever-changing COVID-19 outbreak. The needs of our students and employees are always at the center of our decision-making, and we have taken the time to balance issues of safety with the need for continuity of instruction. Foothill, De Anza, and Central Services will continue to remain open, but the colleges will move from face-to-face instruction that is lecture only to alternative methods starting on Monday, March 16.  The colleges will send information to students regarding the ways in which they may complete their classes for this quarter without coming to campus.

We will continue with alternate methods for the last two weeks of the current quarter, March 16-27, and into the start of the spring quarter, which begins April 6. Being on the quarter system may actually allow students a more seamless transition from face-to-face to alternate instructional methods.

Moving to remote instructional modalities for lecture-only classes is consistent with the advice of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the County of Santa Clara Department of Public Health, which both confirmed in calls today that they have no particular recommendations but leave this decision to the district at this time. We are fortunate that as of today, March 11, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at either campus, the Sunnyvale Center, or in Central Services.

The details of how we proceed operationally will largely be determined at the colleges, so please direct your questions to your immediate supervisor. Faculty at off-campus apprenticeship sites should check with the local supervisor to determine what is being done at that location. The colleges have been planning diligently for this transition over several weeks and are working hard to expand support systems for faculty and students who may need assistance with teaching and learning online.

There is no single one-size-fits-all solution for alternative methods of instruction, and we will all do our best to tailor individual solutions to the specific needs of students and faculty. To finish out the quarter, alternative methods will be put into action for instruction and interaction with students, including online, email, and Zoom, or some other combination of creative approaches. As you know, Foothill-De Anza has one of the most extensive offerings of online instruction in California, and many of our students and faculty are quite familiar with this mode of instruction

As is being done at UC Berkeley, there will be some number of activity, studio, and laboratory classes in which instructors and students may choose to continue face-to-face to finish the quarter. In those cases, we urge instructors to be highly responsive to the needs and concerns of students and students to talk with their instructors about  concerns and needs they may have.  We also encourage faculty who have their own concerns to speak with their dean. 

Since this is not a closure, most classified professionals won’t experience any disruption in work at this time. However, it is likely that some classified professionals and non-instructional faculty may have their work modified by the move away from face-to-face instruction, for example, in instructional support and counseling services. In that case, the colleges will provide detailed guidance regarding any adjustment to duties that might be needed. The district Office of Human Resources has provided some guidance here.

Making these changes is an enormously complex undertaking, but we are confident that we will have a successful transition as the district and colleges have been planning intensively for this. We have been working closely with faculty leaders, and we deeply appreciate their flexibility, ingenuity, and support in tackling this unprecedented challenge. We especially want to express our thanks to the large number of faculty who already prepared for the transition to alternative methods and are assisting colleagues who have less experience.

We will continue to update you as the situation evolves, and thank you for your patience and support during an extremely challenging time. We especially appreciate your encouragement to allow for adequate time to plan for a successful transition to alternate methods while simultaneously preserving continuity of instruction for students. 


 Update on Continuity of Instruction Planning

Dear Colleagues,

Because more colleges are moving from face to face to online instruction, we are aware of increased interest that Foothill-De Anza follow suit.  At 8:30 this morning, I spoke with a representative of the Santa Clara County Public Health Department regarding directives to educational institutions.  They are making no specific recommendations other than institutions should "keep students safe."

For more than a week, we have had numerous meetings to plan for a successful transition from face to face to alternate methods of instruction for both the end of Winter Quarter and the start of Spring Quarter.  Following a statewide conference call with the state Chancellor's Office this afternoon, we will be better prepared to provide detailed guidance on our next steps.  Thank you for your patience and we regret that we have been unable to personally answer the many emails from students who have asked us to close operations immediately.  We are listening to everyone's concerns and are working diligently to meet these unprecedented challenges in a thoughtful and sensitive fashion.


March 11, 2020

 COVID-19 update of March 9, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

A great deal of work has taken place at the district and college levels to prepare for a variety of scenarios that could possibly challenge the continuity of instruction and services resulting from the spread of COVID-19 (novel cornonavirus).

I know some of you are wondering how to respond to questions from students, members of the public or colleagues when there is so much uncertainty about what will happen next. I hope this email will address some of your most pressing concerns, both immediate and for the longer term. Here in a nutshell is what we can say at this point:

For now, the district and colleges remain open, but that may change. We are following the guidance of the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department, whose recommendations we monitor throughout the day. We have taken additional action to sanitize high traffic areas and encourage flexibility in accommodating the needs of employees and students, particularly those in higher risk categories. Our top priorities are the safety of our community and continuing service and support for our students and employees. Please follow all the recommended preventive measures to protect yourself and others. The district and the colleges will keep you informed about any changes in plans related to district and/or college operations. 

The district Office of Human Resources is preparing detailed guidance that covers a wide variety of employee situations and needs. This will be distributed within the next day. A web page for posting district COVID-19 updates and information will be activated later today and can be accessed from the district homepage at

Questions relating to students should be directed to the colleges.


Last week, I convened groups from the colleges and Central Services to identify potential implications of COVID-19 on our operations, and we discussed the following issues:

  • Ensuring that payroll processing can continue uninterrupted.
  • Adding resources to increase the frequency and ongoing sanitization of high-traffic surfaces and areas on the campuses, including dining facilities, door handles, athletic and rental facilities, classrooms, and labs.
  • Identifying essential personnel in the event of a shutdown.
  • Finding clinical training alternatives for nursing and allied health students displaced from hospitals.
  • Communicating with educational partners who deliver our courses on their campus.
  • Allowing flexibility on travel reimbursement when conferences are cancelled.
  • Addressing the full spectrum of student needs and concerns, including those of our most vulnerable student populations.
  • Planning for multiple alternate methods of delivering instruction electronically in the event of closures and offering training for faculty, students, and staff in their use.
  • Addressing attendance accounting and contractual issues that may arise.
  • Identifying communication channels that can be used to maintain a sense of community cohesiveness.
  • Reinforcing the importance of combatting discrimination.
Preparing for closure & interruptions
At my request, Vice Chancellor Dorene Novotny initiated a process for identifying critical issues and options for ensuring educational continuity for our students should closures become necessary. Campus representatives worked together at meetings last Thursday and Friday to develop a planning blueprint for addressing such issues as how to keep delivering course content, assignment and exams; determining grades; communicating with students; managing instances of student illness, quarantines and absences; and much more. The blueprint also lays out which kinds of decisions should be made by the faculty, the colleges or the district.
Counties throughout California are closely monitoring the speed and extent of the virus’ spread and may at some point recommend closures or other actions that would interrupt business as usual. We will follow the advice of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that any closure of our colleges or district offices would be done in consultation with the county health department.
Working with colleagues from the California Virtual Campus-Online Education Initiative (CVC-OEI), the colleges are developing specific strategies for instructional continuity, including leveraging our technology infrastructure for alternative delivery options and providing support for instructors who currently teach exclusively face to face. Expanded training opportunities will be available for using tools such as Zoom and Canvas to continue instruction and communication with students during a temporary period of interruption or closure. Additionally, a variety of online student services will continue to be available including tutoring, counseling, and degree audit.
Accommodations for students with disabilities is a work in progress and a high priority for resolution.
Flexibility in attendance & other matters
These times require flexibility, care and consideration from everyone. Our expectation is that supervisors and administrators will be flexible if an employee becomes ill with COVID-19 or needs to take care of a family member who has been diagnosed with the virus. Employees in these situations absolutely should stay home until cleared by a doctor to return to work or until they have met the conditions for return set by our county health officials and the CDC. Obtaining medical certification to return may not be feasible if direct care needs outpace the capacity of providers. In that case, we will make decisions in accordance with the guidelines established by public health officials.
You will soon receive additional information on leaves and related employee issues that might occur during a disruption of services or in the event of illness or exposure. Leaders in the district Office of Human Resources are collaborating with union and meet-and-confer employee representatives to determine responses to possible scenarios in the context of contractual obligations and recommendations of the CDC and the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department.  Please direct questions or concerns to Vice Chancellor Dorene Novotny or Myisha Washington, district director of human resources, or directly to your union representative.
Supervisors and administrators are encouraged to review their operations and develop contingency plan options for remote work assignments, alternate schedules or possible telecommuting in the event such measures become necessary or recommended by county public health officials. Such measures may be required in order to continue the delivery of services to our students during a disruption.
I also strongly encourage instructors to consider flexibility with student attendance and participation without sacrificing academic standards. We have heard that some students are attending classes while ill because they do not want to lose participation points or exceed the allowable number of absences.  Some faculty have solved this problem by using Zoom and even email to substitute for physical presence.  We look forward to learning more about other strategies that have been used.
Keeping surroundings clean
Following public health advice, we are increasing and intensifying cleaning. I have been assured that the cleaning products already in use by our custodial staff are the best available for disinfecting surfaces, and we are working on increasing the frequency of cleaning in high traffic, high need areas such as classrooms, athletics areas, eating areas, computer labs and restrooms. The campuses also have ordered additional supplies for general use and will continue to make those available as needed. Custodians already are performing additional sanitation measures including frequent, repeated cleaning of desktops and other instructional surfaces. In addition, the district is securing additional staffing to help with cleaning and sanitation.
Large gatherings
We are currently following the guidelines issued March 5 by Santa Clara County public health officials about cancelling or postponing “mass gatherings” and large community events. In a further clarification, the county suggested weighing four factors when deciding whether to postpone or cancel:
  • The number of people attending the event – fewer than 100 (small), 100 to 999 (medium sized) and 1,000 or more (large).
  • The extent to which the nature and set up of the event would enable participants to maintain “'social distance” of three to six feet.
  • The duration – a one-hour event is significantly less risky than one that lasts for a half- or full-day.
  • The extent to which the participants are at higher risk of becoming severely ill, for example, a class for college students versus a class specifically aimed at older adults.
The county recommends making decisions about whether to hold events on a rolling 30-day basis, applying the public health department’s most current recommendations.
There have been some reports of discriminatory behavior based on false assumptions linking race, ethnicity, or national origin to the spread of the virus. To be clear, such assumptions are false and should be promptly addressed and not allowed to perpetuate. I am proud of our districtwide commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment and urge everyone to help us live that commitment. Should you experience or observe discrimination and are not comfortable addressing the matter directly, please report it to your supervisor, your campus Title IX/Title 5 representative, or the district Office of Human Resources for follow up.
Travel restrictions and voluntary limits
For now, the district will not approve or fund new requests for travel to countries that the CDC recommends for suspension of all nonessential travel. Currently, that includes China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy, and older adults and people with chronic health conditions are advised to avoid travel to Japan. If you have work-related travel already planned for one of these areas, please discuss issues of reimbursement and safety with your supervisor.
Diagnosis of COVID-19
The CDC advises people who are sick to call ahead to a healthcare provider if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread. Your healthcare professional will work with the public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.
The colleges are each preparing information about how to refer or report a student or coworker with COVID-19-type symptoms and will distribute them separately. In the meantime, if you have or know of a situation involving possible symptoms, please report your concerns directly to your supervisor for review and follow-up.
Staying informed
The following websites will help you learn more about COVID-19 and stay informed about any new developments as the situation evolves.
State and federal health agencies
Other health agencies
College websites
Foothill College

Teaching & learning resources
CVC-Online Education Initiative

While this new strain of coronavirus has a high transmission rate, most people will recover from it. According to county health department estimates, 80% of the people infected by COVID-19 will experience only mild illness.

However, older individuals and people with underlying health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, chronic lung diseases like COPD, or weakened immune systems are at greater risk for serious illness if they contract the virus. Some of you may be surprised to know that this “older” caution applies to individuals over age 50 years of age, who are considered at higher risk for serious illness. Risk increases with age, with persons over age 80 in the highest risk category. According to the CDC, pregnant women experience immunologic and physiologic changes that might make them more susceptible to viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19. 

I know that the onslaught of news and information about COVID-19 can feel overwhelming and create fear and anxiety. I urge you to focus on what you can do to protect yourself and others from infection and to treat each other with care and kindness.  Also, please remember that we have a good resource for difficult times in the district’s Employee Assistance Program.

With sincere appreciation for the privilege of working with you during these challenging times,

March 9, 2020

 Followup to Postponement of March 9 Celebrations

Dear Colleagues,

Questions have arisen regarding our decision to postpone our March celebrations and if that was a signal that we should be closing the campuses.  We are not.

The food handling logistics that are recommended for public gatherings would have detracted from any possibility of a festive atmosphere, hence our postponement of a traditionally joyous gathering.

Thanks again,

March 6, 2020

 Postponement of March 9 Celebrations

Dear Colleagues,

In light of increasing concerns over various public gatherings, we have thought it wise to postpone the reunion of former Foothill-De Anza trustees as well as the traditional reception honoring our newly tenured faculty that had been scheduled for Monday, March 9.

We definitely want to come together in a celebratory mood and plan to do so when we have more broadly accepted reassurances regarding the Coronavirus.

With thanks for your understanding,

March 6, 2020

COVID-19 Update from Chancellor Eloy Oakley

Dear Colleagues,
Please see the message below from Chancellor Eloy Oakley.  While we await highly anticipated statewide guidance, I also wanted you to be aware of the important role that is being played by our colleagues in CVC-OEI.
We greatly appreciate the meetings that are taking place with leaders from our faculty, classified professional, student body, and administrative groups to develop the best possible action plans in an ever changing environment.  Deepest thanks to all of you for your contributions to the continuity of our excellent programs and services and expect more updates as new information becomes available.

Dear Colleague, 

Late yesterday, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a state of emergency in California to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The emergency proclamation includes provisions that protect consumers against price gouging, allow for health care workers to come from out of state to assist at health care facilities and give health care facilities the flexibility to plan and adapt to accommodate incoming patients. It provides local public health agencies more flexibility in declaring and renewing health emergencies. The proclamation requires of the state Office of Emergency Services to release updated guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools no later than March 10. My office will provide you with the updates to the existing guidelines as soon as they are available. Please share this proclamation with your leadership team and legal counsel as you continue to refine response plans.

Earlier this week, state officials announced the release of more N95 masks to address shortages caused by COVID-19. In addition, the state this week secured expedited capacity to test for the virus from the CDC.  

I want to stress that state public health officials still categorize the public threat of COVID-19 as low and do not recommend cancellation of public events. I have visited several colleges this week and continue to be impressed with the calm, thoughtful and highly professional response  to this event. Your close coordination with county public health agencies is to be commended.

Please continue to check the Chancellor’s Office COVID-19 web resources page for information on emergency planning, advice for those experiencing possible symptoms (stay at home and contact your health care provider or local public health agency), crisis communications strategies, tips for containing the spread of the virus and travel recommendations for study abroad programs. My office is also working with the leadership of CVC-OEI to prepare guidance for colleges in the event that expanded online instruction is necessary to continue teaching and learning at our colleges if that is required.

At the federal level, Congress appears close to approving an $8.3 billion emergency funding package that would help development of new treatments, boost funding to purchase medical supplies and provide more than $400 million in grants to states and localities for preparedness within 30 days.  This is in addition to the $20 million that Gov. Newsom has requested from the Legislature to respond to this crisis.  The federal package includes about $3.1 billion to purchase medical supplies for state and local health departments to beef up the Strategic National Stockpile, the largest national repository of emergency treatments. It will also provide additional resources for states and assist federal efforts to develop vaccines and therapeutics, as well as hospital preparedness. Another $300 million would help the government buy vaccines and treatments once they are approved.

Thank you again for your leadership, and we will continue updates as needed.


Eloy Ortiz Oakley
Chancellor, California Community Colleges


March 5, 2020

 Election results for Measures G&H as of March 4, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

I want to thank all of you who supported the Yes on Measures G&H campaign to help the district meet some of our most critical needs. We won’t know the final results for several days, until all the ballots are counted, but I’m feeling optimistic that Measure G will pass. With the majority of the ballots counted, our $898 million bond had 57.34% of the vote (55% is needed). Measure H, a $48 parcel tax, has a longer way to go. With the majority of ballots counted, it had 60.56% voter support but needs 66.67% to pass. We’ve got our fingers crossed that late arriving and other yet-uncounted ballots will favor us. Whatever happens, I am confident that we will all keep on giving the best possible education and service we can for our local communities.

The past few months have been a fantastic team and community experience. I am gratified at how generously faculty, staff, students, and community members gave of themselves as campaign volunteers and donors, and I’m immensely grateful to the voters who supported us. Passing such a large bond measure in the current climate requires a remarkable group effort and a positive outcome is testimony to your hard work and the positive feelings for our colleges in our local communities.

I also want to give a shout-out to our trustees, who did an incredible amount of work in the community raising money for the campaign and soliciting a record number of endorsements from influential community leaders and organizations. Bruce Swenson – former trustee and Foothill faculty member, dean, and administrator – provided thoughtful and steady leadership as the campaign chair.

For the past several years, as the district deliberated about putting a bond or parcel tax on the ballot, we engaged in an extensive community outreach effort, talking with community members and organizations about their educational priorities and finding many common interests and opportunities to work together. These valued alliances are a tremendous asset and make the district that much stronger.

I truly believe that the work you do every day is ultimately what wins the support of voters. Your talent and dedication are always at the heart of our success.

Warmest regards,


P.S. You can see which areas of the district supported Measure G here and Measure H here. The maps can be found through the elections result page on the website of the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.

March 4, 2020

 District update on novel coronavirus, COVID-19

Dear Colleagues, 

As the novel coronavirus continues making front page news, I am writing to let you know that the district is closely monitoring the situation and planning for whatever course the infection may take. As of today, Feb. 28, the County of Santa Clara County Public Health Department continues to report that there is no evidence that novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is circulating in Santa Clara County and that the immediate risk to the public remains low.

However, even with only a few confirmed cases in the Bay Area at this time, we must prepare for the possible spread of the virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). Please be assured that we will let you know immediately if the current situation changes and share with you the latest information about precautions you can take.

To protect the public, both county and state health departments are working diligently with local health professionals and the CDC to identify people at risk for the virus based on their travel histories or close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

I join Dr. Sara Cody, the Santa Clara County’s health officer, in urging us all to resist discrimination and prejudice. Although the outbreak began in mainland China, people of Asian descent are not more likely to have the virus, Dr. Cody reports, and anyone who has not traveled to China or been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case is not likely to be sick.

It is important for all of us to stay informed about this situation so we can take care of ourselves and others. Updated information from the Santa Clara County health department is available here, and links are provided below to the web pages of state, national and world health organizations, as well as to health departments of some neighboring counties. If circumstances change, the CDC will provide local agencies with updates as new information becomes available, and we will alert you as well. In addition, both colleges have web pages with information related to COVID-19, and you may want to familiarize yourself with them now.

Meanwhile, the best way to protect yourself from respiratory illnesses –including the flu– is to take commonsense preventive measures such as frequently washing your hands, not touching your face, and covering coughs and sneezes, as described on several of the websites below.

If you do feel ill, please stay at home. You’ll recuperate faster and your colleagues will likely thank you.

Below are links to websites that will help you stay informed.

Local and state health departments

California Department of Public Health -

Santa Clara County Public Health

Santa Clara County Public Health Facebook -

San Mateo County Health -

San Benito County Health & Human Services Agency -

Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency -

Alameda County Public Health -

San Francisco Department of Public -

Other health agencies

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -

World Health Organization - 

Foothill and De Anza

Foothill College -

De Anza College -

We will continue to monitor all developments and keep you informed.

Warm regards,

February 28, 2020

 Coronavirus Update

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to provide updated information regarding the coronavirus. I find it encouraging to report that officials from the County of Santa Clara County Public Health Department say that as of today, Feb. 4, the risk to the general public remains low.

Based on federal guidance, the county health department provided the following recommendations to area colleges late yesterday.

Health officers ask that students and staff who have been to Hubei province or elsewhere in mainland China (not Hong Kong) within the past 14 days stay at home and monitor themselves for illness, and call the Santa Clara County Public Health Department at (408) 885 -3980 for further advice about monitoring their health for 14 days from the date of their return. 

Family members of those who traveled to China within the past 14 days are not being asked to stay at home, but should watch for symptoms and avoid large gatherings.

The complete letter from the county Public Health Department is posted here.

Let’s not forget that the common seasonal flu is prevalent now, as are colds, so please take precautions for your own health and that of others. The best way to protect yourself from respiratory illnesses is to take commonsense preventive measures as described on many of the websites below. If you do feel ill, please stay at home.  You’ll recuperate faster and your colleagues will likely thank you.

Below are links to authoritative websites with FAQs and guidelines to keep you informed.

Santa Clara County Public Health

Santa Clara County Public Health Facebook -

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -

California Department of Public Health -

World Health Organization -

We will continue to monitor all developments, and I will be back in touch as needed.



February 4, 2019


Dear Colleagues, 

This message concerns the coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China. As we have learned from news reports, the virus causes respiratory infections and can be much more serious for elderly populations and those with respiratory conditions. You can learn more about the Wuhan novel coronavirus at the Center for Disease Control website which stresses that this is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.

As of January 27, the CDC reports: “Imported cases of 2019-nCoV infection in people have been detected in the U.S. No person-to-person spread has been detected with this virus at the time, and this virus is NOT currently spreading in the community in the United States.”

At this time, we have had no report of any exposure to the coronavirus anywhere in our district. However, if you do start to exhibit flu-like symptoms (runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever, low energy), we encourage you to contact your healthcare provider immediately.  If you do feel ill, please stay home. By reducing contact with others, you will be much less likely to spread any virus (common flu or otherwise) you have contracted.

The following habits are useful to follow to prevent the transmission of all airborne viruses:

  • Wash/sanitize your hands thoroughly on a regular basis
  • Always sneeze/cough into your arm or a tissue
  • Don’t get too close to people in public spaces
  • Don’t touch your eyes or mouth unless you have washed

We care deeply about the health and safety of our community and will update you on any new developments as we monitor this situation with local health authorities. 



January 27, 2020

 Historic Board Actions of November 25, 2019

Dear Colleagues, 

I am thrilled to report that after more than two hours of public testimony and discussion, the Board of Trustees made history last night by its unanimous vote to place a bond and a parcel tax on the March 3, 2020 ballot! You can read the particulars about the proposed bond measure here and the parcel tax here.

These measures would give us reliable sources of revenue to make the facility, equipment, and program updates needed to keep the district at the forefront of providing our students with affordable, high quality preparation for university transfer and careers.

The proposed bond – the Foothill-De Anza Community College District Affordable Career, College Transfer, Classroom Repair Measure – would raise $898 million over its lifetime and cost district property owners 1.6 cents per $100 of assessed value.

The parcel tax – the Educational and Teacher Excellence Parcel Tax – is a five-year levy of $48 per parcel that would raise $5.6 million annually. The district has established guidelines for use of the proceeds if the parcel tax succeeds, which you can see using the link above. 

Working with the colleges, we have identified facility and equipment needs that substantially exceed what the proposed bond would cover. They fall into the general categories of improving accessibility; improving infrastructure including campus safety; promoting conservation; and exploring potential housing opportunities. You can see some examples here.  If voters approve the bond measure, the colleges would then prioritize their needs through the shared governance process.

I know that many of you may want to know how you can help, so I want to remind you that Board Policy 4195 and the California Education Code explicitly prohibit the use of district resources to advocate for candidates or measures. What constitutes “district resources” is interpreted broadly and includes district phones, computers, email service, mail service, mailboxes, copy machines, copying facilities and so on.

The board made its decision to move forward with both ballot proposals after extensive outreach to local leaders and community organizations and an independent community survey conducted earlier this year. What we learned is that our local residents have a deep appreciation of Foothill and De Anza as essential community resources that need to be maintained and kept up to date to serve future generations of students seeking new skills.

Please join me in thanking the board for its vision and wisdom in passing this resolution and our faculty, staff, alumni, elected officials, and community members who expressed their support in person and by mail.  And join me in a round of applause for our eloquent students, especially De Anza Student Trustee Genevieve Kolar and Foothill Student Trustee Tiffany Nguyen.  They exhibited courage and grace in the telling of their personal stories of transformation as a result of their experiences at De Anza and Foothill.  They work tirelessly to secure ongoing resources for programs and services that will transform the lives of students who follow them. 

They are the reason we come to work each day.

Happy Thanksgiving,


November 26, 2019

 Interim results of assessment & visioning process posted

Dear Colleagues,

Minh Le, a leadership and organizational effectiveness consultant who is helping the district prepare for the De Anza president search, has provided us with interim reports on the first phase of our assessment and visioning process.  

Please visit to see the information that is being made available for use by the focus groups that will be held in the coming days. Anyone with questions or comments about the process or results is welcome to contact Minh directly at or 650-625-9099.

Many, many thanks to all participants in the survey and focus groups.  Along with your representatives on the search committee, I am listening to the collective vision regarding De Anza's strengths and challenges.  That vision will be a crucial factor in the selection and success of the next president and I am truly grateful for your heartfelt input. 

Warm regards,


November 12, 2019

 Vice Chancellor of Business Services

Dear Colleagues, 

I am delighted to announce the selection of Susan Cheu as the Vice Chancellor of Business Services! 

She has very capably served as our Interim Vice Chancellor since January 1, 2019, bringing 13 years of community college business and administrative services experience to her districtwide role.  Attached you will find her profile that was posted for the open forums.

In addition to outstanding technical skills, Susan has demonstrated an authentic dedication to student equity which is an essential characteristic for all of us in Central Services even though it may not be as visible as on the campuses.

Many thanks to the search committee for forwarding three excellent finalists and thanks to everyone who attended the forums.  I very much appreciate the time you took to submit comments even as late as Friday.

Please join me in congratulating Susan and thanking her for taking on these increased responsibilities in service to our students! 

Warm regards,


November 11, 2019

 Special Board of Trustees Meeting to Consider a Bond and Parcel Tax

Dear Colleagues,

Last night, our Board of Trustees directed staff to prepare resolutions for the board's consideration of both a bond and parcel tax at a special meeting to be held on Monday, November 25 at 6:00pm in the Foothill Campus Center.  We recognize that the meeting will be right before Thanksgiving, but if the board were to approve measures to be placed on the March 2020 ballot, we must file in early December.

Recent polling and surveying of our electorate convinced our board that their is very strong community support of our work to:

  • Attract and retain high quality faculty
  • Prepare students for transfer
  • Prepare students for good paying jobs
  • Increase accessibility for students with disabilities
  • Support students who face food and housing insecurity
  • Provide transitional housing for students, faculty, and staff who face homelessness

Please visit our website for details on this compelling documentation:

Additionally, we presented the board a list of capital projects and equipment that demonstrates the need for more than $1.5 billion if we are to preserve our pride of place as one of the most successful community colleges in the country in educating students who are successful in the classroom and workplace and who engage in their communities.

See the board presentation here:$file/FHDACCD_Capital_Projects_and_Equipment_needs_list_BoT_11.04.2019.pdf

In our district mission statement, we declare: "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."  If you agree that to fulfill this mission, we need resources beyond what the State "giveth and taketh away," join us on November 25 to share your views with the board.

Warmest regards, 


November 5, 2019

 Assessment and Visioning Process for De Anza Presidential Search

Dear De Anza colleagues,

In launching the search for the next college president, I am excited by the thought of what can ultimately be accomplished by building on the foundational work of De Anza’s community of committed, talented and resourceful people. Talking with so many of you over the past year underscores the importance of recognizing the right leader to support and guide the college in the coming years.

To help us find that person, I am pleased to announce that the district has engaged Minh Le, president of the Wilfred Jarvis Institute, a leadership and organizational effectiveness consulting company. Minh comes highly recommended for work he has done in our local community. His role is to help us conduct a grassroots assessment of De Anza as an organization that we will use to inform the search.

One outcome of this assessment will be a clear understanding of the strengths, priorities and practices that you value highly as a community and want to see sustained at De Anza. Another outcome will be identification of what you consider areas for improvement.

I’ve asked Minh to help us develop a highly inclusive vision of what is possible and desirable for the college to accomplish by 2030 based on the input we receive from you. The results should help us attract candidates for the presidency who have the values, motivation, experience and talent to build on the college’s strengths to achieve our vision over the next decade.

This assessment and visioning process will take place in three phases.

SURVEY – This month we will ask all faculty, staff and administrators at De Anza to complete a survey that will be used to assess the college based on 30 organizational characteristics. The survey also will seek your ideas about organizational customs and practices that we should keep, stop and start doing.

The deadline to complete the survey process is Nov. 1. You will be asked to complete the survey forms at meetings that will be scheduled through your work groups, and I would like you to complete them anonymously. The completed forms will then be placed in a container that will go directly to Minh’s office for processing.  As a gesture intended to invite complete candor, supervisors, managers and administrators are being asked to step out of the room.

FOCUS GROUPS - In November, after the survey phase, focus groups made up of representatives from faculty, classified and administrator ranks, as well as students and the community members, will be convened to identify desirable changes using the survey responses to aid the discussion. In the focus groups, Minh will ask for thoughts about what changes are likely to result in the greatest improvements in organizational health and productivity and help us be even more responsive to the needs of our students and community.

Focus group participants will be selected from volunteers and nominees in consultation with their respective Senate leaders. Factors that will be considered in selecting participants include diversity, motivation to participate, knowledge of and experience in the organization, and balanced representation.  I’ve included more information about focus group participation later this this email.

The schedules for the focus groups are:

  • Administrators – Nov. 14, noon to 2 p.m.
  • Classified – Nov. 15, 9-11 a.m.
  • Faculty – Nov. 15, noon to 2 p.m.

Student and community focus groups are still being scheduled.

REPORT TO THE COMMUNITY - Once the results of the surveys and focus groups are tabulated and analyzed, the results will be shared with the entire community before the end of the fall quarter. This information will be crucial to the search and selection efforts, which is why I am extremely grateful for everyone’s participation.

I have asked Becky Bartindale on my staff to work with leaders within the De Anza community to respond to any questions or concerns. She also will work with you to set up the survey meetings and assist you in resolving any logistical challenges that stand in the way of reaching as close to 100% participation as possible by Nov. 1. Becky can be reached at 650-949-6107 or

You may also contact Minh at 650-625-9099 or with any questions or concerns about the process or stated outcomes. I am so pleased to have the opportunity to work with Minh. He has done excellent work for many Bay Area organizations over the past 20 years including local school districts, adult schools, community colleges and universities.

As we move forward to choose the next president, this is what I ask of you:

  • When you are notified about the survey date and time for your work group, please mark your calendar and be there. Minh estimates it takes only about 10 minutes to complete the survey.
  • If you cannot be there, please ask the person who notified you about the meeting to provide you with a survey form, which you will return directly to Minh. Just imagine the power of a 100% participation rate in this process!
  • If you are interested in being part of a focus group for your role (faculty, classified, and administrator) or want to nominate someone else, please email your nominations to Becky Bartindale no later than Oct. 18. Focus groups for students and the community are being conducted through student government and the Foothill-De Anza Foundation.

It was my privilege to work at De Anza in both Student Services and Instruction from 1988-2007 and now as your chancellor, I know how well-positioned we are to reach the next level of fulfilling De Anza’s mission statement:

“De Anza College provides an academically rich, multicultural learning environment that challenges students of every background to development their intellect character and abilities; to realize their goals; and to be socially responsible leaders in their communities, the nation and the world.”


With sincerest thanks on behalf of present and future students,

October 7, 2019

 Homebuying Assistance Program

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to let you know about a new opportunity that could help Foothill-De Anza employees address one of our biggest challenges – finding affordable housing within a reasonable commuting distance of our campuses.

Landed ( is a Bay Area start-up that helps school and college employees purchase homes by providing down payment support and a personalized homebuying team of experts. The Landed team is coming to Foothill College on Oct. 15 and De Anza College on Oct. 16 to offer a one-hour workshop introducing their highly flexible home buying assistance program. Please sign up using the links below.

Unlike the Santa Clara County program we told you about earlier this year, Landed does not place restrictions on your income or the price and location of the housing you want to buy. Landed supports home purchases in a seven county Bay Area region.

Landed’s down payment program provides half of the down payment on a home, up to $120,000 per household, in exchange for a share in the gain (or loss, if any) of the home’s value once it is sold or refinanced. Landed already has assisted several hundred K-12 educators in purchasing homes and earlier this year expanded to higher education.

The Landed program is open to all faculty staff, and administrators who have worked at Foothill-De Anza or another public educational institution for at least two years, and is available immediately. The informational workshops are for any employee interested in purchasing a home or learning more about the home buying process. All Foothill-De Anza employees are eligible to participate, and you may attend at the location and time that is most convenient to you.

Please RVSP using the links below to ensure sufficient materials are available. Partners are welcome to attend the workshops and refreshments will be provided.

Session 1 - Tuesday, Oct. 15 -  RSVP here 
Foothill College - 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. 
Hearthside Lounge (located in the Campus Center across from the bookstore)


Session 2 - Wednesday, Oct. 16 - RSVP here 
De Anza College - 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Campus Center, Conference Rooms A&B


Contact Landed’s team to apply and learn more:

Warmest regards,

October 1, 2019

 Community Polling Results

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to update you about the results of a recent survey conducted to assess community support for our educational vision for the future and its focus on students.  Not only do our students appreciate the hard work you do every day to provide them with a quality learning environment, the community does as well.

In the survey, residents of the communities we serve expressed appreciation for the high quality affordable education we provide at Foothill and De Anza. Nearly two-thirds gave the colleges positive ratings. Please accept our heartfelt thanks to faculty, staff, trustees, and community volunteers for your continuing hard work in service to students!

The community has shown its willingness to financially support our vision for Foothill and De Anza and our students so that we can continue providing high quality affordable education, workforce and university transfer preparation, and online course innovation. The district is now preparing to consider responsible funding proposals to upgrade our classrooms and labs, retain great faculty and staff, and help our most vulnerable students—those who face homelessness, hunger, or food insecurity.

It is so good to hear that the community not only recognizes your commitment and service to our educational mission, but has compassion and caring for the members of our student community who are most vulnerable. 

We are at the start of one of the most exciting years in our district's history and we are privileged to take the journey with all of you!

Warmest regards,

Judy C. Miner, Chancellor Thuy Thi Nguyen, Foothill College President Christina G. Espinosa-Pieb, De Anza College President (Interim)
Isaac Escoto, Foothill College Academic Senate President Mike Mohebbi, Foothill College Classified Senate President Tiffany Thi Nguyen, Foothill College Student Trustee
Karen Chow, De Anza College Academic Senate President Heidi King, De Anza College Classified Senate President Genevieve Kolar, De Anza College Student Trustee
September 30, 2019 

 District Opening Day is Sept. 19 at Smithwick Theatre!

Dear Colleagues,
Welcome to Fall 2019!  I look forward to seeing you Thursday, Sept. 19, for District Opening Day and hope that you are as excited as I am about the outstanding workshops being offered. You can find a complete schedule of activities here and by using the link on the district home page (
Please come for a continental breakfast on the patio starting at 7:30 a.m. It's a wonderful chance to connect with colleagues and friends and although sworn to secrecy regarding details, I can tell you there will be unprecedented activity in the patio.
Our Opening Day program begins promptly at 8:15 a.m. in Foothill's Smithwick Theatre so that we can finish as advertised by 9:30 a.m.  We have a wonderful lineup of one- and two-hour workshops from 9:45 a.m. to noon this year with something for everyone. Complete descriptions of the workshops are available through the District Opening Day web page.  Please join me in thanking all of our presenters for being so generous with their time and expertise.
After a hosted lunch at noon on the Campus Center Plaza, department and divisions have scheduled meetings. These include a large number of joint districtwide department and division meetings – something we haven't done since the early 90's! Locations for the joint meetings can be found on the District Opening Day web pages. For questions about your individual college department and division meetings, please contact your college departments and/or divisions.
With wishes for a great year,
September 17, 2019

Concerns about Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Dear Colleagues,

While we do not expect Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to conduct enforcement activities on college and university campuses, we do want all employees to be aware of our protocols should there be any incidents. 

Under the Obama administration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued memos to ICE that arrests, interviews, searches, and surveillance should not generally focus on “sensitive locations,” including schools, university campuses, community centers, hospitals, and institutions of worship.  A DHS “Q&A” dated February 21, 2017 indicates that the “sensitive locations” guidance memos remain in effect. 

If an immigration officer seeks your consent to enter a classroom or office, or requests information or documents from you about a student or employee, please refer the officer to your President’s Office or the Chancellor’s Office if you report to Central Services (this includes the International Students Program and the Krause Center for Innovation.)

Thank you in advance for observing these procedures.  During this time of increased anxiety and uncertainty for our district and region, we stand for upholding civil rights without hesitation in accordance with district board policy and procedures.


July 8, 2019

 Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees Decision Regarding the Flint Center

Dear Colleagues,

Yesterday evening, after carefully considering the testimony of 38 student, faculty and public speakers, the Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees voted 4-1 to permanently close the Flint Center and initiate a plan to build a new facility that will better serve students, meet community needs for cultural venue and meeting space to the greatest extent possible, and provide an income stream. The board also directed staff to bring an action plan to the October 7, 2019, board meeting. The action plan will identify timelines and milestones leading to the preparation of multiple site development proposals for the board’s consideration by the end of calendar year 2020. Thereafter, staff will bring monthly progress reports to the board to allow for ongoing oversight and review of progress, including identification of potential funding sources.

We look forward to using the next year for gathering input from students, employees, and the public.  Thus far, it is clear that there is overwhelming support for a flexible space that could host district and community events beyond the capacity of De Anza’s Visual and Performing Arts Center (400 seats) and Foothill’s Smithwick Theatre (941 seats). This need will be a key component in initial conceptual designs.

We will continue updating the district website related to the Flint Center and have posted a link to the results of the Flint online survey as of June 10.  Shortly after the October 7 board meeting, we will hold a town hall meeting to discuss the action plan. Additionally, progress reports on the action plan will be a standing item for Chancellor’s Advisory Council.

Our students spoke eloquently at last night’s meeting, reminding us that they also are members of the larger community.  They called upon the board to work to meet the needs of all community members while giving priority to student success. 

Let me take this opportunity to express my gratitude for all the great work you do as manifested by these students and the many student accomplishments we are celebrating throughout the month. Thank you so much for your heartfelt contributions to our students’ success!

Warm regards,



June 11, 2019

 Input Needed on the Future of the Flint Center

Dear Colleagues, 

Our district is soliciting ideas from the communities in our service area about the future of the Flint Center at De Anza College by meeting with local officials and using a community comment form at We also want to hear from our employees and students.

A report on the Flint Center assessment study was presented to trustees May 6 as an information item, and the board will consider recommendations from the study for possible action on June 10. In the meantime, the district is seeking input from all interested parties.  

The assessment study identifies maintenance, repair, renovation, and replacement needs. The cost of fully addressing all the recommended structural, fire/life safety, and accessibility issues is estimated at a minimum of $49.6 million. The assessment resulted in a series of recommendations that can be summarized as three main options: 

(1) Renovate the Flint Center at a minimum cost of $49.6 million. Due to its age, the Flint Center requires significant maintenance and upgrades and does not conform to current accessibility standards. In addition to building maintenance needs such as a new roof, fire alarm system and structural strengthening, the district needs to meet accessibility requirements that include improvements such as the addition of a center row, restroom modifications and significant changes to paths of travel.

(2) Mothball the building at an estimated cost of $28,000/month.  Closing down the facility while making a determination about the building’s future carries a cost burden as facility systems will need to be regularly operated and the building’s condition evaluated on a scheduled basis. In addition, basic maintenance such as roof repair and painting would need to be completed in the event the decision was made to reopen the building.

(3) Tear down and replace the existing facility. Replacement ideas that have been suggested thus far by a variety of individuals and groups include:

  • Employee housing
  • Student housing
  • Daily rental units
  • A conference center with 1200-1500 seats
  • Event space that cannot currently be accommodated by Conference Rooms A&B in the Hinson Campus Center
  • Space for the De Anza Associated Student Body that would allow the repurposing of their current council chambers and student offices

The above list is neither exhaustive nor predictive of the board's final action. Should the board direct staff to explore the "tear down and replace" option, the district will seek extensive input from our internal and external stakeholders to shape proposals that satisfy multiple priorities. Additionally, the presentation of any specific proposals to the board would not necessarily result in adoption as evidenced by the Board of Trustees' rejection of housing/retail/office proposals related to the Flint Center garage renovations in 2015. 

Thank you for taking the time to offer ideas that could result in better service to our students and larger community!

Warmest regards,



May 23, 2019

New Executive Director of the Foothill-De Anza Colleges Foundation

Dear Colleagues,

I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Dennis Cima as executive director of the Foothill-De Anza Colleges Foundation.  

Many of you know Dennis, as he has been with the district for the past four years as director of development for De Anza College. In addition, he is currently serving with our wonderful assistant director Robin Latta as acting co-executive director of the Foundation.

As director of development, Dennis has worked collaboratively with many faculty, staff and administrators to advance the foundation’s work for our students, including identifying potential donors and developing long- and short-term strategies to reach them. He has created and written proposals, and fostered relationships with area organizations who have funded critical projects for veterans and the Food Bank. He has also done an exceptional job of stewarding gifts to De Anza College, including to Design and Manufacturing Technologies (DMT), EOPS, the History Department, and the Chemistry Department.  I am particularly grateful to him for his efforts with me over the past year to revitalize De Anza's connection with a number of donors who have always cared deeply about student success.

I first met Dennis through his work with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, for which he served as education and workforce development policy director, then vice president, and finally senior vice president. In addition to his policy work with regional corporations, he raised funds, including securing $600,000 over six years for a key Leadership Group teacher training program. Previously he worked as chief assistant to the superintendent of schools for the Santa Clara County Board of Education and as an aide to then-U.S. Rep Tom Campbell. Dennis holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Santa Clara University.

Dennis’ broad and deep experience in the region, with corporations, educators and donors, will be a great asset in his new role, as will his work in strategic planning and board development. He is himself a member of the NOVA Workforce Board and its executive committee. 

I want to thank the hiring committee for their work in forwarding to me four excellent candidates for the position. A cross-section of faculty, staff and administrators districtwide served on the committee, and we were deeply fortunate also to have the participation of four community members from the Foundation board of directors and the Foothill and De Anza commissions.

Please join me in welcoming Dennis to his new role, which will begin July 1.

Warmest regards,



May 9, 2019

 Join us on May 2!

Dear Colleagues,

This year Foothill-De Anza is saying farewell to a record number of retirees whose hundreds of years of collective service have left an incomparable legacy.

We are planning a districtwide celebration for them on May 2 from 2-4 p.m in Conference Rooms A&B at De Anza – the only place large enough for such a special gathering – so please save the date on your calendar now.   Details will follow.

Becky Bartindale is preparing a slideshow of retirees’ photos and welcomes your help.  Send your photos by April 25 to along with the name of the person who is retiring.  Before and after photos are particularly welcome!

Hoping to see you on May 2,



March 27, 2019

 Budget Reduction Summaries

Dear Colleagues,

The past two years have been incredibly painful as the colleges and district office have spent countless hours in developing and implementing plans to reduce our general fund by $17.6 million. We are nearly finished with reorganizations and employee transfers and can now share the lists of budget reductions from Central Services, Foothill, and De Anza.  Please click the link below to access the district web page with this information.

Sincerest thanks to all of you who participated in the governance deliberations that helped us come together to reach consensus on these difficult choices. The downsizing will leave us with regrettable gaps in personnel who provide valuable programs and services, and part-time faculty have been particularly burdened by our unfortunate need to reduce course sections. 

In the coming weeks, we will share projections on the ending balance for 2018-19 and the initial budget estimates for 2019-20.  We also will engage in districtwide discussions of enrollment management strategies that support what we  proudly declare in our district mission statement:

“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.”

As we tackle the challenges before us, I take comfort in knowing that it is my privilege and good fortune to be working with all of you.

Warmest regards,



March 24, 2019

 Intention to Transition from At-Large to Trustee-Area Based Elections in November 2022

Dear Colleagues,

I want to share a sudden development that will affect how the Board of Trustees will be elected beginning with the November 8, 2022 election. 

On Jan. 30, the district received a draft lawsuit from an attorney asserting that the district’s at-large election system violates the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA.). The legal bar is extremely low for establishing a CVRA violation. It requires a showing that either racially polarized voting occurs in the district’s trustee elections or that it occurs in other candidate or ballot measure elections that involve voters residing within the district’s jurisdiction.

The district would likely incur prohibitively expensive legal costs by defending against these charges. It also would have little chance of prevailing in court as no government agency has successfully defended against a CVRA lawsuit and those that tried have faced substantial judgments in addition to their own legal costs. 

While we do not believe that our Boards of Trustees have been the product of racially polarized voting, neither do we believe that that we should contest a law whose aim is to right wrongs where they have actually occurred.  Consequently, at next Monday’s meeting, the Board of Trustees will review a resolution of intent to switch from an at-large election system the district has relied upon since its founding to election by trustee area beginning in 2022.  A vote on the resolution will be scheduled for the March 11 board meeting.

If this resolution is adopted within the 45-day window that began with receipt of the attorney’s letter on Jan. 30, the CVRA claimant will take no further legal action against the district.  Acting within this timeframe also means:

  • the district has more control over the transition to by-district elections, rather than having a court directed process;
  • the CVRA attorney’s pre-litigation costs are capped at approximately $30,000;
  • area elections will begin in 2022, limiting the costs of demographer services to post 2020 census results.

Pending board adoption of the resolution on March 11, we will commit to a highly inclusive process and ethical outcome that meet the spirit and letter of the law.  In the coming months, we will develop a timeline with the required tasks to be accomplished by April 22, 2022.  We look forward to your participation in open forums with the community that will be held in various locations throughout the district and we’ll track our activities on the district website.

Warmest regards,



March 1, 2019

 Suspension of Programming in the Flint Center from July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Our Board of Trustees made the extremely difficult decision last night to suspend programming in the Flint Center for the Performing Arts from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020, as we await a comprehensive assessment of the theater’s condition, including its structural safety in the event of a major earthquake. 

As several board members said during last night’s discussion, there are no good options. Had we allowed rentals to go forward for 2019-20, the district could face substantial legal and financial risks resulting from an unplanned closure of the building if significant safety concerns came to light when the assessment report is completed in early spring. This would almost certainly result in costly breach of contract lawsuits by organizations whose schedules would be disrupted.

Concern about the Flint Center’s condition dates back to a 2014 assessment that identified several structural issues. These included points of potential failure that could impede quick egress after an earthquake, water ponding on the roof, exposed rebar, and cracks in the concrete. That same year, our attention was drawn to seismic safety issues at the Flint Center parking garage. Since the Flint Center assessment reported a generally safe condition, the district delayed a more detailed assessment until a later time.

With the parking garage behind us, this fall the board requested a comprehensive evaluation of the Flint Center’s structural safety and renovation needs. That study will not be completed earlier than April, which is well beyond the booking window for fiscal year 2019-20. Ultimately, the board voted 4-1 to suspend programming in the interest of safety, and is prepared to close Flint Center earlier than July 1, 2019, should the upcoming report indicate major risks.  

Community members who testified at the board meeting expressed concern regarding the reopening of the Flint and its possible replacement by other buildings such as international student housing. I gave my public assurance that there is no such plan underway and that I also do not support the De Anza College 2016 Facilities Master Plan proposal to replace the Flint with classrooms. Future building projects in our district must consider current enrollment projections and the community priorities that surfaced in our outreach efforts in 2017-18. We have much work ahead of us to meaningfully engage both internal and external stakeholders in facilities master planning for both colleges.

We anticipate bringing the Flint assessment to the May board meeting for a public discussion of its ramifications. The year-long suspension of scheduling is regrettable and our board truly struggled with one of the most difficult decisions in our district’s history. 




February 5, 2019 

Down Payment Assistance for First-Time Homebuyers - Information Meeting Jan. 16 at De Anza

Dear Colleagues, 

Earlier this quarter, I shared news about Empower Homebuyers, a new down payment assistance loan program for first-time homebuyers in Santa Clara County. If you would like more information, please join us on Jan. 16 from 6-8 p.m. at De Anza's Visual & Performing Arts Center (VPAC).  Because housing is not a challenge unique to our district, we've invited employees from some of our neighboring school districts and cities to also join us. 

Presenters from the Housing Trust Silicon Valley and the county will explain this and other homebuyer assistance programs and answer your questions. Details and reservation information are provided in the attached flier.

Highlights of Empower Homebuyers include: 

  • Assists with the down payment on home purchases of up to $800,000 in Santa Clara County for first-time buyers 
  • Covers up to 17 percent of the purchase price (or up to $136,000) on a 30-year deferred loan
  • Requires no monthly principal and interest payments on the down payment assistance loan  
  • Repayment is deferred until the down payment assistance loan reaches its maturity date, the home is sold, the mortgage is refinanced, or the owner no longer occupies the home.
  • Under the program’s income eligibility guidelines, a family of four could earn up to $150,000 annually and a single person could earn up to $105,000 annually  

I do hope the session is helpful and leads to some new homeowners among us!  

Warm regards,



December 12, 2018

Board Action on Supplemental Retirement Plan

Dear Colleagues,

I write this during the December 10 Board of Trustees meeting, and I’m very pleased to report that the Board has just voted unanimously to approve the supplementary retirement plan (SRP) for all qualifying applicants. Trustees indicated from the outset that they would support the SRP to preserve jobs for as many district employees as possible if an analysis showed no negative budget impact. As projected, this is a crucial step in substantially reducing the number of layoffs the district must make and will result in a one-time savings of approximately $423,000 over six years.

Of the 400 eligible employees, 88 are taking advantage of the SRP, as follows:

SRP category


De Anza

Central Services












These retirements will create some yet-undetermined number of vacant positions that will be retained and opened for 2019-20. More detail about the status of these vacancies will be available in January.  

Organizing and analyzing the SRP was a complex and time-consuming process done in a compressed time frame. I want to express my appreciation to the Human Resources and Business Services personnel who managed to bring the proposal to fruition in the midst of a myriad of competing priorities, and to the classified and faculty union representatives who partnered to resolve pending questions and assisted with communication to their members. My thanks also go to administrators, supervisors, and others who helped facilitate the process in a variety of ways including making it possible for interested employees to attend workshops and meetings about the SRP.

One of my tasks was to sign the paperwork of each employee who accepted the SRP. It was a highly emotional experience to see such a large number of longtime friends and colleagues who will be retiring. I am deeply grateful for the work they have done on behalf of our students and the legacy of excellence that they leave behind. We are a better district for them having been here.

Much work still lies ahead, but ultimately the path is somewhat less painful thanks to members of our Board of Trustees who thoughtfully weighed numerous scenarios. Please join me in thanking them for tonight’s vote.

Warmest regards,



December 10, 2018

Foothill-De Anza Chief of Police

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Danny Acosta as the chief of police for the Foothill-De Anza Community College District!

I thank the search committee for forwarding three excellent candidates and send an equally heartfelt thank you to all who watched the forums and submitted thoughtful comments. Your input was invaluable in surfacing the districtwide desire for building on retiring Chief Levine’s strong foundation of community policing and leveraging the relationships and partnerships that are unique to Danny’s history with our district and the larger community. 

Danny is fluent in Spanish as the son of Mexican immigrants and grew up in a low-income neighborhood. His personal story as a first-generation college student will undoubtedly resonate with a great many of our students, for whom he will be a role model. Stationed at De Anza since he was appointed assistant police chief in 2014, Danny quickly became a visible and welcome presence through frequent attendance and participation in campus events and committees.

Danny has worked in law enforcement for more than 33 years. Before joining the Foothill-De Anza Police Department, he spent 29 years with the San Jose Police Department. He served in a variety of capacities and attained the rank of lieutenant. At SJPD he commanded an auto theft task force and patrol operations, supervised the training of new recruits, conducted internal affairs investigations, developed a gaming control division, and supervised the vice unit and patrol operations. 

Danny has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from San Jose State University and minored in Mexican American studies. He has served for many years as a certified instructor for the San Jose Police Academy and the academy of the South Bay Regional Public Safety Training Consortium.

He currently sits on the board of the Shop with a Cop Silicon Valley Foundation and previously served on the Santa Clara County Mental Health Advisory Board. He completed the city of San Jose’s community leadership training program in 2014 and has worked as a volunteer with a variety of programs including the Special Olympics, Puente, ASPIRE, and the Role Model Program founded by former San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales.

Please join me in congratulating and thanking Danny for taking on this leadership position!

Warmest regards,



December 2, 2018

Reopening Foothill-De Anza

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for your patience and understanding over the past five days as we’ve made decisions regarding the closure and reopening of our colleges and district offices. Although we are returning to business as usual on Tuesday, Nov. 20, we understand that some individuals may have health conditions that require a return to work or classes at a later date. Anyone struggling with the health impacts of the wildfires has our sympathy and support. 

Health and safety issues can be particularly challenging to navigate, and we hope to identify lessons learned to prepare us for emergency situations we may face in the future.  On Dec. 7 at 3 p.m. in the Toyon Room, Chancellor’s Advisory Council will debrief our response so I encourage you to provide feedback to your constituency representatives as to how we might do better.

As we approach Thanksgiving, I want to extend my heartiest wishes for you and yours to enjoy a safe and loving respite.  Foothill-De Anza is a truly remarkable district with a well-deserved reputation for persisting through the toughest of times with caring, dedication, and creativity.  We are a family with its share of disagreement and drama but a family that does rise to the occasion on behalf of the students whose success is our individual and collective life’s work.

Warmest regards,



November 19, 2018

 Special Message from Chancellor Oakley

Dear Members of the Foothill-De Anza Family,

Please see the message below from Chancellor Oakley on behalf of our fellow community college students, faculty, and staff who have suffered horrific losses as a result of the fires in California.  There is a link that takes you to a web page where you can donate to a general statewide fund for affected community colleges and/or donate to specific colleges.  

Thanking you in advance for whatever you can give during this tragic time,


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

The past few days have brought incredible pain and tragedy to our state, and several of our colleges have been severely impacted.

In Northern California the Camp Fire essentially destroyed the town of Paradise just north of Butte College, which was almost lost but for the heroic response by the firefighters who defended it as fire surrounded three sides of the campus. The devastation and loss of life is heart sickening and affect many students, faculty and staff. 

The Hill and Woolsey fires in Southern California also continue to burn, with additional loss of life and destruction. The inferno came just hours after a mass shooting at a nearby popular college hangout in Thousand Oaks. Among the 12 people killed were Moorpark College student Noel Sparks, 21, and Ventura College student Blake Dingman, also 21. Former Moorpark College student, Telemachus Orfanos, 27, also was slain.

As always, our community colleges continue to serve as centers of hope and strength, even as adversity bears down on them. They become emergency shelters and service providers for people and animals who fled the flames and as staging areas for first responders. The response and recovery for the communities will be a long and difficult process, and it is one that I ask all of you to join in supporting.

Working with the state Chancellor’s Office and affected colleges, the Foundation for California Community Colleges has linked to local college giving opportunities and created a state-wide relief fund that can be accessed at Funds raised will help community college students replace critical supplies like laptops, cell phones, books, backpacks and other essential materials in order to continue their education. Staff and faculty who have lost their homes will also be eligible for relief funds. Funds will be distributed through local community college foundations.

Eloy Ortiz Oakley

California Community Colleges Chancellor

November 14, 2018

 Update on Vice Chancellor of Business Services Search

Dear Colleagues,

As you learned from Vice Chancellor Dorene Novotny on Tuesday, the first round of interviews for the vice chancellor of Business Services position did not yield a sufficient number of finalists for us to proceed with the scheduled open forums. I had hoped for a minimum of two finalists so that there could be points of comparison for districtwide assessment and input. I also believe that it is in the best interest of a successful candidate for an executive position to be viewed as having gone through a process that is both transparent and competitive.

The good news is that after concluding a comprehensive process, the search committee forwarded Susan Cheu, vice president of Administrative Services at De Anza College, as a finalist.  Therefore, based on the committee’s recommendation, I have requested that Susan serve as vice chancellor on an interim basis effective Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2019.  Securing a 12-month interim appointment provides the district with coverage in this key position and allows us to focus on the important next steps during a critical period of budget reductions.

The permanent position of vice chancellor remains open and additional recruitment is currently planned through summer 2019.  We anticipate that the selection process will conclude in fall 2019 and that the successful candidate will start on or before Jan. 1, 2020.

I am delighted to have Susan join the executive team and invite you to join me in thanking her for taking on this challenging assignment!  Her profile is attached so that you might see the background and some career accomplishments that have prepared her to serve our district at this time of dramatic change. 

Warm regards,



November 8, 2018

First-Time Home Buyer Assistance

Dear Colleagues,

I wanted to let you know about a new first-time home buyer assistance program that is just getting underway in Santa Clara County. The initial outreach is aimed at people who work in public education, government, health care, and for non-profit organizations.

The Empower Homebuyers down payment assistance program is funded by Measure A, the $950 million affordable housing bond that the county’s voters approved in 2016. The bond is being used not only to build affordable housing developments for low-income households but to create rental and ownership opportunities for first-time buyers of moderate means.  

The new county program will help with down payments on home purchases in Santa Clara County of up to $800,000, paying 17 percent (or up to $136,000) of the purchase price on a 30-year loan. No monthly principal and interest payments are required. Payment is deferred until your loan reaches its maturity date, you decide to sell your home, you refinance your mortgage, or you no longer occupy the home. Under the program’s income eligibility guidelines, a family of four could earn up to $150,000 annually and a single person up to $105,000 a year. 

Although we live in the land of million-dollar housing, the county Office of Supportive Housing reported that during the week of October 22, 2018, there were about 500 properties on the market in Santa Clara County with an asking price of $800,000 or less; many are condominiums.

Empower Homebuyers is being administered by the Housing Trust of Silicon Valley and is likely to generate a great deal of interest. If it looks like something that could be useful to you, I urge you to read more and take whatever preparatory steps are needed to participate:

Empower Homebuyers (down payment assistance program)

We have approached the county about holding an informational meeting about this program at one of the campuses. But you can get started now by gathering information such as how to qualify for a pre-approved home loan, which will be a key component of program eligibility. The application process for the Empower Homebuyers program is expected to begin after the Nov. 6 elections. 

Our Board of Trustees is extremely supportive of assisting faculty and staff with their housing needs, and I will provide updates as we pursue various avenues. 

Warm regards,



October 30, 2018

 Welcome to Fall 2018

Dear Colleagues,
I am so excited about seeing you at District Opening Day on September 20 and the College Opening Days on September 21! As a reminder, our plenary session begins promptly at 8:15 and you are invited to find a seat by 8:10 to watch a wonderful video featuring a song written by Foothill’s Becki Di Gregorio and “performances” by numerous familiar faces throughout the district.  
We have a wonderful program of workshops thanks to our colleagues who took the time to create offerings that will inform and inspire. Applied equity continues as our theme for the 10 workshop descriptions available here:
And the 9 general workshop descriptions are available here:
I particularly want to invite our classified professionals and administrators to consider some of the workshops offered by faculty that address issues with broad relevance to all of us inside and outside the classroom. 
Fall FTES as of September 17 is 5 percent below last year’s comparable registration date.  Although enrollment reports reflect a continued decline, please be assured that everyone’s efforts to shore up enrollment have made a significant difference in productivity which is up by more than 7 percent. Many thanks to all of you who have redoubled your efforts to create a welcoming environment, led innovation in programs and services, and volunteered countless hours to activities in support of governance, hiring, professional development, student life, and community engagement.  
Softening the blow of enrollment decline is the hold harmless provision of the new funding formula, which offers us a much appreciated safety net this year. Our stated goal of increasing productivity by 4 percent or more this year more will also help stabilize our budgets and current Fall enrollments lead to a cautious optimism.  Vice Chancellor of Business Services Kevin McElroy will provide us with further updates during budget town halls throughout Fall Quarter and will share enrollment estimates after census on October 8.  Please watch for further information regarding the town hall meeting dates in a future communication. 
For information on our current budget projections and reduction strategies, please see the backup documents from the August 27 Board of Trustees Study Session and meeting at 
Vice Chancellor McElroy, President Thuy Nguyen, and Interim President Christina Espinosa-Pieb provided detailed presentations regarding the status of our budget and ongoing campus reduction planning for the coming year.  
Despite the anticipated hold harmless provision staying in place  through 2020-2021, rebuilding enrollment remains among our most urgent priorities.  Please know how much I appreciate all your efforts and can-do attitude.  We are a district committed to continuous improvement with a history of adapting to changed circumstances in our ongoing pursuit of equity, excellence, and innovation.  We will be successful because of you! 
Let me close with some great news regarding efforts to secure external funds for a number of projects. At De Anza, Christina and Trustee Pearl Cheng re-engaged a donor whose renewed interest in the college led to a three-year commitment for a total of $300,000 in support of the De Anza food pantry, chemistry program, and scholarships for students to participate in the trip to the Ashland Shakespeare Festival.  At Foothill, Thuy secured a three-year commitment from County Supervisor Joe Simitian for a total of $300,000 for Early College Promise that will increase assistance for textbooks and instructional materials.  At Central Services, I was approached by an anonymous donor who recalled numerous stories I shared about our faculty’s dedication and creativity and Foothill-De Anza will now receive $100,000 for a Chancellor’s Award for Faculty Excellence.  The first awards of $7,000 each to one faculty member from Foothill and one from De Anza will be made in Spring 2019 and details regarding eligibility and the selection process will be posted to the district website before the end of October.  
I look forward to seeing you on District Opening Day, College Opening Days, and throughout the year.  If you are a new employee that I have not yet met, please introduce yourself so that I can add my welcome to our phenomenal team that is Foothill-De Anza!
Warmest regards,
September 18, 2018

 Postponement of Bond Measure

Dear Colleagues,

Following a discussion last night with the Board of Trustees, the district has decided to postpone its effort to place a bond measure on the November 2018 ballot. 

A campaign for a ballot measure is a major undertaking. It requires extensive fundraising and volunteer time during non-work hours and an intensive, unified focus by administrators, faculty, staff, and students. While we had excellent initial polling results and positive reaction to our “Join the Conversation” community outreach this spring, these indicators are no guarantee of success at the polls.

Several factors contributed to postponement of the measure.

Foremost is that we have not yet stabilized enrollment and will be in the midst of an unprecedented number of position eliminations that could lead to an opposition campaign based on misinformation. In addition, recent labor negotiations tensions and uncertainty about the district’s future funding have created a volatile environment that is at odds with the sustained, committed effort needed to mount a successful campaign. 

The convergence of these unfortunate circumstances is unusual in our history and I do not expect it to remain this way indefinitely. We will continue to assess the situation and look for a more opportune time to engage with district voters which could be as early as 2020.

I am extremely heartened by the number of people who took the time to give us feedback about their educational priorities and who underscored the importance of Foothill and De Anza to local families. Some 1,300 area residents completed our “Join the Conversation” survey; dozens of community organizations hosted presentations made by campus and district administrators; and scores of local leaders participated in one-on-one conversations with our Trustees. This form of outreach will continue into the future so that we might highlight the outstanding programs and services of particular interest to our diverse constituents. These connections strengthen the district’s standing in the community and provide a framework for moving forward in the future.

Many thanks to those of you who completed our survey and helped to prioritize capital needs in light of polling results.  Your time and energy are greatly appreciated as we navigate these difficult times.

Warm regards,



July 11, 2018

 End of FA Work to Contract

Dear Colleagues,

I am beyond thrilled to forward the email below from Kathy Perino and Dorene Novotny!  Stay tuned for more details. 

Warmest regards,


From: Dorene Novotny
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 3:34 PM
To: Judy Miner
Cc: Kathy Perino
Subject: District and FA Reach Tentative Agreement

As the lead negotiators for the District and FA, respectively, we are happy to notify you that the District and FA have reached resolution on the matter of Compensation for the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 years. While all the details are yet to be finalized, both parties are pleased with the outcome and FA has acted to end the Work to Contract action effective immediately. 

Dorene Novotny and Kathy Perino 

June 20, 2018

 Update on State Budget and Negotiations on Compensation

Dear Colleagues,

I want to update you on the status of the state budget and what this means for our ongoing conversations regarding employee compensation.

As reported in my last message to you, volatility in the state budget process over the new funding formula for community colleges made it impossible for the district to predict with confidence the amount of revenue it would receive for 2018-19. However, the budget agreements reached on June 8 between the governor and state legislative leaders have now provided a clearer picture of how much state funding we can expect for 2018-19.

The district has repeatedly communicated its willingness to discuss compensation increases once it had reliable 2018-19 budget information from the state. Although not final until the governor signs his approval, the agreements announced June 8 in Sacramento provide the district with that more reliable budget information for which it has been waiting. As a result, the board will hold a special closed session on June 18 to give direction on negotiations for all units, which is also timely for the previously scheduled session with the Faculty Association on June 20. This means we can continue the conversation about compensation in a more concrete way with union and association representatives.  

The district has always held a shared interest regarding compensation and a deep appreciation for the employees of this district. During Monday night’s board meeting President Bruce Swenson read a statement from the board expressing trustees’ high regard and respect for the outstanding work of district employees and a desire to support fair and competitive compensation despite the district’s ongoing enrollment-driven budget difficulties. I encourage you to read the board's statement at:$file/061118_BoardStatement.pdf

In addition, Vice Chancellor Kevin McElroy delivered preliminary budget projections based on the new funding formula and other aspects of last week’s state budget agreements. You can find those projections on pages 15-16 of his tentative budget presentation at:$file/Updated_2018-19_Tentative_Budget_Slides_Presented061118.pdf

Because state funding for 2018-19 was not settled in time for us to build these new assumptions into our budget, the district's tentative budget is based on the state funding formula that has been in place. All changes resulting from the new state funding formula and other budget agreements will be incorporated in time for the board’s August budget hearing and final budget adoption in September.

I am truly optimistic that we will be able to move forward in a way that reflects the shared interests of the board, administration, faculty, classified professionals, and students and build upon the mutual trust and passion for students that is a hallmark of our district. While I have been dismayed by inaccurate information that has circulated in the past few weeks, which has increased tensions at a particularly challenging time, I have an abiding faith in our collective professionalism. Our history as a district demonstrates that we can and will resolve our current differences in a productive and amicable manner.

I welcome your continued input on how we might improve. it is important that we all have a shared, accurate understanding not only about the district's budget picture but about the vital issues affecting our ability to serve students and continue to build upon this incredible institution, the Foothill-De Anza Community College District.

In gratitude for your dedication to students,



June 13, 2018

 Faculty Association Work to Contract

Dear Colleagues:

The Faculty Association (FA) has voted to work to contract effective today, May 21. They have done so because they believe the Foothill-De Anza Community College District is being unreasonable by not providing faculty with a one-time payment of 1.56 percent of salary, which is equal to the cost of living adjustment (COLA) that was received from the state for 2017-2018. The COLA received was $2.3 million, and the faculty asked for $1.2 million. At first glance, it would appear that the District should have no difficulty granting the request without delay. Unfortunately, the $2.3 million received was insufficient to fully fund increases that already existed prior to any additional salary payments being added in, such as:

  • state mandated employer contribution rates for CalSTRS and CalPERS;
  • automatic employee salary step and negotiated column advancement included in current collective bargaining agreements;
  • automatic regulatory benefit contributions in Social Security, Medicare, and retirement; and
  • other operational costs such as service contracts and utilities.

 The District started the 2017-2018 fiscal year with a $10.3 million structural deficit in the adopted budget, which was balanced with reserves to allow time for planning for reductions through the participatory governance process. The District is now projecting an additional loss of $7.6 million in state apportionment funding in 2018-2019 because of declining enrollment. For a more detailed explanation of the current budget situation and the District’s analysis, please see:

The District has offered to discuss both one-time and ongoing compensation increases once the state has passed the 2018-2019 budget, which is expected on or before June 30. In the meantime, there is much volatility in state budget negotiations as evidenced by the Senate budget education finance subcommittee’s rejection last Wednesday of the governor’s proposal for a new funding formula.   Should the Senate prevail, the District may need to dramatically revise its current budget forecast.

The painful process of downsizing programs and services continues as we all participate in the multiyear plan to eliminate the structural deficit. We look forward to our enrollment stabilizing, but since the timing is uncertain, we must stay the course and implement reductions over the next year and a half.

In the weeks to come, I hope I can look back and say that although this was the most difficult message I had to send in my entire career, we were ultimately able to find common ground. I will do my very best to make it so.

With appreciation for one and all,



May 21, 2018

 Interim President of De Anza College

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that I announce the selection of Christina Espinosa-Pieb as the De Anza College interim president starting July 1, 2018! Christina has worked at De Anza for almost 40 years, rising from volunteer to student employee to classified professional to dean to her current position as vice president of instruction. 

Christina initially came to De Anza College as a community volunteer, working with disabled students. Her employment with the district began a few months later, in 1980, as a student employee.

Over the next 18 years she worked in a variety of increasingly responsible positions – including administrative assistant, lead affirmative action representative and coordinator of Disability Support Programs and Services – before becoming dean of academic services in 1999. In the dean’s position she oversaw the Office of Diversity and the Office of Staff and Organizational Development, coordinated enrollment management activities, managed Learning in Communities and Honors programs, led the tenure review process, and served as the college’s accreditation liaison officer.

During a leadership transition in 2003-04, she served as acting vice president of instruction before resuming her work as dean. In 2008, she was selected for the permanent vice president of instruction position. 

As vice president of instruction, Christina leads the college’s nine instructional divisions, which educate about 20,000 students each fall. She plays a central role in the hiring and evaluation of faculty and has been a strong voice for equity and diversity in hiring throughout her career at De Anza. The vice president of instruction oversees an annual budget of $80 million and represents the college in negotiations with the faculty association. Christina also leads the college’s enrollment management efforts, and participates in many shared governance activities districtwide. She is the district’s representative to the League for Innovation in the Community College.

Her story is one of determination, hard work, and a desire to help others realize their potential and succeed. Christina realized the benefits of a De Anza College education firsthand. She took classes at night while working full time, which ultimately led to her career in higher education.

Her initial goal in taking classes was to become a secretary in the college’s Disabled Student Services Program. By the time she accomplished that goal, she’d become a devoted lifelong learner. She went on to earn a bachelor’s of science degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix, then a master’s degree in international and multicultural education from the University of San Francisco, both while working full time. She has completed all but her dissertation in Walden University’s doctorate program in community leadership.

Informed by the variety of positions she has held at De Anza, Christina is a strong advocate for the integration of instruction and student services to support student success and retention. She also taught a course at the college, Women of Color in the U.S.A., for several years.

Christina grew up in Corning, a small town near Chico, CA, with her parents and seven siblings in a three-bedroom, one-bath home. In these circumstances, she said, “communication and respect for others was an absolute necessity each day.” As child number six, Christina attributes her people skills, strong work ethic and love of multi-tasking to her upbringing.

She is a longtime resident of Cupertino where she is a member of the Rotary Club of Cupertino and lives close to the college with her husband. Her two adult children graduated from De Anza College and transferred to the University of Southern California and the University of California, Berkeley.

Christina will serve in the interim president role through December 31, 2019. In Winter of 2019, the district will begin a nationwide search to fill the permanent position. The interim president position was open only to candidates currently employed by the district. Familiarity with Foothill-De Anza combined with an 18-month interim term will provide stability and continuity at a time of transition and budget challenges. 

In closing, I want to thank the outstanding selection committee of Melissa Aguilar, Susan Cheu, Mayra Cruz, Khaled Haq, Lydia Hearn, Karen Hunter, Elias Kamal, Lisa Markus, Lorna Maynard, Kevin McElroy, Rob Mieso, Anita Muthyala-Kandula, Thuy Nguyen, Dorene Novotny, Teresa Ong, Lorrie Ranck, and Marisa Spatafore.  They were thorough, thoughtful, and efficient, and I greatly appreciate their invaluable insights and perspectives.

Please join me in congratulating Christina and thanking her for assuming this important leadership role!

Warmest regards,



May 15, 2018

 Business Process Alignment Task Force

Dear Colleagues,  

On the recommendation of the Chancellor's Advisory Committee, I have chartered the Business Process Alignment Task Force (BPATF). This group will be convened by Vice Chancellors Joe Moreau and Kevin McElroy. The purpose of this group is to explore opportunities to align business processes, operational policies, schedules, and other procedures within the colleges and Central Services to improve opportunities for students, reduce workload for faculty and staff, and reduce costs for the district.  

The BPATF will articulate opportunities for alignment and forward those recommendations to impacted departments and support units for a viability and implementation assessment. Impacted departments and support units will inform the BPATF regarding how an alignment might be implemented and the associated time frame for doing so. The BPATF will make implementation recommendations to the Chancellor's Advisory Council for consideration and approval. 

The BPATF has established a collaboration group on Yammer in our Office365 environment to collect input from all stakeholders and keep our district community apprised of its progress. This BPATF Yammer site is open to any FHDA stakeholder who is interested. You will find the official charter for this group and the membership roster on Yammer. Click here for more information.

I encourage you to submit ideas you may have for aligning the many things we do throughout the district. I am confident the BPATF members be open to any promising suggestion. In these challenging budget times, we need the best thinking of all of you to assure we can continue to fulfill our mission with diminished resources. Hopefully, your ideas can help us identify ways in which we can increase our enrollment and subsequently improve our budget. 

Let me end by thanking Joe, Kevin, and all our colleagues who have volunteered to serve on this task force: we appreciate your efforts immensely!  

Warmest regards,



May 10, 2018

 President Murphy's Retirement

Dear Colleagues,

On April 9, an email from De Anza College President Brian Murphy announced his plans to retire this summer after 14 years dedicated to student equity and social justice.  I want to tell you about next steps for a presidential search and thank Brian for a number of significant accomplishments that are part of his legacy:

  • Greater diversity in the student body, faculty, and staff to better reflect the populations De Anza strives to recruit and serve.
  • Establishment of new learning communities such as First Year Experience, Impact AAPI,  Men of Color Community, and LEAD (Latino/a Empowerment at De Anza), which research has shown to improve retention and completion rates of underrepresented students.
  • Award of a multi-million dollar federal grant as an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) that allowed significant expansion of support services.
  • Creation of the Institute for Community and Civic Engagement, later renamed the Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action (VIDA), which helps De Anza students become community leaders and active participants in a democratic society.  Programs include California Campus Camp, which provides training in grassroots politics and organizing; the Public Policy School, co-sponsored with the Political Science Department to give students first-hand experience in legislative advocacy; HEFAS, which offers peer support for undocumented students; and Community Service Learning, which coordinates student learning opportunities with off-campus service organizations.
  • Co-founding The Democracy Commitment, a national coalition that fosters civic engagement programs at 200 community college campuses with a combined enrollment of more than 2.3 million students in 27 states.
  • Enhancement of De Anza’s reputation regionally, nationally, and internationally as the result of board service, publications, and presentations from Stanford to the White House and from Sacramento to Rome. 

Bravo, Brian!

Next Steps

Brian’s imminent departure requires us to immediately organize an interim president search process.  The following timeline has been established:

HR Posts Job Announcement Interim Monday, April 16, 2018
End Job Announcement Interim Thursday, May 3, 2018

Search Committee Reviews and Ratifies Draft Interview Questions

Reviews and Selects Candidates for Interview

Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Search Committee Interviews and Recommends Interim Monday, May 14, 2018
Chancellor Makes Final Decision and Announces Interim Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Interim Serves July 1, 2018-December 31, 2019

The De Anza Academic Senate, Classified Senate, and Student Body have each been asked to select three representatives to serve on the search committee.  Please contact your respective leaders regarding their processes for selection of representatives.

Note that the interim president will serve for one and half years rather than a single year.  Because we are planning implementation of layoffs as of July 1, 2019, we would like district and college operations to stabilize after such deep cuts before a new president takes office.  Details on the search process for the permanent president will be available later this year.

Thank you for your understanding of the urgency with which we must proceed if we are to transition the top leadership of De Anza as seamlessly as possible.  Despite the budget challenges we face, I am confident that we have the requisite talent to move forward successfully.

Warmest regards,



April 11, 2018

 Update on "Join the Conversation"

Dear Colleagues,

I am greatly looking forward to our students’ return on Monday and will begin my day by walking around De Anza to assist students in any way I can.  You just might find me at the Campus Center coffee stand around 8 a.m., and if you do, please let me treat you to coffee or tea!  I have a similar walk-around planned for Foothill on Wednesday and will be visiting the breezeway KJ’s around 8 a.m. to treat those of you who can drop by there!

It is a profound honor to lead a district that values diversity, the empowerment of all staff and students regardless of background or gender, and the excellent educational opportunities our district offers. I truly welcome the opportunity to hear directly from you on any topic, whether campus safety, quality work environments, or how we express leadership in these critical times.

Earlier this year, I updated you about the potential for an educational facilities bond in 2018 to address the district’s ongoing need to maintain and upgrade classrooms, technology, labs, and facilities.  As you may recall, a facilities bond would require voter approval of only 55 percent, yet 77 percent of respondents in a fall survey of likely voters were willing to support a bond this November.  While the initial polling conveyed the community’s strong support of the colleges, we felt it was important to solicit additional input on educational priorities from community leaders, the public, and all of you. 

Initial feedback from the Join the Conversation public outreach effort has been overwhelmingly positive and affirms the community’s view of the excellent work all of you are doing to maintain quality education locally. We are now preparing to take these efforts to the next level by disseminating an informational piece to all households within the district designed to reach further into the constituencies we serve.

Over the past few months, I have had many conversations with faculty, staff and administrators about our vision and path forward. One question out of many I’ve received is whether a parcel tax also plays a role in our planning.

Many of you will recall the 2012 election when the district was unsuccessful in passing a parcel tax which requires approval of 66.67 percent of voters.  While we have not ruled out another attempt, we owe it to our campus community to ensure that any such effort is successful.  To this end, I have been advised that higher turnout presidential elections (as opposed to 2018’s lower turnout gubernatorial election) tend to provide better opportunities for measures requiring approval of two-thirds of voters. Thus, 2020 or later appears to be a more opportune time to consider a parcel tax measure.

These are among the considerations we will weigh in moving forward. It’s important to me that you know we are working hard to position the district for success and that our goal is to sustain and support students, faculty and staff as well as the excellent standard of education our communities expect.

Hope to see you next week for coffee!

Warm regards, 



April 5, 2018 


 The Importance of Conversation: Locally and Nationally

Dear Colleagues,


Last month I reported that our Board of Trustees directed staff 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.  The district had conducted a survey in late 2017 and voters expressed the greatest interest in our pursuing priorities such as:

  • 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

Tonight I will be speaking to the board of trustees of the Mountain View-Whisman School District about our colleges’ accomplishments in the aforementioned areas and our commitment to achieve even more in the years to come. I will invite board members and people in the audience to take the same survey I’m inviting you to take, which will help us further refine our priorities as we plan for the future.

You can find a link to the survey here so that you might “Join the Conversation.”  Please complete the survey at your earliest convenience and thanks to those who found the site on their own and responded!


February 11-14 was the National Legislative Summit in Washington, DC, organized by the Association of Community College Trustees.  In attendance were Trustees Laura Casas and Gilbert Wong, President Thuy Thi Nguyen, and myself.

We had opportunities to meet with Representatives Zoe Lofgren, Anna Eshoo, Ro Khanna, Eric Swalwell, and education staff in the offices of Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, and Representative Jeff Denham.  We found unwavering support for our advocacy of DACA, low interest student loans, forgiveness of loans for public service, and increased funding for career technical education and local workforce investment boards, such as NOVA. We also voiced our opposition to the risk sharing model that would hold institutions liable for repayment of federal financial aid in certain instances of student withdrawal from classes.

Everyone with whom we met, expressed their gratitude for the incredible work you do.  Our Foothill-De Anza delegation took great pride in telling stories of students, faculty, and staff who exemplify excellence, equity, inclusion, innovation, creativity, and grit!  It is our privilege to represent you and our students and we will be tireless in our advocacy for the values we hold so dear.

Warmest regards,



February 15, 2018


 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 a series 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, 2018

 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, 2018



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