Video of the death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of Memphis police officers is scheduled for release today, and I am bracing for our collective outrage, grief, and anguish at the cruelty perpetrated against this young Black man and the reopening of wounds not yet healed. The fact that the officers involved have been fired and are being charged with murder does little to ease pain that has built up from centuries of injustice and does nothing to bring back Tyre Nichols.
Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis called the officers’ actions “heinous, reckless, and inhumane.” Foothill-De Anza Police Chief Daniel Acosta made the following statement:
We are disheartened and disturbed at what we have observed in Memphis. I wholeheartedly support Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis in her words and actions. These former police officers have no business in this profession. The violence and behavior are inexcusable and go against the tremendous work and service of building trust between law enforcement and our diverse communities. The Foothill-De Anza police department does not tolerate any form of police misconduct. We believe in dignity and transparency for all. Moving forward as we continue to listen and understand the needs of everyone in our community, we focus to find ways to bridge the gap and be a part of the solution.
It is hard to be hopeful when we look back at a weekend filled with images of senseless violence and look ahead to another that promises the same. The attacks against individuals and communities of color in this country are relentless, horrific, and intolerable.
Yet, hope we must. And act we must.
Please make space for one another and our students as we all seek to understand the incomprehensible. Hug someone you love, be kind, protest peacefully, demand action and change, and hope for justice.
In Memory of Rich Hansen
It is with deepest sadness that I share this announcement that was prepared by Tim Shively, Faculty Association President:
Recently retired De Anza Mathematics instructor and former Faculty Association President Rich Hansen passed away last week after a battle with cancer. He will be missed not only by his FHDA colleagues--faculty, staff and administrators--but around the state. He had a profound impact on the California Community Colleges, particularly in shaping and influencing legislation impacting the system. As one colleague put it, he probably had more positive impact over the last several decades than any other single person, serving in a variety of capacities, and putting many miles to and from Sacramento on his trusty Volvo. Rich taught Math at De Anza from 2001 until his retirement in 2017, and served as FA President from 1997 until that time. While he wrote about his appreciation of the team he worked with in his final FA News article in June 2017, anyone who worked with Rich in any capacity would probably agree that he was the "rock" in any collective undertaking: informed, steadfast, measured, reasoned. He could always be counted on to give a cool but thorough assessment and was always ready to provide his assistance when needed. We will miss him sorely. A more detailed reminiscence will appear in the next FA News issue due out next week.
As a district, we will honor and celebrate the many ways that Rich dedicated his life to education. Information will be shared when we have learned what the family might like us to do.
Update on Campus Closure
I hope you are doing well and haven’t experienced too many problems from the latest storm. In initial assessments, it appears that Foothill, De Anza, and Sunnyvale did not suffer any significant damage. Please join me in thanking all our colleagues who have been on campus yesterday and today to perform essential tasks and keep the campuses safe.
Foothill-De Anza will resume regularly scheduled on-site activities on Friday, Jan. 6.
I hope to see some of you next week as we welcome our students back to campus. I’ll be walking around Foothill on Monday morning and De Anza on Thursday morning. And for those of you who are familiar with my “coffee trains,” yes, there will be some impromptu stops at the colleges’ coffee stands, where I will treat whoever happens to be in line!
Please continue to stay safe as more storms are on the way this weekend and next week.
Many thanks for all you do and here’s wishing you and yours a very happy new year,Judy
URGENT: Campus closures Jan. 4 through Jan. 5
While we regret the late notice, projections that tomorrow’s storm will bring high winds, mudslides, and widespread flooding have led us to the decision to close all college and district offices until the worst of the storm has passed. In the interest of safety, employees are asked to work from home on Wednesday, Jan. 4, and Thursday, Jan 5. Any employees required on campus for storm preparation or emergency response will be contacted by their supervisors.
A message regarding the closure is being sent to students and employees by the Foothill-De Anza Police Department. Please check the college and district websites for updates.
|Judy C. Miner, Ed.D. Chancellor||Lloyd A. Holmes, Ph.D. President, De Anza College||Bernadine Chuck Fong, Ph.D. Interim President, Foothill College|
One last message in 2022 regarding masking, vaccinations, and the spirit of Foothill-De Anza
It is hard to believe that fall quarter is almost over. Before we end the year, I want to thank each of you for your work to help our students reach their goals and to further the college and district missions. We have a lot to celebrate this year!
I also want to remind everyone that students and employees who come to campus or other district facilities in person are required to provide proof of vaccination and a booster for COVID-19. Medical and religious exemption information for employees is available through the Office of Human Resources. Employee proof of vaccination for in-person participation can be uploaded using the PyraMED system following directions on the Office of Human Resources COVID-19 webpage. Information for students is available on the campus COVID-19 pages listed below.
Foothill COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines De Anza Rules for Coming to Campus
Indoor masking is optional; however, face masks may be required in some offices or by individual instructors in their classrooms. The Santa Clara Public Health Department and the California Department of Public Health still strongly recommend that the public continue to wear masks in all indoor public spaces.
At the start of winter quarter, we plan to send out a survey to solicit your thoughts about removing the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students and/or employees. It appears that most districts in the state and most organizations in the country are moving in that direction, but we want to be sure to gather your feedback before considering any changes.
I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the resilience and grit that you have demonstrated for nearly three years. We have experienced fatigue, anxiety, and loss. But amid these painful passages, we have experienced the joy that comes from graduation celebrations, alumni stories of success in many forms, and increased appreciation and support from donors, employers, and community members. The indomitable spirit of Foothill-De Anza is thanks to the persistent dedication of our student leaders, classified professionals, faculty, administrators, and trustees. May 2023 be the year of less talk of COVID and much more action on behalf of student success!
Best wishes for a healthy, happy holiday season,Judy
I am thrilled to announce that I am recommending Dr. Kristina Whalen as Foothill College’s eighth president! My recommendation will be included on the agenda for the January 9 Board of Trustees meeting, and, with trustees’ approval, Kristina will start her new position on April 1, 2023.
After carefully considering Kristina’s qualifications and experience, feedback from her campus visit, and recommendations from her current and past colleagues, I am confident that Kristina’s skills, experience and character match well with Foothill’s needs — now and in the future.
Kristina is currently vice president of academic services at Las Positas College in Livermore, a position she has held for more than three years. During that time, Kristina has served as accreditation liaison officer, senior leader of the Presidential Call to Action for Antiracism and Equity, and co-chair of the college’s Enrollment Management Committee, a position that works alongside labor leaders to use enrollment data, trends, and predictive data to build yearlong schedules.
Prior to Las Positas, Kristina served in successively responsible positions at City College of San Francisco, starting in 2005 as a faculty member in communication studies and culminating in the position of associate vice chancellor of instruction, enrollment management and instructional support services.
Collaborative leadership style
In the position profile, we said that Foothill’s next president must be able to promote clear and consistent communication and collaborate effectively with faculty, staff and students. Without exception, Kristina’s references painted a picture of a visible, engaged and collaborative leader who takes the time to listen to everyone, qualities we all want to see in Foothill’s next leader.
Classified colleagues at Las Positas College and San Francisco City College describe Kristina as “very accessible and approachable” and “always positive.” They said she “knows the impact classified professionals have on student success,” “makes everyone feel valued and included,” “involved all sides in meetings,” “always represented our values of transparency,” and “supported classified staff as well as faculty.”
A Las Positas College administrator confirmed Kristina’s record of inclusive leadership, stating “Dr. Whalen is the epitome of a heart-forward leader. She deftly combines her visionary focus on what is best for all students with a warm, approachable style that makes every person feel heard and important. Kristina is always there for our dean team, providing direction and honoring our expertise.”
Students, too, had nothing but praise for Kristina. An alumnus and former student leader wrote
I appreciated how Dr. Whalen made time out of her busy day to come to sit and speak to us in the Veterans Resource Center about our concerns as a student on campus. To gain a better understanding of us as people, she showed interest in our personal lives. She asked us about our family, goals, potential career opportunities and how our military experience changed us. That level of engagement with veterans is inspiring. Plus, she attended almost every event sponsored by the Veterans First Program. Her showing up and being present at these events visibly demonstrated her commitment and care, not only for veterans, but for all students at LPC. Dr. Whalen’s style of leadership promotes student success.
Faculty leaders were just as generous with their appreciation of Kristina’s leadership. A Faculty Association officer at Chabot-Las Positas Community College District wrote “Dr. Whalen is by far one of the best administrators I have ever worked with directly in my role as the lead of the Faculty Association for Las Positas College. She and I worked very close together and always work collaboratively to find a solution to problems as they arose.”
And the Las Positas Academic Senate President shared the following:
In total I have been Academic Senate President for 10 years at LPC. I have collaborated with six different VPAS, and, by far, Kristina has been our best. One of Kristina’s greatest strengths – she is a conscientious and concise communicator. Kristina is authentic, she is transparent, she is thoughtful, she is protective of her staff, she has a great sense of humor, she is industrious, she is a good listener, she is empathetic, and she is welcoming. She is not a doormat, she is not egocentric, and she is not manipulative.
Commitment to Equity
We also described in the job announcement the need for a president who values social justice in education and is a passionate and thoughtful advocate for student success.
In her application, Kristina wrote “I have developed a habit of mind that sees and interrogates both personal and systemic practices through the lens of gender, ethnicity, ability, and class status. This habit of mind prompts me to critically ask, ‘How is sexism, racism, ableism, and classism influencing the choices and decisions I make, both personally and professionally?’ My commitment to asking those questions is part of why working in and teaching diverse populations has been my calling.”
As vice president at Las Positas, Kristina provided oversight to redesign the curriculum development process to address equity-minded course design, supported the development of equity considerations as a required function of curriculum development, and established a White Allyship community of practice that seeks to understand and work toward decentering whiteness as the standard guiding policy and practice.
With faculty leaders, she developed a model for credit for prior learning to award college credit for adult learners’ work experience and created processes to support the Persistence Project, a faculty collaboration that uses proven engagement strategies to increase persistence, which resulted in the elimination of the persistence gap for African American students in its first year.
During the pandemic, Kristina helped Las Positas institute equity-focused strategies, including flipping the model of student engagement so that students are not invited to find resources, but resources find students.
As part of her personal commitment to equity-minded professional development, Kristina completed a six-part professional learning academy with USC Race and Equity Center with her cohort of Aspen College Excellence Rising President fellows.
Entrepreneurial Community Partner
Finally, we said in the profile that we were seeking an accomplished and entrepreneurial community partner and fundraiser who is skilled at developing community and business partnerships to gain access to resources.
Kristina’s commitment to forging strong community relationships has led to collaborations with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group to connect employers to students, including establishment of five new apprenticeship programs; the City of Livermore to connect continuous training of the police force with 21st Century Policing; and the Livermore Airport to expand the pipeline of aircraft maintenance technicians. Kristina also worked with the Federal Correctional Institution for Women to enroll students in noncredit small business and customer service programs and secured half a million dollars in grant funding from the Bureau of Prisons to support the program.
Kristina successfully pursued supplemental funding while at City College of San Francisco as well, serving as primary author of a Governor’s Innovation Application that resulted in a $3 million award to sustain collaborative and innovative strategies between the school district, mayor’s office, and the college to ensure that students without a postsecondary plan were enrolled at their community college.
I would like to express sincere gratitude to everyone who took the time to share thoughts about the candidates with me. Thanks again to search consultant Dorene Novotny and members of the President Search Committee for your hard work and professionalism, ETS’s Marty Kahn for recording and posting the open forums, and Foothill’s Julie Ceballos for excellent work on the search website. A special thanks, too, to Bernadine Chuck Fong, for stepping back into the role of president during our time of need and helping our new president get off to a good start.
I am excited to have Kristina join the district executive team. I know I can count on each of you to welcome Kristina and support her success as Foothill’s next president.
Foothill president finalist open forum recordings and deadline for feedback
Thank you to everyone who welcomed the Foothill College president finalists this week and participated in constituent group meetings and open forums. Without exception, the candidates commented about the thoughtfulness of your questions and your obvious sincere interest in equitably moving the college forward.
For those unable to attend the candidate open forums, the recordings are now available on the district's YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/FHDAChannel.
Whether you attended meetings in person this week or will be viewing the forum recordings, I want to hear from you regarding your impressions of the candidates. Links to feedback forms for each candidate are available on the Foothill president search finalist webpage at https://foothill.edu/presidentsearch/finalists.html. Please provide your input no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 21, while your thoughts are still fresh in your mind.
The Foothill College President Search Committee has recommended Gregory Anderson, former Riverside City College president; Kristina Whalen, Las Positas College vice president of academic services; and Lisa Cooper Wilkins, San Francisco City College vice chancellor of student affairs, as the candidates with the best combination of experience, skills, and values to serve as the next Foothill College president. You can learn more about the finalists at https://foothill.edu/presidentsearch/finalists.html.
The search committee thoughtfully evaluated application materials, and I sincerely appreciate all the work that has brought us to this important stage of the selection process.
The three finalists are scheduled to visit the campus next week, and you are invited to meet each of them by attending their open forums, which will be held at 3 p.m. in Foothill's Hearthside Lounge (Room 2313) in the Campus Center.
Open forum schedule
In addition to the open forums, finalists will meet with campus administrators and supervisors, classified professionals, faculty, students, and the Foothill-De Anza Foundation. The finalists will also meet separately with the Foothill College president’s cabinet and the chancellor’s cabinet. Individuals who attend the constituency group meetings and/or open forums will be asked to submit feedback via survey forms that will be available online on the president search website.
After all candidates have completed their visits, recordings of the open forums will be posted online to provide an opportunity for anyone unable to attend in person to see the candidates and provide feedback.
In describing what the college needs in its next president, we said:
The next president should be a proven educational leader who shares and embodies the college’s vision as outlined in the Educational Master Plan and Strategic Vision for Equity; inspires dedication to achieving the college's core mission and values; energizes and stimulates innovation and forward thinking in a dynamic setting; and commits to the success of all students.
I am approaching this decision with an open mind, and I look forward to hearing from you which of the finalists best meets the college’s needs.
Latest News on Masking
I want to thank Faculty Association President Tim Shively and Grievance Officer Nicole Gray for meeting with Vice Chancellor of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity Ray Quan and me this morning to resolve concerns about the change in the district’s indoor masking requirements at the start of the fall quarter.
The discussion resulted in a proposal to refer future health and safety issues that potentially involve negotiable changes to working conditions to the Joint Labor Management Benefit Council (JLMBC) or to consider forming a new bargaining unit group with this charge. The JLMBC currently negotiates health benefits plans and contributions, and its membership includes representatives from each of the bargaining units, non-represented employee associations, and retirees. Council members will be asked to consider the proposal to add to the group’s responsibilities at the next meeting on Thursday, Oct. 20.
Although there has been a suggestion that my decision to loosen mask requirements overstepped the March 17, 2020, governing board resolution declaring a public health and safety emergency, in fact, I saw my authority as stemming from board policy, specifically BP 2430 Delegation of Authority to Chancellor. Nonetheless, in light of a request from the Faculty Association and in the spirit of moving us all forward to a place of mutual trust and understanding, I will ask the Board to rescind the emergency resolution at its Nov. 7 meeting. I feel that this action is in keeping with the Santa Clara County Public Health Office's rescission of local health orders related to COVID-19 and the expiration of many of Governor Gavin Newsom's pandemic-related executive orders."
I would like to once again express my regret for not engaging in a consultative process to revise the masking procedure before the start of fall quarter. While I believe that many in the district community feel that it was right to base this decision on conforming to county guidelines, I recognize that by not consulting with the different constituency groups, it caused a negative impact on morale with some of you feeling unheard and distrustful of the district’s decision-making processes. Even though it is a difficult task to make changes during the summer when not all constituencies are adequately represented, I recognize that I should have allowed time for greater input prior to the enactment of changes.
I want to once again affirm my commitment to participatory governance principles, because, as this morning's meeting with the Faculty Association shows, much can be accomplished when we take the time to listen to one another. Count on me to listen to you as we move forward.
Foothill-De Anza Statement on DACA Ruling
We are sickened by the decision released last night by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirming a lower court’s ruling that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is illegal, but we want to reassure our current and potential undocumented and DACA students that this decision does not change their ability to enroll and stay enrolled in our colleges.
Because the Fifth Circuit court stayed its ruling, for the time being, those with DACA are able to keep and renew their status, but no new applications may be accepted. Please urge DACA recipients to apply for renewal as quickly as possible. For those seeking advice and resources, helpful sites include the following:
- https://findyourally.com/- Free immigration legal services and case support for students, staff, and faculty on California community college campuses statewide or virtually
- https://foothill.edu/dreamers/- Foothill College Dreamers and UndocuAlly resources
- https://www.deanza.edu/students/undocumented.html - De Anza College resources for undocumented students
- https://www.deanza.edu/hefas/ - De Anza College Higher Education for AB 540 students
This morning, California Community Colleges Interim Chancellor Daisy Gonzales, Ph.D., University of California President Michael V. Drake, M.D., and California State University Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester, Ph.D. released the following joint statement:
“We are deeply troubled by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision, which holds that the DACA program violates federal law. We support the decision to allow current DACA recipients to avoid immediate disruption to their lives and also to seek extensions of their DACA status. Even as we hope that this decision is overturned, the uncertainty it creates is untenable. DACA recipients deserve to have their status as equal Americans protected from court decisions like this one.
We remain fully committed to working with California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Rob Bonta and our students, faculty, and staff to advocate for permanent pathways to citizenship so undocumented Californians can pursue their academic and professional goals without fear of deportation.
Since its implementation 10 years ago, DACA has protected thousands of undocumented students in California and hundreds of thousands across the United States from deportation as they pursue their college degrees. Today, recipients are first responders, medical professionals, educators, scientists, and serve in a host of other critical professions. They have made and continue to make positive contributions to our local, state, and federal economies and communities.
We stand by our students, faculty, and staff. They are vital and valued members of our campus communities. Our systems are dedicated to the continued success of all our undocumented students, many of whom do not participate in DACA.
Undocumented and DACA students can enroll and stay enrolled in California’s public colleges and universities. The decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals does not change our mission to welcome and serve all students. This is what we have always done, and we will not waver. We will continue to do all we can to ensure our undocumented students feel safe and supported on our campuses.”
The Foothill-De Anza Community College District stands with Interim Chancellor Gonzales, President Drake, Interim Chancellor Koester and leaders of colleges and universities throughout the nation who are appalled at this decision.
The college and district leadership teams will continue to advocate for Congress to act to protect our students and develop a pathway to citizenship. We are grateful to the Board of Trustees for the September 12, 2022,resolutionrecognizing October 17-21, 2022, as Undocumented Student Action Week and voicing unwavering support of undocumented students. We hope you will join our trustees and the colleges in supporting undocumented students and their families before, during, and after Undocumented Student Action Week.
We remain committed to our district mission, which includes “an equity agenda guided by core values of excellence, inclusion, and sustainability.” Please let our students know that they are welcome, valued, and appreciated.
|Judy C. Miner, Ed.D., Chancellor||Lloyd A. Holmes, Ph.D., President, De Anza College||Bernadine Chuck Fong, Ph.D., Interim President, Foothill College|
New Baccalaureate Degrees for Foothill and De Anza!!!
I am elated to share the news that Foothill College’s respiratory care and De Anza College’s automotive technology management baccalaureate degree program applications were approved yesterday afternoon at the California Community Colleges Board of Governors meeting. Congratulations to both colleges for submitting exemplary applications that stood out among the ten submitted statewide! Nine out of ten programs received some form of approval at this time.
De Anza’s program was one of only three in the state to receive full approval, which will allow the Automotive Technology Department to begin moving new upper-division courses through the curriculum development process immediately and admitting students to the new program as early as 2023-24.
Foothill’s program and two others received provisional approval pending review by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Respiratory care will be the second four-year degree offered by Foothill. The college’s successful dental hygiene baccalaureate program was one of the first 15 authorized in the state under a pilot program in 2014.
Also worth noting is the tight timeline for proposals that our colleagues met: the process was announced in mid-December with proposals due in early January! Their efforts went above and beyond and serve as shining examples of being student centered and equity minded.
The new community college bachelor’s degree programs are authorized under Assembly Bill 927, signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom late last year. The new law made the 15 pilot programs permanent and allowed the state community college system to add up to 30 baccalaureate programs each year.
The approval of these new degree programs allows our colleges to address regional needs for high-skilled workers that will benefit the local economy and, more importantly, provide the opportunity for our students to obtain an affordable bachelor’s degree that will lead to a good-paying in-demand job without leaving home.
I want to apologize for the uncertainty and confusion that was caused by my abrupt announcement on Friday regarding the change in our indoor masking policy. There were several time-sensitive issues that led to the decision to make the change, but I understand that Friday evening was not an optimal time for such an announcement. I can only hope that the merits of providing individualized choices for our students, staff and faculty are not lost in the distress caused by the lack of consultation with our constituency groups and the stress of an immediate implementation on the first day of the quarter.
Toward the end of last week, I developed a sense of urgency to act on our current direction with indoor masking given the following input I received:
- concerns that we were losing enrollment to neighboring districts as a result of the masking mandate;
- accusations that we were acting in response to fear rather than facts, especially in light of local, state and national loosening of various pandemic-related restrictions; and
- reports from both presidents of a strong consensus from employees at division and department meetings in favor of optional masking.
With the start of fall quarter imminent, I felt it important to take action to provide consistency for the quarter. I know there continue to be questions about implementation, and we will address those concerns. As I stated in my original message, this change does not eliminate the ability of faculty and managers to require masking in their respective instructional and public-facing areas or the ability of individual employees to continue to wear masks as they choose. It was intended to provide more flexibility and to more closely align our processes with those of Santa Clara County.
Thanks to all who have written to me. I appreciate your comments. I hope we can move forward from this situation and work toward providing the best possible experience for our students as they start the quarter.
URGENT: Masking and COVID Testing Update Effective September 26, 2022
First, let me say that it was an absolute joy to have a chance to talk with so many of you during the opening day activities on both campuses!
I understand from some of these discussions that you have questions about the district’s masking policy and whether it is being universally applied. I also heard that there is an intense interest in moving from our strict requirement of wearing masks in classrooms and public-facing offices to the more lenient Santa Clara County guidelines, which recommend, but do not require, face coverings indoors.
Members of Chancellor’s Cabinet and some constituent group leaders also reported that participants in Thursday’s division and department meetings expressed a strong desire to make indoor masking optional effective September 26.
Our earlier decision to proceed with an abundance of caution appears to be out of sync with a more general consensus that we follow the Santa Clara County guidelines. While we appreciate that individuals may still have concerns, given the urgency of timing, I am advising you that as of September 26, 2022, indoor masking will be optional. It is critical to note that a faculty member or manager may still choose to require face coverings in their respective classrooms or public-facing offices if they feel there is a particular need to do so.
Additionally, as has been recommended by both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health, we will no longer require testing for unvaccinated individuals before they come on campus. Our testing requirements for individuals who have contracted the COVID-19 virus remain the same.
Finally, those of you who attended District Opening Day had a chance to watch the premiere of the first in a series of new career technical education videos produced by AMF Media and the Foothill-De Anza Foundation with state grant funding. I guarantee that you will find all five videos fabulous, inspiring, and worth watching and sharing. Click HERE for a link to the playlist.
With best wishes for the new academic year,Judy
Congratulations ot Governing Board Members Patrick Ahrens and Pearl Cheng
Please join me in congratulating governing board members Patrick Ahrens and Pearl Cheng for new four-year terms on the district’s Board of Trustees. With no candidates challenging our incumbents, the district will save the significant cost of running an election and continue to benefit from an experienced, knowledgeable, and dedicated governing board. The two trustees will be sworn in for their new terms in December.
Trustee Ahrens, who is serving as governing board president this year, will represent central Sunnyvale in new Trustee Area 2 during his second four-year term. Trustee Ahrens is a graduate of De Anza College who represented the college as a student trustee in 2008-09 before transferring to UCLA.
“I hope to live up to the faith the community has placed in me to help make our district an even better place for our students, faculty, and staff,” said Ahrens. “I’ll never forget where I come from, and I’ll never forget who I’m fighting for.”
Trustee Cheng, who has served steadily on the Board since 2008, will represent most of Cupertino and small portions of west San Jose, southwestern Santa Clara, and northern Saratoga in new Trustee Area 4.
"I am humbled and grateful to continue serving with our great district,” Cheng said. “We are known for our educational excellence and for being an important community partner. I am honored to continue on the board to focus on our vital work together."
I am grateful to trustees Ahrens and Cheng for their continued service. The stability of the district’s governing board serves as evidence of the public’s trust in Foothill-De Anza and a recognition of the commitment of our trustees, and all of you, to the district’s mission of student success. It is with great pleasure that I can continue to say that I work in the best district and report to the best Board of Trustees in California!
Fall 2022 update - District Opening Day and masking requirements
I hope you are finding time this summer to rest and recharge. The last two years of worldwide upheaval have taken a toll on us all, and I look toward our return to campus in the fall to recover a sense of normalcy, renew our connections, and refocus squarely on our common mission – student success.
To that end, I am excited to announce that Compton Community College District President/CEO Keith Curry will join us on September 21 to kick off District Opening Day, “Renewal and Change at Foothill-De Anza.” Dr. Curry has developed a nationwide following through his work with #EquityAvengers, and I know he will provide inspiration to all of us in tackling challenges and opportunities in the year ahead. Thanks to our many talented colleagues, we also have a full schedule of meaningful and thought-provoking workshops planned for the day. The full schedule of activities will be available on the district website later this week.
As promised in my districtwide message earlier this summer, I want to provide an update on masking requirements for the fall quarter. After a robust discussion at this afternoon’s Consultation Task Force meeting, we reached consensus to continue to require face coverings in all indoor classes and public-facing offices and to recommend masks in all other areas. I once again owe a debt of gratitude to members of the task force for their thoughtfulness in sharing the perspectives of students and employees as we continue to navigate these uncertain times.
Enjoy the rest of the summer, and thanks to all of you for your good work. Foothill-De Anza remains an excellent district because of your commitment and dedication. I can’t wait to see you again in person on September 21!
Current Plans for Fall 2022
Graduation came and went like a flash, and it was wonderful to see so many of you celebrating our students’ accomplishments. Thank you for all you did to make their dreams a reality!
Fall 2022 is fast approaching and is an important quarter for bringing more students back to campus. I’d like to provide some information about our expectations for an increased on-campus presence.
Our plan is to continue to increase on-site presence as we move through the next academic year. The exact implementation details will be determined in consultation with managers and supervisors, based on the nature of each position and operational impacts to departments and offices. For the preponderance of positions that can accommodate some portion of remote work as authorized by your manager, the expectation is a majority of an employee’s time will be spent on-campus as we look to increase the vibrancy on campus for students, employees, and the larger community in Fall 2022. Please note, this does not apply to those positions where the duties must be performed in person, e.g., police, maintenance, custodians, on-site support technicians, et al. College Presidents and Vice Chancellors will provide additional clarity and discretion with respect to specific operational needs.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires an interactive dialogue and meeting with the employee, Human Resources, and the supervisor to determine what specific and reasonable accommodation is needed by the employee and if it can be done without an undue economic hardship on the District/College. If you are seeking a medical accommodation to work 100% remotely, please contact Human Resources for detailed information on the documentation and processes required for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act; a doctor’s note stating that you are not able to physically work on site will not be sufficient.
Opening day activities for the district will be held on September 21 and for the colleges on September 22 and 23. The activities for all three days will be fully in person. At this time, we do not anticipate a remote option, but will continue to monitor public health guidance and adjust if necessary. After almost two and a half years of dealing with pandemic restrictions, we are very much looking forward to the opportunity to rebuild our connections and make new ones!
The masking requirement will be reviewed after August 5. I will invite members of the Consultation Task Force (union and senate leadership of faculty and classified professionals; student body presidents, and senior administrators) to offer their perspectives on Santa Clara County trends and guidelines at that time.
Wishing you a healthy and happy summer,Judy
Vice Chancellor of Educational Technology
I am thrilled to announce that Dr. Jory Hadsell is now our permanent Vice Chancellor of Educational Technology!
Jory began transitioning into the interim position as of January and took on all of the Vice Chancellor duties as of March 1. In a short, but action-packed time frame, he has demonstrated the strategic thinking, collaborative management style, and interpersonal skills that are essential to reimagining Foothill-De Anza.
Jory has been at Foothill-De Anza since 2014, working as one of the leaders of the California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative (OEI). He was the initiative’s chief academic affairs officer and in 2016, became OEI’s Associate Vice Chancellor.
Jory brings a solid grounding in both technology and instruction to the position. From 2006 until he joined our district, he was a tenured faculty member teaching courses related to academic technologies and provided leadership as director of distance education at Sacramento City College. He also has worked as an adjunct professor at Drexel University, where he earned his doctoral degree in educational leadership and management, and as adjunct faculty in communications studies at Sierra College, where he earned an associate degree and first worked as a multimedia specialist. Jory holds a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
I want to thank the search committee for doing an outstanding job with an accelerated schedule. We advanced the final interviews to Spring 22 to avoid overlapping with the Foothill President search in Fall 22. The committee members were:
Please join me in congratulating Jory and also thanking him for taking on this incredibly important leadership role!
June 27, 2022
Indoor Masking Requirement Revisions to AP 3507
I was not present for the Chancellor’s Advisory Council meeting of May 20, 2022, but have been told that opinions were highly divided regarding the removal of our indoor masking requirement in the near future, and that I was asked to make a final decision.
In light of the surge in cases of the latest omicron variant, I am revising the following language of AP 3507 to reflect and continue our practice that began in Spring 2022:
Face coverings are required
in all indoor settings except as specified in federal, state, and local public health
agency guidelines . Face coverings are highly recommended and may be required by staff in outdoor settings
where social distancing cannot be maintained. The district's requirements regarding
face coverings will follow the guidelines of federal, state, and local public health
agencies, which may be relaxed or strengthened from time to time. In the event that the
directives of federal, state, and local governing public health agencies differ, the
District will comply with the most stringent or restrictive mandate.
Because commencement at both Foothill and De Anza will be outdoors, masking will be optional but highly recommended. This guidance applies to all the other end-of-year events that are planned for outdoor settings.
Indoor masking as described above continues to be required for Summer 2022. Concerns have been expressed that students should have been notified in the course schedule footnotes. While that would have been helpful, it would have been essential had we changed our administrative procedures which we have not done.
I also heard concerns that we say we are following the county directives, but the county is not requiring masking. Please note that I have added “or practice” to AP 3507 language to account for our following predominant practices of various organizations or businesses such as the performing arts, healthcare services, etc.
We deeply wish that we could predict when we would have more or better information to announce future changes in policies and procedures. At the moment, our one certainty is that there will be uncertainty. Thank you for your patience!
Looking forward to celebrating our students’ accomplishments,Judy
Indoor Masking Requirement Update
At our March meeting, the Consultation Task Force asked me to provide updated guidance in May about our indoor masking requirement. Thank you to task force members who recently surveyed their constituents regarding potential changes to the current face mask requirement. It was helpful to learn that there is a wide diversity of opinion about how we should proceed for the remainder of spring quarter.
The Chancellor’s Advisory Council (CAC) will meet on Friday, May 20, and I will ask them to approve one of the following changes to AP 3507 COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement.
Indoor masking will become optional as of:
A) May 31, following Memorial Day
B) June 24, Graduation Day
The CAC’s May 20 agenda will provide a summary of the survey results that were submitted by the Faculty Association, California School Employees Association, Association of Classified Employees, Administrative Management Association, De Anza Student Services, and the De Anza, Foothill, and Central Services classified senates.
As we continue to move toward a “new normal” for in-person activities, I want to share how uplifting it has been to attend recent major gatherings such as Foothill’s Day on the Hill and De Anza’s Enrollment Day where more than 650 and 800 participants, respectively, remind us of the opportunities to regain on-campus vibrancy that we have lacked for more than two years. I can only imagine how many community members we will see at the reopening of De Anza’s Flea Market on May 7!
Thank you for your unparalleled resilience on behalf of our students and each other!
Vice Chancellor of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity
I am delighted to announce that I have hired Raymond T. Quan as our next vice chancellor of human resources and equal opportunity! We are incredibly fortunate that Ray has chosen to return to higher education after working in private industry, government, community-based organizations, and K-12. His breadth of experience and diverse perspectives will contribute greatly to our day-to-day operations and as we work collectively to reimagine Foothill-De Anza.
Ray will join us June 1 and is already looking forward to attending a number of our student celebrations. We'll hold a reception in his honor once we have more information about the upcoming schedule of college events. I’m excited for you to meet him!
In our conversations about the opportunities that lie ahead, Ray spoke about his enthusiasm for getting to know the district and working with our HR team and the larger campus community.
"I am 100% committed to providing the highest level of HR support to all stakeholders – faculty, staff, students, management team, and the board and encouraging the entire HR team to join me in the best practices of HR,” he said. “I look forward to returning to higher education as an HR professional."
Ray brings 39 years of human resources experience in a wide variety of institutions that include director roles at Montana State University, Central Wyoming College and in California at Victor Valley College and Kern County Community College District. He is currently a consultant specializing in human resources policy and procedure with QUANCO, LLC, a management consulting company based in Los Angeles that provides professional services to a variety of businesses. During his long career in HR, Ray has gained experience in all facets of human resources management.
Ray holds master’s degrees in English and business administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and a bachelor’s degree in English from Biola College. He will be part of the Chancellor’s Cabinet, and his proven HR management and consulting skills will be a great asset to the senior leadership team.
My thanks to those who participated on the first-round hiring committee to bring us such an excellent candidate – Janie Garcia, Monica Garcia, Nicole Gray, Lloyd Holmes, Manisha Karia, Mark Landefeld, and David Marasco.
I look forward to Ray’s arrival and hope you will join me in welcoming him.
Senior Advisor to the Chancellor for Reimagining Foothill-De Anza
I am thrilled to announce that Dr. Anu Khanna will serve as Senior Advisor to the Chancellor for Reimagining Foothill-De Anza from May 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023!
We began this effort last summer with strategic goals that include the development of a new budget allocation model, the establishment of a district-wide enrollment management committee, and the development of an action plan for a reimagined FHDA. It became clear to me from listening to you at the Fall 2021 Opening Day event that we have a commitment throughout the district to develop a shared vision driven by your input. To convert ideas to actions, we are fortunate to have Anu to guide and facilitate our reimagining of what FHDA can and should be in the future.
There will be many opportunities in the coming months to share your ideas for envisioning Foothill-De Anza in 2025-2026.As Anu assumes this role, she has said:
"I'm looking forward to meeting and listening to voices from across the district on your ideas for what is possible and needed for the future of our district. Through dialogue and collaboration, it's going to be exciting to reimagine and develop not only a shared vision, but also improved processes that will make our district a better place for employees and students."
Anu has been teaching as a full-time faculty member at De Anza College since 2000. During that time, she has served in a variety of academic leadership roles including Curriculum Chair, Intercultural/International Studies Division Scheduler, and Project Director for the college’s IMPACT AAPI grant (a federal program providing academic and student support services for underserved Asian American and Pacific Islander populations). Most recently she has been serving as Department Chair of Communication Studies and Co-Coordinator of the Learning in Communities program. She is also proud to be one of the Villages Co-leads integrating with Guided Pathways at De Anza.
Anu was born in Wisconsin (yes, she is a Packers fan) and raised mostly in Illinois. She has a B.A. in Speech Communication from the University of Illinois and an M.A. in Organizational Communication and Training & Development from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She earned her Ph.D. in Intercultural and Organizational Communication from Arizona State University. Prior to working at De Anza, Anu worked in the Maricopa Community College District developing leadership training for academic leaders.
Please join me in thanking Anu for leading this effort that will aid us in becoming a more student centered and equity minded district.And many thanks to each of you who has contributed to the strong foundation on which we will build the next level of educational excellence!
May 1, 2022
Spring 2022 Update
As we look toward spring – and the many joys that quarter always brings – I know that discussions are well underway about increasing the numbers of on-campus classes for fall. I would also like to share with you an update and our expectation that more employees will be returning at the beginning of spring quarter to serve students on campus and support college and district operations.
The proportion of on-campus to remote work may vary for different areas even as the overall availability of on-campus employees to serve students will increase significantly starting April 6. Under the direction of the presidents and vice chancellors, individual managers will be providing more specific guidance to their employees, within existing parameters of collective bargaining agreements, to ensure the most appropriate arrangements for best serving our students and district. Additionally, the Offices of Instruction at each college will have answers to frequently asked questions by faculty with instructional and noninstructional assignments.
In the spirit of revitalizing our on-campus environments, student-facing offices should provide regular in-person services during posted hours. Supporting our students during a time of such profound change in workforce norms also means that a one-size-fits-all approach to employee and office schedules will not be the most effective way to serve our students. Managers will work with employees to ensure that student needs are met, including through an increased on-campus presence. At the same time, we understand the need based on student demand, that online classes and services will continue as well. For specific questions or concerns regarding individual work schedules, please contact your manager.
As a reminder, beginning April 6, we are requiring booster shots for students and employees who will be on campus. Weekly testing will be required for those eligible for the booster who do not provide proof of having received the shot.
Many thanks to the Consultation Task Force which provided excellent advice regarding masking. While the county strongly recommends masking indoors, the district will continue to require the wearing of face masks indoors for classes and public-facing services through May 6. I will let you know by May 4 whether this will continue. Remembering the Omicron surge that impacted us in January, we want time to monitor and respond to developments that could occur after spring break.
As you were notified earlier, we will require masking for the professional development presentations on the morning of April 4 in the Smithwick Theatre.
Many thanks for your patience and resilience as we approach the coming months with a readiness to adapt as may be necessary. I so look forward to seeing you during spring quarter!
March 19, 2022
Some Personal News
As I have been reimagining our district and inviting your own bold thinking, I concluded that this would be an excellent time for me to pass the baton to a new Chancellor who could bring fresh perspectives and renewed energy to our work. I spoke with our Board of Trustees earlier today to indicate my intention to retire as of September 1, 2023, which will be my 35th anniversary at Foothill-De Anza.
In the meantime, I will proceed with hiring an Interim Senior Advisor to the Chancellor for Reimagining Foothill-De Anza with the goal of assisting the development of a new budget allocation model, contributing to negotiations processes, and leading a districtwide enrollment management committee through June 30, 2023. I look forward to continuing engagement in fundraising, donor cultivation, business and industry liaisons, community outreach, equity initiatives, federal and state legislative advocacy, student and employee housing opportunities, and external board participation.
The decision to retire was extremely difficult as I love our district tremendously! And it is that love that inspires me to make way for the next leader who will take us to the next level of being student centered and equity minded. This will come to pass because of YOUR individual and collective dedication.
With deepest gratitude,
March 8, 2022
Update on Indoor Masking, Part 2
Today, the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department announced that all masking metrics have been met and therefore indoor masking will no longer be required beginning March 2. However, the Public Health Department and the California Department of Public Health strongly recommend that the public continue to wear masks in all indoor public spaces. We support that recommendation.
While we have followed County guidance without modification thus far, we recognize that some students and employees may have returned to campus with the expectation that masking would be required throughout the quarter. Therefore, we will continue requiring indoor masking in classrooms and offices that interact with the public until March 25. Absent other considerations, we plan on strongly recommending indoor masking as of April 4, the beginning of spring quarter. We will revisit AP 3507 COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement to update the provisions on masking as may be appropriate at that time.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate these volatile times,
March 1, 2022
Update on Indoor Masking
We are monitoring guidance from the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department regarding the possible lifting of the universal indoormaskrequirement on March 2, 2022.Dr. Cody has reported that COVID-19 hospitalizations are low and stable, and she finds the steady downward trend in cases very encouraging.
Should this downward trend continue, I look forward to sharing good news within the next 72 hours!
February 27, 2022
Revised Version of AP 3507 COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement
Attached is the revised version of AP 3507 COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement that was approved by Chancellor’s Advisory Council on February 11, 2022. Please note the opening sentence:
“In order to access campus/programs, a student or employee will be asked to provide certification of having received an approved COVID-19 vaccine and up-to-date boosters.”
The new requirement for a booster will be effective April 6, 2022, the first day of spring quarter classes. Students will not be prevented from registering if they have not yet updated their vaccination records, but their records will be reviewed for compliance after April 6.
Many thanks to the members of Chancellor’s Advisory Council for their thoughtful deliberation and excellent revisions to the Administrative Procedures. Here’s wishing all of us a return to more numerous and frequent in-person gatherings!
County of Santa Clara Public Health Officials Announce Local Indoor Masking Requirements Will Remain in Place
The State will be lifting its universal indoor masking requirement on February 16th. However, State health orders will continue to require universal indoor masking in many settings after February 16th, including all K-12 schools, childcare facilities, public transit, healthcare facilities, shelters, jails, and long-term care facilities.
Thank you for all you do to mitigate risk in our communities!
Wishing you a happy and healthy Year of the Tiger,
February 11, 2022
New COVID-19 guidelines and expectations for January 31
Let me begin by thanking Rosafel Nogra, director of Health Services at De Anza, who provided invaluable assistance in developing the latest districtwide COVID-19 guidelines. The practices mentioned in this message are consistent with the most current guidance from the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, California Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American College Health Association.
EMPLOYEE SELF-REPORTING PROCESS
Going forward, we will use a new self-reporting form developed at De Anza for ALL employees to self-report whenever they:
- Test positive for COVID-19
- Experience COVID-19 symptoms
- Have possible COVID-19 exposure through close contact
Employees should self-report whether they are working on campus or working remotely.
You can find the employee self-reporting form at:
Even though the form is housed on the De Anza website, all Foothill and Central Services employees are expected to use it. Many thanks to De Anza’s Health Services and Communications Office teams for developing a process that is easy to follow!
The colleges will continue to have their own separate processes for student self-reporting and for faculty and staff to report on students who have symptoms, test positive or who were exposed through close contact. Information about those processes is available on the college websites.
TESTING AND QUARANTINE RULES
Employees with COVID-19 symptoms should stay home and get tested.The link below will take you to a De Anza webpage where you can find excellent explanations of what to do in in terms of self-isolation and testing if you:
- Have symptoms
- Test positive
- Were exposed
Testing and Isolation Protocols:
The district Office of Human Resources has limited supplies of free antigen home-test kits and is working to increase supplies available to employees. Currently, HR is making the test kits available only to employees with approved medical and religious exemptions on file; those who have been exposed to COVID-19 on the job; and employees exposed off-site who need clearance to work on-site.
Home test kits are becoming more readily available in the community, and I encourage you to explore the following offers as long as they are available:
- Federal government free at-home COVID tests mailed to your home: https://www.covidtests.gov/
- Santa Clara County free at-home tests available for pickup for those who live, work, or attend school in Santa Clara County: https://covid19.sccgov.org/covid-19-testingNote: The county webpage may say, "All the COVID-19 antigen test pick-up appointments are fully booked. We apologize for the inconvenience." However, we expect that more appointments will be added, so do check back until such time as the program comes to an end.
Testing sites can be found using these resources:
- Santa Clara County free COVID-19 testing sites:
- COVID-19 testing sites in California
The district and colleges also are working to secure on-site PCR testing through a vendor, and information about this will be shared as soon as it becomes available.
FACE MASK GUIDANCE AND AVAILABILITYConsistent with guidance from the American College Health Association, the district recommends the use of N95, KN95, or ASTM-rated surgical masks for students and employees. The district currently has a supply of N95 masks on hand and is working to ensure continuing adequate supplies of N95 and KN95 masks for students and employees. Central Services employees may obtain masks from Human Resources and college employees should check their respective websites for availability.
According to the CDC, the most protective mask is one that covers both the nose and mouth and fits tightly. When N95, KN95, and surgical masks aren’t available or don’t provide an adequately tight fit, double masking as described in CDC guidance is the next best option. Ideally, masks should be replaced after four hours of wear.
Foothill-De Anza requires properly worn face masks indoors and recommends them for outdoor gatherings on district property.
The district is considering requiring students and employees to have booster shots to be on campus as of April 6, 2022. The Chancellor’s Advisory Council (CAC) will consider this change to the administrative procedures at its Feb. 11 meeting. Whether or not we require the booster as of spring quarter, I urge everyone who is eligible to get boosted.
EXPECTATIONS AS OF JAN. 31
This dashboard shows that the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in Santa Clara County is finally beginning to decline: https://covid19.sccgov.org/dashboard-cases-and-deaths
Therefore, we look forward to classes and student services that are scheduled on-campus for the winter quarter to resume or continue on-campus as of Jan. 31. If you have questions or concerns, please speak with your supervisor.
One thing we have learned from the past two years is that we must be constantly vigilant and ready to adapt to new circumstances. I wish this message could be the last word on all things COVID, but some epidemiologists assert that COVID has moved from pandemic to endemic and will be with us for some time to come.
Many, many thanks for your patience amid uncertainty, your kindness amid fatigue, and your unfailing ingenuity amid a volatile landscape.
With appreciation and gratitude,
Foothill College to Host COVID Test Kit Distribution January 22-29
We are excited to report that just hours ago, Santa Clara County confirmed its collaboration with Foothill College to meet the urgent need for COVID-19 test kit distribution.
Foothill will host one of four Santa Clara County COVID-19 Antigen-test distribution sites from Saturday, January 22 until Saturday, January 29th from 1-8 PM each day. If you would like free COVID-19 antigen tests for you and your family, please register at www.sccfreetest.org before picking up your tests. Please see the Santa Clara County Press Release below for more information.
While the Foothill-De Anza Police Department will have traffic control measures in place for this event, be prepared for heavier than normal traffic on campus roadways and possibly streets near the campus. If you plan to be at the Foothill campus during these hours plan accordingly to allow sufficient time.
The event will take place in Parking lot 6. If you normally park in lot 6, please park in a different lot for these days such as Lot 5. The County is expecting approximately 500 cars per day going through the distribution site.
If you have questions regarding traffic control measures or parking lots, please call the FHDA Police Department at 650-949-7317.
Any questions regarding the Santa Clara County COVID home testing kits distribution event or testing kits, please refer to www.sccfreetest.org .
County of Santa Clara Offering Limited Free At-Home COVID-19 Antigen Tests with Signups Beginning FridayThose who live, work, or attend school in Santa Clara County can sign up online, then pick up test from one of four distribution sites
SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – The County of Santa Clara is offering a limited number of free at-home COVID-19 antigen tests to those who live, work, or attend school in the county, with four distribution locations opening on an appointment basis starting this Saturday, January 22, 2022.Those who live, work, or attend school in the county may sign up through www.sccfreetest.orgto obtain four at-home tests. Those able to secure an appointment may choose from one of the distribution locations for pick up at a chosen time, with the first slots available this Saturday.Tests are not available on a drop-in basis without an appointment.Sign-ups are done through the sameEach individual will be assigned a unique QR code which must be displayed to receive the tests. www.sccfreetest.orgportal used for County clinic testing, and scheduling began earlier today, with a limit of one appointment per person. Each person will receive four iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Tests. Pick-up sites are designed for drive-through operation; however, individuals can also arrive without a vehicle and get the tests so long as they have an appointment.“This is a tremendous opportunity for community members to pick up antigen tests for rapid at-home testing,” said Miguel Márquez, Chief Operations Officer for the County of Santa Clara. “Testing is key to knowing whether you have COVID, which should help limit the spread of the virus, and will help get people back to their normal lives by safely ending isolation or quarantine early with a negative test.”The County of Santa Clara opted to purchase and distribute the test kits due to the current scarcity of tests and continued enormous demand in the community. Additional kits are being distributed through the County’s outreach teams to disproportionately impacted communities, through nonprofit partner organizations, as well as to first responders and other essential workers. More than 15,000 appointments will be scheduled between Saturday January 22 and Saturday January 29. County officials will assess whether this program can be expanded based on availability of tests and the need in the community. Each appointment will be made for one of four locations:
Hellyer County Park, 985 Hellyer Ave., San José
Martial Cottle Park, 5283 Snell Ave., San José
Vasona County Park, 333 Blossom Hill Road, Los Gatos
Foothill College, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills (offers evening hours)
The County recommends that the antigen tests be used for those who have symptoms of COVID-19 or to end isolation or quarantine periods early for those who have tested positive, or for those who have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 (when a more-sensitive PCR test is not available). If an antigen test result is positive, it should be recognized as valid and applicable isolation guidance should be followed – there is no need in that case for a follow-up PCR test at a healthcare or County facility.The County also reminds patients of all healthcare systems that they have a right to COVID tests from their own provider if they have symptoms or have been exposed to an individual who has COVID-19.
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Follow our Twitter for updates: @HealthySCCCounty of Santa Clara Website: http://www.sccgov.org/coronavirusPublic Health Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sccpublichealth
Revised Timeline for Foothill President Search
A draft timeline for the Foothill President search was distributed and discussed at the Chancellor’s Advisory Council meeting on Friday, January 14. Because concerns were expressed about the many concurrent tasks at Foothill, a new timeline will be developed to establish the search committee in spring 22, interview candidates in fall 22, and hire the President in winter 23.
All the details will be forthcoming soon, but I wanted to reassure you that we heard your request to provide more time for the search process and are proceeding accordingly.
Winter Update as of January 4
In light of the growing Omicron cases and having heard from both employees and students about concerns regarding onsite classes and services, I am writing with this quick update. For those of you who have any concerns about being onsite, please reach out to your respective managers to discuss possible options available to you to do remote or hybrid work through January 28.
Additionally, we are finalizing protocols and procedures for on-campus Covid testing for students and employees and will have specific directions for you within the next few days.
Many thanks to the 33 attendees at today's Consultation Task Force for the excellent discussion and suggestions for flexible approaches in meeting the diverse needs of our students and employees at this time!
Happy New Year and Winter Update
I hope your holiday season was memorable and filled with opportunities to enjoy moments that you just could not find time to schedule earlier!
2021 was a more challenging year than we anticipated and 2022 is not yet where we would like to be, but omicron is a variation on a theme we have seen before. As a district we have demonstrated resilience, exercised an abundance of caution, and followed the science as we have navigated nearly two years of living in a world which we never envisioned. Despite the physical, economic, and emotional tolls, we have repeatedly risen to the occasion and transformed student lives with outstanding programs and services provided by incomparable classified professionals, faculty, administrators, trustees, and volunteers.
As of January 3, we will offer our in-person classes and services as currently scheduled for winter quarter since our offerings reflect a moderate increase over fall quarter. We continue to follow guidelines for Santa Clara County which have served us well throughout the pandemic.
The latest Order of the Health Officer of Santa Clara County was issued December 28, 2021, and expands the State Health Officer Orders for individuals in higher-risk settings.
“D. This Order requires that all individuals who work in Higher-Risk Settings must be “fully vaccinated” and also obtain boosters when they become eligible. State Health Officer Orders require that many of these individuals be vaccinated (and ultimately boosted by February 1, 2022). However, those State Health Officer Orders do not cover all individuals working in higher-risk settings and roles (e.g., paramedics and jail staff). They also allow persons who obtain an exemption from vaccination from their employer to continue working in higher-risk settings where they are at high risk of becoming infected and exposing others, rather than requiring that individuals with exemptions be reassigned to lower-risk settings and roles. This Order enhances the protection offered by the State Health Officer Orders and moves up the timeline for personnel to be Up-to-Date on their vaccination to protect highly vulnerable workers and community members from infection, serious illness, and death from COVID-19.”
The inclusion of clinics in the December 28 order means that we must require boosters of all students and employees working in the Dental Hygiene Clinic at Foothill.
Prior to the end of fall quarter, Chancellor’s Cabinet proposed no changes to our interim Vaccination Policy which will be reviewed by the Chancellor’s Advisory Council on January 14, 2022. Given the following excerpt from the aforementioned Order, we will recommend that boosters be required by a date to be determined during winter quarter.
“B. However, initial evidence also shows that individuals who have received a booster shot increase their immunity to a level that confers more protection from all circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants, including the Omicron variant. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) now recommend that all eligible persons receive a booster shot because immunity wanes several months after completion of the initial vaccine series.”
On-campus COVID testing for students and employees will be available when the kits arrive, anticipated to be in early January. We are aware that testing has increased dramatically resulting in high demand and short supply. More information will be forthcoming shortly from the colleges and Human Resources, including the criteria for who gets tested, e.g., on-campus exposure or Santa Clara County Department of Public Health guidance. For the most updated information, please visit the Human Resources COVID-19 Employee Information and Resources page.
Although we have yet to start winter quarter, questions have already arisen regarding spring. We will continue to be vigilant in monitoring and following county requirements. I am confident that we can make good decisions based on available data at the times we need to act.
I look forward to seeing many of you who will be on campus in the coming weeks, and I also look forward to resuming my open office hour (OOH) on Zoom on January 12! I feel incredibly fortunate and privileged to be part of a community that works so conscientiously to mitigate risks for students and employees by engaging in constructive behaviors. We have a high vaccination rate, masking requirements are followed, good judgment is exercised for voluntary social distancing, and self-isolation has stemmed from an abundance of caution. Thank you for everything you do to keep yourself and everyone around you safe!
Let me close by reminding us that, as a district, we will not be immune from the disruptions and shortfalls in services that have burdened the world. I hope we will be role models of patience and kindness since we are highly adept at rising above the fray.
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2022,
Return to Campus Guidance for Winter and Spring 2022
What a treat to see more than 100 people at the town hall about emerging from the pandemic hosted by De Anza on December 3! Many thanks to everyone who attended, including our trustees Patrick Ahrens, Laura Casa, Pearl Cheng, Peter Landsberger, and Gilbert Wong.
A special shout goes out to all those who managed many logistics on short notice: Becky Bartindale, Edwin Carungay, Juan Diaz, Amy Edwards, Karen Franco, Patrick Gannon, Pippa Gibson, Marty Kahn, Heidi King, Carla Maitland, Rob Mieso, Paula Norsell, Simon Pennington, Iman Seale, Tim Shively, Marisa Spatafore, and Chris Winn. We appreciate the land acknowledgment by Edmundo Norte and opening comments by Bernadine Fong, Lloyd Holmes, and Peter Landsberger. Our panelists were the highlight of the morning, so kudos to students Joshua Contreras, Catherine Le, Edgar Ramos, Quang Truong and colleagues Maritza Arreola, Chesa Caparas, Derrick Felton, Janie Garcia, Ellen Judd, and Scott Olsen.
You can watch a video recording of the town hall on the district’s YouTube channel to learn about the panelists' experiences returning to campus and hear the Q&A at https://youtu.be/DDpG-NZpHy0
Return to Campus Guidance
As noted at the town hall, our goal is to continue expanding on-site instruction and services to the degree permitted by public health advice. To that end, what follows is districtwide guidance for increasing in-person operations at Foothill, De Anza, and Central Services in winter and spring 2022, unless mandates related to COVID-19 restrictions change significantly. We are closely monitoring guidance regarding the omicron variant and will keep you informed as to any impact on district operations.
There is no expectation that one approach will work in perpetuity in any given department. Individual administrators have discretion in determining how best to staff their areas, but I ask them to make their decisions in consultation with faculty and staff. Student needs should be paramount in these discussions, with employee needs taken into account wherever possible.
As permitted by public health guidelines, more of the colleges’ programs and services will return to campus. This includes but is not limited to:
- Lecture classes, depending on size and facilities capacity
- Library services
- Adaptive physical education
- Dining services
As permitted by public health guidelines, college classes and services will be fully operational on-campus, with any necessary remaining modifications.
During this phase, lessons learned during the pandemic should inform all decisions and planning, and an equity focus should continue to underpin all decisions. To that end, we must keep in mind that online courses provide additional flexibility and options for students, as does the continuation of selected online student services.
It is important to note that plans for spring 2022 will be adjusted as needed to respond to any unanticipated circumstances. However, both colleges aim to offer a class schedule that includes at least 80-85% of their sections in person compared to spring 2019.
The basis of the 80-85% calculation is the percentage of in-person classes at the colleges in spring 2019: Foothill was 49% and De Anza was 79%. The 80-85% figure is a general goal for the colleges, not for individual faculty members, departments, or divisions. However, what will be equally important is that our offerings ensure that our students can meet their general education requirements in person as well as online.
Non-instructional departments at Foothill, De Anza and Central Services will evaluate their operations as more staff members return to campus for more days beginning in winter 2022. Whether people are working remotely or in person, we are committed to providing service Monday through Friday with consistent and predictable hours posted on websites and included in office phone messages.
Recent attempts to develop a board policy and administrative procedures for remote work revealed the difficulties of establishing a uniform approach to all employees and all work assignments. Additionally, some recommendations appeared more appropriately addressed in contract negotiations, so administration will follow up accordingly and postpone policy development.
In the meantime, I ask all administrators to consider the following impacts in developing both remote and in-person class schedules and office hours:
- Student access
- Quality of instruction and services
- Equitable workloads
- Participation in committees
- Professional development
- Team building
Given our very low number of workplace exposures to date and the availability of equally effective alternative methods for conducting contact tracing, we are discontinuing use of the OptimumHQ app for health status reporting and activity logging. At Foothill, we will also discontinue use of the Modolabs student mobile app for health status reporting only. All other functions of the student mobile app will remain active at both colleges.
The district will continue with contact tracing using the methods that were in place before implementation of the OptimumHQ app. These safety measures have worked well and include protocols outlined in the Employee Protocol - Health Checks: Authorization for Onsite Access to District Property and the COVID-19 Response Team document. The latter is a step-by-step chart used for notification of exposures and reporting of COVID positive or symptomatic employees, students, contractors, vendors, and volunteers. These resources have been used consistently by the Human Resources Office and will continue to be updated as needed. You can find this information and more on the HR COVID-19 Employee Information and Resources page at https://hr.fhda.edu/_covid-19/index.html.
A number of people have asked about the possibility of offering onsite COVID-19 testing. To date, we have had fewer than 20 people who have requested and received an approved exemption to the district’s vaccine mandate. As more people begin returning to campus, we will be looking at how to handle onsite testing for exempted employees as well as for any employees who are part of an onsite workplace exposure, beginning in the winter quarter. Additional information about this will be distributed districtwide and made available on the HR COVID-19 Employee Information and Resources page.
The district is voluntarily extending the federal provisions for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFRCA) for all employees through June 30, 2022. Please be advised that while the FFCRA leave provision will end at that time, employees may still be entitled to leave under their respective collective bargaining agreement using Family and Medical Leave Act, unpaid leave, etc.
Finally, there have been many questions and concerns regarding our HVAC systems. While there are no specific HVAC mandates from the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health, the department has provided recommendations in the form of guidance, which we are following to every extent possible. Please see the following websites for district and county HVAC information:
- Ventilation and HVAC Frequently Asked Questions – Foothill-De Anzahttps://facilities.fhda.edu/_tile-facilities-safety/a_hvac.html
- Guidance for Ventilation and Air Filtration Systems – Santa Clara County Department of Public Health https://covid19.sccgov.org/sites/g/files/exjcpb766/files/Guidance-for-Ventilation-and-Air-Filtration.pdf
I’d like to close by thanking the members of the Consultation Task Force who have provided excellent advice as we collectively navigate a myriad of uncertainties. What is certain is that Foothill-De Anza will emerge from the pandemic better prepared to meet the needs of current and future students because of your thoughtfulness, intentionality, and dedication. It is truly a privilege and pleasure to work with you.
With best wishes for the holiday season and new year,
Executive Director of International Student Programs
I am extremely excited to announce the selection of Jennifer L. Brook as the Executive Director of International Student Programs for Foothill-De Anza! She has been serving as the Interim Executive Director since May 10, 2021, and we were so fortunate that she was willing to step into that role on fairly short notice.
Since 2014, Jennifer served as the Director of International Recruitment and Marketing. As a long-time champion of forward-thinking approaches to recruitment and marketing, Jennifer has played a central role in helping modernize our international recruitment efforts. Through her oversight of all international marketing and communications for the district – including social media, print, e-mail, and digital marketing – she coordinated a complete refresh of our international brand identity and developed and implemented our first multi-channel CRM (customer relationship management) communication plan. Co-leading our District’s recruitment efforts, Jennifer has kept a particular focus on developing underserved markets and increasing the diversity of our applicants. Always taking a collaborative and student-centered approach, she established and leads two cross-district committees focused on aligning and improving our communication efforts with current and prospective international students.
Prior to joining our district, Jennifer held several roles in international education, including: Associate Director of International Admissions, Assistant Director of International Admissions, and Graduate Assistant, International Center (all at Hawaii Pacific University), International Student and Study Abroad Advisor (the School of Art Institute, Chicago), and Graduate Assistant, International Student Services (Lewis University, Illinois).
We have benefited from her breadth and depth of experience in international education – starting from her own experience as an F-1 student in the U.S. She has taught ESL, advised students on immigration issues and study abroad programs, and has worked in international admissions, marketing, and recruitment since 2010. Jennifer is a respected leader in the field and continues to make impressive strides in reimagining our International Student Program in a global context that continues to be volatile.
I asked Jennifer for some thoughts she'd like to share with all of you and this is what she wrote:
"Throughout my time at FHDA, I have been continually inspired by the District's mission and values for fostering an environment committed to access, equity, innovation, and student success. I am excited by the opportunity to continue to lead the District's International Student Program and outstanding team of ISP professionals as we reestablish FHDA's position as the most innovative, student-centered community college in international education. I sincerely look forward to collaborating with leadership, faculty, administrators, and classified professionals across the District to develop modern and creative initiatives to attract and support international students from diverse backgrounds."Please join me in congratulating Jennifer and thanking her for leading a very talented team of classified professionals and administrators in ISP!
I also want to thank Rob Mieso and the search committee for successfully completing the search process in just under three months. Their timely efforts will ultimately contribute to increasing enrollment for which we are all grateful.
Report of Special Board Meeting
It is with a sense of sadness that I share Board President Landsberger’s report out of closed session at 7:59 p.m. tonight, October 25, 2021:
The Board acted in closed session not to renew the employment contract of the Foothill College President after the expiration of its term on June 30, 2022, and to authorize the Chancellor to issue notice of the Board’s intention and take any other necessary steps in the interests of the District, Foothill College, and its students and employees.
The vote in favor of the motion to approve this action was unanimous.
After announcing the action, President Landsberger went on to state:
That concludes my official report of actions the Board took during closed session. While I am limited in what more I can say about the action and what led to it, I can say that the Board believes this action is needed to allow the college to move beyond the current state of conflict.
The Board of Trustees respects President Nguyen’s accomplishments and recognizes that she is admired by many. Nevertheless, the board’s priority must be to take steps to establish the conditions under which administrators, faculty, staff, and students can work collaboratively to achieve student success with universally equitable outcomes.
The Board has placed the achievement of the district’s equity and student success goals at the heart of its Board Priorities. Nothing in this action should be interpreted as a retreat from Foothill’s equity agenda. Foothill-De Anza has a long history of advancing equity and inclusion, and this work will continue uninterrupted. As an organization, we are committed to removing barriers for our students and helping to create a just society where all can be successful.
I believe it is in the best interests of Foothill College to seek new leadership that can reinvigorate collaborative approaches to being student centered and equity minded.
While we search for a new president, I’m pleased to announce that Foothill College President Emerita Bernadine Chuck Fong will serve as acting president from November 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022.
On November 1 from 12:00-1:00 p.m., Acting President Fong, President Landsberger, and I will hold a collegewide meeting to begin the healing process.
Going forward, let us focus on the future and recommit to nurturing a collegial environment that is conducive to teaching and learning. We owe it to our students.
Area Elections for the Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees: We'd like to hear from you!
For the first time since the district’s founding in 1957, we are changing the way members of the Board of Trustees are elected. The new system is intended to elevate the voices and increase representation of the diverse communities in our district – including the communities in which we work and in which many of you live or have ties.
The board and I invite you to attend the Sept. 13 Board of Trustees meeting to take part in the first of two public hearings to gather information and comment that will assist in dividing our district into five trustee areas of roughly equal population size. Starting next year, we will begin the transition to a new system in which voters in each of the five trustee areas will elect one area resident to serve on the board.
This is a consequential change that will affect our colleges, our local communities, and our students and employees, and we would like you to be involved. We believe your knowledge about Foothill-De Anza and the communities that make up the district could contribute significantly to the best possible outcome as we establish boundary lines for the five trustee areas.
You can learn more about the process and how you can be part of it by visiting www.fhda.edu/trustee-areas. Attending the Sept. 13 hearing also would be a good first step.
One of California’s most respected redistricting consultants, Redistricting Partners, is assisting the district in drawing draft maps showing possible trustee area boundary lines based on established districting principles and community input. We are committed to an open, transparent, and public process of information gathering, discussion, and decision making that will take place over the next five months. Your ideas are essential.
At the Sept. 13 hearing, which begins at 7 p.m., Redistricting Partners will give an overview of the districting process and discuss the importance of identifying communities of interest that would benefit from being together. Bringing people with common interests together for fair and effective representation is an important principle in drawing trustee area boundary lines. We are soliciting ideas from the community for this hearing.
You can find the Board of Trustees agenda and link information posted Thursday afternoon at the district’s BoardDocs website.
I hope to see you on Sept. 13, but if you can’t attend, we will have a second hearing on Oct. 4. After the second hearing, board members will provide direction to the consultant about what they’d like considered in draft maps showing potential trustee area boundaries. Public hearings on those maps and any maps submitted by the public will be held in December and January before the board makes a final decision on the trustee area boundaries in February.
Please take the time to visit our Trustee Areas website to learn more about this. Change is coming – be part of it!
I’d like to provide an update on a number of logistical issues that we have addressed to implement Board Policy 3507 on mandated vaccinations for students and employees. As a reminder, all Foothill-De Anza employees working on campus, must be vaccinated by September 15. Students will be notified of their deadlines by the colleges.
VERIFICATION OF VACCINATION
Thanks to accelerated efforts by Educational Technology Services (ETS), the PyraMed platform for uploading verification of vaccination and exemptions will be available to all students and employees on or about September 3, and we will send instructions at that time. De Anza students currently have access as that has been their medical records system for the past year.
Additionally, ETS is developing a program to cross-check on-campus enrollments with vaccination status. This approach will allow us to identify students who are not in compliance with the mandate while also protecting their privacy.
Employees requesting exemptions for medical or religious reasons can find forms and instructions here:
Medical exemption requests will be reviewed by our colleges’ health services professionals and accommodations will follow our established processes for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Religious exemption requests will be reviewed by Chancellor’s Cabinet and supervising administrators will be consulted regarding possible workplace accommodations.
Workload permitting, we aim to respond to requests within three business days of receiving forms that are complete.
VENDORS, VISITORS, VOLUNTEERS, MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
Throughout the district, signs will be posted indicating that we require masks indoors regardless of vaccination status and recommend wearing masks at large outdoor gatherings. Additional guidance will be forthcoming for individuals who perform work on district sites but are not employees of the District
EVALUATION OF FALL 21 IMPLEMENTATION
Knowing that we are venturing into new territory, Chancellor’s Advisory Council will assess the strengths and areas for improvement in our processes before the end of fall quarter, and our Board of Trustees will revisit BP 3507 at its meeting of January 10, 2022.
Thank you for your patience and assistance as we attempt to address a wide range of needs and desires. The stress level is high for everyone so I hope we can be kind and supportive of each other. I’d love to hear from you about a moment you felt appreciated by one of our colleagues and if I might share that at my open office hour on September 8.
I’m writing to report on recent developments related to mandatory vaccination and verification for students and employees.
Let me begin by thanking the Consultation Task Force for its advice regarding implementation of the proposed interim mandatory vaccination policy. This requires all employees and students who come to campus to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 15 for employees and Sept. 20 for students, since we expect the federal Food & Drug Administration to fully approve a vaccine within the next few weeks. Recent surges in the delta variant and the appearance of the lambda in California compel us to take as many measures as possible to mitigate health risks to our students and employees. We will also provide you with information regarding surveillance testing as soon as we finalize the details.
For the past year, De Anza Health Services has successfully used a secure online health portal, PyraMED Health Services, for students to request appointments, view clinic records and, for international students, to upload vaccination records, among other services. PyraMED provides health, counseling, wellness, and accommodation software to colleges and universities across the country. De Anza reports that it is convenient to use, meets all medical privacy requirements, and integrates well with Banner.
Rather than having ETS develop a system de novo, we now plan to expand De Anza’s PyraMED license and use this system for all employees and students throughout the district who come to campus. Individuals will upload their proof of COVID-19 vaccination and PyraMED can interface with the California Immunization Registry (CAIR) for verification of vaccination records. We have high confidence in this system as it has already detected fraudulent vaccination records. We will update you about the process for using PyraMED as we work out the details.
We also have decided that effective immediately, all of our student athletes will need to show proof of vaccination to practice for and compete in intercollegiate games. We are taking this step in good conscience and out of an abundance of caution to protect our students. We are encouraging everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to wear masks outdoors when social distancing isn't possible, for the safety of themselves and others. But athletes cannot wear masks during practice and games, where they may be playing against others who are not vaccinated.
Please join me in thanking De Anza President Lloyd Holmes and Rosafel Nogra, De Anza Health Services clinic director, for helping us find a good solution with PryaMED. For those still in need of a COVID-19 vaccination, De Anza is hosting a clinic on campus on Aug. 31 from noon to 7 p.m. Watch the college web site for details. Rosafel will attend my office hour on September 8 from 11 AM-12 PM to answer questions about PryaMED.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to all of you for being steadfast in service to our district amidst the torturous impact of the pandemic on our personal and professional lives. Thank you for your individual efforts to protect yourselves, your loved ones, and the lives of those whose names you will never know.
In gratitude for the privilege of working with you,
Bay Area Counties Recommend Masking Indoors for Everyone
The counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, and the City of Berkeley recommend masking Indoors for everyone as a precaution against increased circulation of COVID-19. The news release can be found here:
Regardless of vaccination status, Foothill-De Anza employees, students, and visitors are expected to follow this recommendation when on campus as our part in mitigating the risk of transmission. Specifically, masks should be worn indoors unless the individual is working alone. When outdoors, masks should be worn in large groups or instances where social distancing of six feet cannot be maintained.
I want to thank all of you who are taking every precaution to protect yourselves and those around you. We have never been more dependent on each other and I am confident that our collective efforts will serve us well.
Retirement of Vice Chancellor Joe Moreau
It is with extremely mixed feelings that I share the news of Vice Chancellor Joe Moreau’s retirement. I am happy for him to enjoy travel, volunteer opportunities, and more quality time with his family, especially the newest arrival, granddaughter Penelope. But after his many contributions for nearly a decade, it is challenging to imagine Foothill-De Anza without his leadership and creativity. He has been a wonderful thought partner and I will miss him greatly.
In addition to his local accomplishments, Joe is recognized statewide and nationally for his leadership in educational technology. Were it not for Joe’s reputation, I do not believe Foothill-De Anza would have been awarded the contract to oversee the California Virtual Campus-Online Education Initiative (CVC-OEI). Were it not for Joe, I do not believe that CVC-OEI would have enjoyed such successful implementation and development, founded on exemplary collaboration among faculty, staff, and administrators throughout the state. I shudder to think of the California Community Colleges pivoting to online instruction in March of 2020 without the infrastructure support of CVC-OEI.
Next Generation Leadership Partners was the consulting firm that found Joe for us, so we will use their services again! In September, Vice Chancellor Susan Cheu will chair the search committee for the Interim Vice Chancellor who will serve from January 1-December 31, 2022. Susan will convene the committee for the permanent search in Spring 22, so that the final recommendation can be presented to the Board of Trustees on November 7, 2022. More details and invitations for constituency representatives will be forthcoming.
In the meantime, please join me in thanking Joe for his outstanding service!
As we continue our planning and discussions regarding reopening our colleges, we have received a number of inquiries seeking clarification on our current and future expectations for remote work. As you may know, we are at the beginning stages of drafting a remote work policy and administrative procedures to be shared with constituency groups, but those consultations will take a number of months. Our current timeline anticipates having a procedure by December 2021.
In the interim, our colleges are beginning to reopen with additional programs and services available in person this summer and even more by Fall quarter. This means there is likely an increased expectation for employees to return to campus as well.
We appreciate that many of you may still be reluctant to return in person, either due to concerns about the virus for you or your family, childcare or eldercare needs, or for other personal reasons regarding commute times, flexibility in scheduling, etc. We encourage you to work with your manager to discuss your interests and determine if continuing a remote work schedule may be continued for the immediate future. Wherever possible, managers are encouraged to continue to provide remote work options for all employees with special circumstances or concerns, at least through Fall quarter.
In the meantime, I appreciate your patience as we navigate the desires and needs of students and employees who are equally passionate about returning to campus or continuing online. I am also in awe of your dedication and grit that supported high quality teaching and learning during the toughest year on record. Here’s wishing you a summer that includes quality time for you and yours!
Juneteenth as a New District Holiday
I am tremendously pleased to announce that the District has reached tentative agreement with the Faculty Association to observe Juneteenth as a district holiday for purposes of the 2021-2022 and future academic calendars. It is our understanding the other unions and meet-and-confer units are interested in negotiating this topic as well, and we look forward to those conversations. Thank you to the faculty and students for your early advocacy to observe this important event well before President Biden signed the legislation making Juneteenth National Independence Day, commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, a federal holiday!
To accommodate for Juneteenth being observed as a holiday in the academic calendar, we need to add one day to the calendar to meet the state requirements for 175 instructional days. Therefore, Wednesday, September 15, 2021, will be scheduled as a mandatory professional development day with the programming determined by the colleges and Central Services for their respective constituencies. Thursday, September 16 will remain as District Opening Day and Friday, September 17 will be for additional college programming. Stay tuned for more information to follow.
Wishing you a wonderful close to the academic year,
With the announcement by Governor Newsom regarding the “reopening” of California, I am sure we are all happy to see the lifting of so many restrictions. The Mercury News published an excellent Q&A article this morning about the reopening, and it is encouraging to see the current consistency of regulations throughout the Bay Area. For statewide guidance about reopening the California Community Colleges, please see the June 11, 2021, memo from Chancellor Eloy Oakley.
So, what’s next for Foothill-De Anza?
In many ways, not much will change for our operations. Masks at work are currently required by Cal/OSHA, but we expect some revisions to be announced on June 17.
The current plans for summer and fall course schedules will remain in place while Central Services and the colleges analyze the feedback from student and employee surveys that were recently completed, which you can view here:
Employee Return to Campus Survey
Foothill Student Planning Survey Fall 2021
De Anza Student Survey for Fall 2021
If you have questions about your individual work situation, please meet with your manager.
On Monday night, our Board of Trustees passed a resolution directing the presentation of a mandatory vaccination policy for students and staff at the board meeting of July 12. Both the policy and administrative procedures will be discussed at the Chancellor’s Advisory Council meeting on June 18 from 9:00-10:30 a.m. Please contact your representative(s) on the Chancellor's Advisory Council with any feedback you have about the draft documents.
Time permitting, we will also take questions at the Budget Town Hall on June 17, from 2:30-3:30 p.m. I encourage you to attend using the Zoom information on your district calendar to learn about some interesting budget developments.
Thank you for your Herculean efforts over the past 15 months! The student testimonials at this year’s graduation celebrations are evidence of your transformative impact in the midst of personal and professional challenges unlike any we have ever endured. I wish you all a happy and safe re-entry into the new normal.
Update on Search for the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity
After a highly rigorous reference checking process and much reflection, I have decided to pause the search for the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity.
We will use the summer to determine which firm/consultant can assist when we resume the process this fall. Pat Hyland will chair a new committee and I would appreciate the Academic and Classified Senates confirming their appointments no later than October 19, 2021.
Myisha Washington will continue as Interim Vice Chancellor through June 30, 2022. Please join me in thanking her for providing this continuity over the next year.
On May 18, Santa Clara County mandated that “all businesses and governmental entities determine the COVID-19 vaccination status of their employees, contractors, volunteers, and others who regularly work onsite.”
To meet this requirement, please complete the very brief survey linked below no later than 5:00 PM, Wednesday, May 26 :
The system will automatically record your name and CWID. People who indicate they are unvaccinated as defined by the County will receive this survey every 14 days to update their status accordingly.
Although the district is not currently requiring employees to be vaccinated, you may
request an exemption from vaccination as described below:
- Medical Exemption: due to a medical (including mental health) condition for which
an Approved Vaccine presents a significant risk of a serious adverse reaction. The
District may ask that a medical Exemption be verified by a certified or licensed healthcare
- Religious Exemption: due to either (i) a person's sincerely held religious belief, observance, or practice, which includes any traditionally recognized religion, or (ii) beliefs, observances, or practices which an individual sincerely holds and that occupy a place of importance in that individual's life, comparable to that of traditionally recognized religions.
Thank you for your assistance in meeting this county mandate. We expect to verify a high rate of vaccination among our employees, thereby increasing confidence in the safety of return to campus activities.
Latest Santa Clara County Health Order Effective May 19, 2021
Attached is the executive summary of the most recent health order from Santa Clara County in which I have highlighted directives regarding vaccinated and unvaccinated employees and students. Human Resources is in the process of determining specific details of compliance and we will share those with you as soon as possible.
Please remember that masks are still required when on campus.
Thank you for your patience as we obtain more information,
Interim Executive Director of International Student Programs
I am thrilled to announce the appointment of Jennifer Brook as the Interim Executive Director of International Student Programs for Foothill-De Anza!
Jennifer brings a breadth and depth of experience in international education – starting from her own experience as an F-1 student in the U.S. She has taught ESL, advised students on immigration issues and study abroad programs, and has worked in international admissions, marketing, and recruitment since 2010. Jennifer is a respected leader in the field, and we are very lucky to have her at the helm of our International Student Programs. Her appointment is effective May 10 through December 31, 2021.
Prior to joining our district, Jennifer held several roles in international education, including: Associate Director of International Admissions, Assistant Director of International Admissions, and Graduate Assistant, International Center (all at Hawaii Pacific University), International Student and Study Abroad Advisor (the School of Art Institute, Chicago), and Graduate Assistant, International Student Services (Lewis University, Illinois).
For the past seven years, Jennifer has served as the Director of International Recruitment and Marketing. As a long-time champion of forward-thinking approaches to recruitment and marketing, Jennifer has played a central role in helping modernize our international recruitment efforts. Through her oversight of all international marketing and communications for the district – including social media, print, e-mail, and digital marketing – she coordinated a complete refresh of our international brand identity and developed and implemented our first multi-channel CRM (customer relationship management) communication plan. Co-leading our District’s recruitment efforts, Jennifer has kept a particular focus on developing underserved markets and increasing the diversity of our applicants. Always taking a collaborative and student-centered approach, she established and leads two cross-district committees focused on aligning and improving our communication efforts with current and prospective international students.
Please join me in congratulating Jennifer and thanking her for stepping up at a very challenging time!
I also want to thank Rob Mieso and the search committee for their dedication and diligence in completing the search process so quickly to meet a number of pressing deadlines. What a year this has been!
With deep appreciation,
Consultation Task Force Update as of May 4, 2021
Dear Colleagues,Attached is a summary of the Consultation Task Force discussion that took place on May 4, 2021. I am extremely grateful to all the participants for their insights and suggestions that produced such thoughtful dialogue and look forward to future meetings.
- full approval of vaccines by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration;
- adoption of a policy by the Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees; and
- establishment of administrative procedures by the Chancellor's Advisory Council.
More information will be available during the return-to-campus planning and lessons learned session on May 26 from 2:00-3:00 PM and you are welcome to send questions in advance to email@example.com. There will be a recording in case you can't join us live.
As we await further developments and opportunities to meet, I hope we will do everything we can individually and collectively to encourage vaccinations and safe behaviors that will allow us to enjoy each other’s company without needing a Zoom link!
Return to Campus Update as of April 27, 2021
The recent announcement that UC and CSU are requiring all students and employees to be vaccinated once vaccines receive full approval, raises one more set of questions for us to answer as we implement our own phased return to campus. Here is an update on several issues about which Chancellor’s Cabinet has received questions over the past few weeks.
Return to Campus Task Force
We are grateful to Pat James, Brenda Visas, and Jeff Schlesinger who signed on to help us complete required documentation of safety protocols and consult with colleagues on a myriad of compliance issues. We originally envisioned the Task Force having to meet with an overwhelming number of groups requesting assistance with their return to campus plans, but that is not what happened.
First, there was not an overwhelming number of requests. Second, the colleges did such a good job anticipating what would be needed and consulting with key support services, that they didn’t need any additional review. Thus, the work of the Task Force is done.
Reconvening of the Consultation Task Force
However, as employees and students have begun to return, we have certain districtwide decisions to make that would best be done by reconvening the Consultation Task Force (CTF) that was immeasurably helpful in our decision making around shelter-in-place last year. The CTF comprises leaders of our bargaining units, Classified Senates, student bodies, and Academic Senates; colleges’ senior staffs and Chancellor’s Cabinet.
Questions for consideration include but are not limited to:
- In the absence of a mandate from the Board of Governors or other authority, should we mandate vaccinations for students and employees, the latter subject to collective bargaining?
- What is the process for handling individuals who refuse to comply with safety protocols or are disruptive/uncooperative in some fashion?
- How do you respond to students or employees who receive a health alert on the health status reporting application?
I will convene the CTF on May 4 from 2:30-4:00 PM and encourage you to contact your respective Senate or union representatives to convey your ideas and concerns.
Thank you for your patience as we tackle so many important issues, particularly regarding vaccinations. With or without an external mandate for vaccinations, I do hope that our district will lead the way in modeling behavior that is in the best interests of public health and safety.
In Memory of George Floyd
Many statements have been issued in the hours since the three guilty verdicts were announced in the George Floyd murder trial. The messages with which I identified most were those that cycled through feelings of disbelief, relief, and hope that justice could be served but also encouraged sustained vigilance in the struggle for racial justice. A particularly compelling message was written by Constance Carroll, Chancellor of the San Diego Community College District, so I thought I would share her closing remarks:
While the notion of equal justice for all, including people of color, remains a challenge, this ray of hope is most welcome. It will behoove us all to work even harder to ensure that this becomes the new pattern. Let me remind us of the closing words of Amanda Gorman’s poem, The Hill We Climb, which she delivered at the Inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
The new day blooms as we free it, For there is always light, If only we’re brave enough to see it, If only we’re brave enough to be it.
Let us join together to be brave enough to see and brave enough to be.
You are most welcome to attend my open office hour on Wednesday, April 21, from 11:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M, which will be a time for reflection.
Schedule for 4/16 Districtwide Professional Development Day
Districtwide Professional Development Day
April 16, 2021
Note: You will be asked to register for each session. Registration is instantaneous and will be used to track your participation.
8:30 to 11:30 a.m. – Dr. Joy DeGruy: The Conversation Continues
This is the third in a series of conversations with Dr. Joy DeGruy to deepen our understanding of the effects of institutional racism, discrimination, and marginalization, and steps we can take within our district to become a more equitable learning and work environment.
Register for Dr. Joy DeGruy’s presentation
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Break
12:30 to 3 p.m. – Empathetic Interviewing with Bahia Overton
This training is to prepare people who will subsequently interview students, faculty and staff about their views on institutional culture and safety. The training focuses on how to elicit and hear people’s experiences without judgment.
Register for Empathetic Interviewing
12:30 to 2:00 p.m. – Self-Directed Study
This is an opportunity for individuals to deepen their own understanding of issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion. These resources are offered as possible areas of focus.
12:30 to 2:00 p.m. – Affinity Group Meetings
These are facilitated discussions for those wishing to reflect on the morning’s presentation and continue the conversation.
Asian/Asian American Affinity Group
Register for this affinity group
Black/African American Affinity Group
Register for this affinity group
Latin(x) Affinity Group
Register for this affinity group
Multiracial Affinity Group
Register for this affinity group
White Affinity Group
Register for this affinity group
Return to Campus Update
Now that Santa Clara County has entered the orange tier, we are planning in earnest for a phased return to campus. Think of our current in-person programs and services as Phase 1 and the next few months as Phase 2. Thank you, De Anza, for allowing me to adopt the terminology from your draft Return to Campus Plan at deanza.edu/return-to-campus/ Foothill also has some excellent information posted along with its draft Return to Campus Plan at foothill.edu/return/
- Ongoing – The district will complete and maintain mandated return to campus plans and reports.
- March 23 – Chancellor’s Cabinet reviewed the colleges’ prioritized lists for Phase 2, looking at timing, logistics, and any support needed from Central Services. Assuming no changes in the county’s status, all the college proposals will be implemented beginning in the spring quarter.
- March 29 – Already-approved Phase 1 essential employees and students who were on campus for the winter quarter may now self-report on the OptimumHQ app when entering and exiting the campus without having to report to the Foothill-De Anza police.
- Early April – Using the OptimumHQ app to assist with contact tracing, Phase 2-approved employees begin returning to campus to use individual offices and classrooms for teaching without students being present. County and state cleaning requirements and guidelines must be followed by all. Information specific to the use of offices will be distributed soon. The OptimumHQ app is available for self-registration (account creation) along with information about how to use it on the ETS website under the Support for Remote Work and Instruction section.
- Early May – Outdoor conditioning classes will be offered at both colleges.
I want to assure you that as we move forward, the safety of our students and employees remains the top priority. A frequent question is whether or not we will require employees and students to be vaccinated. We will not require vaccinations but will require masks until we receive guidance that we need not. We ask that anyone experiencing COVID-like symptoms remain at home and seek medical advice.
We also understand that a return to campus may pose challenges in certain instances so we will continue to balance the needs of our students and employees to the best of our ability. I look forward to conversations about the changing nature of our work as educators and students’ expectations of us.
More details will be forthcoming as our planning progresses. Thank you for your fortitude over the past year and the thoughtful and creative ways you have adapted.
I can’t wait to see you on campus!!!
Changes to Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees Elections
Monday’s board meeting marks the start of a year-long process during which the district will take the necessary steps to change the way that voters elect members of our Board of Trustees. Moving from electing trustees “at large,” as we currently do, to electing a trustee from each of five smaller geographic areas is a way to ensure that minority votes are not diluted.
If time permits, please join us for a presentation to the board that will give an overview of the process for establishing trustee area elections. Monday’s board meeting starts at 1 p.m. and the presentation is likely to begin around 1:30 p.m. as it is among the first items on the agenda.
Participation by all of you in addition to the voters of our service area will help us ensure that trustee area boundaries take account of the various communities of interest in our geographically extensive district. There will be multiple public hearings over the next year as we move through this process. A webpage will provide additional ways to be involved.
Monday’s presentation is being recorded, and if you cannot join us “live” we expect to have the recording posted on the Trustee Area Elections webpage after the page is activated on Tuesday. You can reach it from the Board of Trustees area of the district website. I also welcome your questions and suggestions during my weekly open office hour on Wednesdays from 11-12 p.m.
COVID Update as of February 6, 2021
Since February 3, we have learned that two of our Foothill-De Anza colleagues have tested positive for COVID and three have been exposed while on campus. Because these individuals were in numerous sites throughout the district, we are taking the following precautions from February 7 through February 15:
- The warehouse will be closed.
- No mail will be picked up.
- Various rooms will have signage indicating that they are closed for cleaning.
- ETS will not provide in-person device support.
Functions that will occur:
- Previously approved instructional programs
- Hazardous materials inspection as required by federal law
- Foothill radio station as required by federal law
- Child Development Center
- Accounts payable
- Cleaning by an outside vendor
We do not anticipate needing to extend the above restrictions beyond February 15 but will notify you should that be the case.
Let me express my appreciation to those of you who have been on campus and followed the protocols for notifying the police department of your arrival, location, and departure. You have made it much more likely that we can conduct timely and thorough contact tracing. Your colleagues and their loved ones thank you.
If you were on campus without prior permission since February 1, please let Myisha Washington know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We care about your safety and that of others with whom you may have been in contact.
We are all anxious to resume in-person activities and we can get there if we continue to wear masks, socially distance, and wash our hands. Health officials are warning against celebrating the Super Bowl with those outside of your household, and I hope we all comply.
Stay safe and be well,
In Memory of Sandra Diaz
This evening, we are mourning the death of De Anza College Nursing instructor Sandra Diaz. Some of you have already heard this sad news from De Anza President Lloyd Holmes, whose message is available at https://www.deanza.edu/president/message210129.html.
Sandra is the first -- and we certainly hope last -- Foothill-De Anza employee to succumb to COVID-19. She was a wonderful instructor, known for her care, empathy, and support for her students, and for her kindness to all. It is especially devastating that Sandra was to receive tenure in March.
Our hearts go out to Sandra's husband, her four daughters, and her 10 grandchildren. We know she would have loved to see the birth of her 11th grandchild, currently on the way.
We know Sandra would have celebrated her tenure, and continued to teach her students well, preparing them to work on the front lines of healthcare. And we wish that she could have completed a long and fulfilling career here with us at Foothill-De Anza.
Losing Sandra underscores why we at the district have wanted to exercise significant care and caution in the decisions we have made, and in our planning. I hope that you will continue to take all precautions to guard against the virus, and will take the vaccine when it becomes available to you.
I look forward to the day when we can all meet again, safely and in person.
Professional Development Day on February 19
Winter Quarter 2021 Update
Now that you’ve had time to settle into winter quarter, I have several pieces of news to share. I also want you to know how much I appreciate your support of our students. As of census, our enrollments are flat, which is good news in light of enrollment declines at most community colleges throughout the state and nation. I attribute this distinction to all your innovation and success in providing high quality programs and services.
Districtwide professional development days
Continuing the relationship with Dr. Joy DeGruy that began with District Opening Day, we have scheduled another all-employee session with her on February 19. We are excited to have Dr. DeGruy back with us to discuss next steps in our ongoing efforts to become a more equitable and inclusive institution. More details will be coming soon about a day that I expect will be engaging, enlightening and impactful! We’re also planning another program with Dr. DeGruy on April 16.
I am thrilled to announce that Pat James, who served as executive director of the Online Education Initiative from 2014-2017, has agreed to help coordinate the district’s operational plans for returning to campus. This is a complex task, and I am grateful to have such a skilled administrator to assist us. Pat will also help us stay on top of constantly changing state and county requirements.
To assist Pat, we will form an ad hoc Return-to-Campus Task Force that will begin meeting in February. The task force will produce a comprehensive document that describes:
- College processes for deciding prioritization of programs and services for return to campus
- Timelines, responsibilities, and lead personnel for all aspects of return to campus
- Current state and local regulations governing in-person activities
As I have stated previously, the Return-to-Campus Task Force will not be setting priorities about who returns when, but the colleges will establish their own processes to determine their respective priorities. Chancellor’s Cabinet will consequently invite faculty, classified professionals, union representatives, and administrators to participate on the task force based on their operational knowledge and responsibility in relation to the programs and services on a given meeting agenda. The Task Force will assess the prerequisite conditions and resources for return to campus. Implementation plans will be approved by Chancellor’s Cabinet after consideration of safety, cost, availability of resources, feasibility, and issues subject to collective bargaining.
I’m also thrilled to announce that the district has very recently engaged Bahia Overton, a member of Dr. DeGruy’s consulting team, to facilitate an inclusive review of campus safety that can ultimately inform recommendations to the Board of Trustees. This approach emerged from our conversations with Bahia and Dr. DeGruy about our work to remove barriers to equity and inclusion.
Over the past year it has become increasingly clear that policing is only one element of campus culture that affects feelings of safety throughout the district. Following Bahia’s advice, we will conduct a comprehensive examination of campus safety in its broadest sense, beginning with the gathering of perspectives from a wide spectrum of students and employees to identify issues, themes, and ideas for change. In the coming weeks, Bahia will provide us with details on strategies and timelines. A progress report to the Board of Trustees is scheduled for June 14, and we will resume discussion in fall quarter to complete recommendations by the end of the calendar year.
The district is conducting a student housing survey that was launched this week with the help of the colleges’ marketing offices and student and faculty leaders. It is designed to gather information that will help us understand student needs as we pursue community-based affordable housing options. All students will receive a link to the survey, and we hope that faculty members will encourage students to complete it.
The survey will give us valuable baseline information that will help us in discussions with private and non-profit partners about developing community-based housing. The survey is similar to one that we did with employees in June. It aims to learn more about students’ current housing situations and their preferences for district-sponsored housing. I am grateful to the colleges and student leaders for their help in getting the word out about the survey.
At the November 2, 2020, study session of the Board of Trustees, Randy Tsuda of Alta Housing presented an overview of his organization’s work to increase affordable housing in Silicon Valley and their interest in partnering with Foothill-De Anza. We are now exploring a potential project with Alta in Mountain View for employee and student housing and will have more to share in the coming months.
We're also moving forward with a Joint Powers Authority with the Fremont Union High School District, Cupertino Union School District, and Sunnyvale Union School District for affordable employee housing and look forward to resuming meetings after a seven-month hiatus due to the pandemic.
The district is working with Mercy Housing California and Abode Communities on an affordable rental housing project for school employees and their families made possible through a partnership with Santa Clara County, Facebook, the city of Palo Alto, and several participating school districts. The development, which will be built on county owned land at 231 Grant Avenue in Palo Alto, is moving through the county's review process and a study session is tentatively scheduled before the Palo Alto City Council next month.
Informational sessions on major topics
In response to your keen interest, we have scheduled informational sessions focusing on the following topics to answer your questions and hear your ideas:
Student and employee housing – February 23 from 2-3 p.m.
Return-to-campus planning – March 4 from 4-5 p.m.
- Campus safety – March 11 from 4-5 p.m.
These will be added to your district calendar soon.
It feels a bit odd to report on such operational matters following such an historic presidential inauguration today and the attack on the Capitol only two weeks ago. I confess to toggling between the community college budget workshop and inaugural activities and concluded that our work may pause but never stops. And our students need us now more than ever.
Let me close by again expressing my thanks to all of you for nine months of dedication, creativity, and patience. There is a light at the end of this tunnel!
Be safe and be well,
A Call to Action
I expected there would be raucous protest outside the United States Capitol as Congress counted the Electoral College votes but never imagined that rioters would breach the building and disrupt the process. It was shocking and frightening to watch congresspersons hiding under seats and donning gas masks while frenzied groups smashed windows and vandalized chambers.
Fortunately, the story does not end there, and Congress reconvened to resume their work. Ultimately, Congress certified President-elect Joe Biden’s win and that very act inspired me to conclude that we could accomplish a great deal over the next four years given what we had accomplished in the past four years.
Despite limited resources, we have provided excellent programs and services to meet the various educational and career goals of our diverse students and increase their success. We have been undaunted in the face of the rescission of DACA, xenophobia, volatile regulation of international student enrollments, and an inadequate pandemic response, but those issues required attention and district resources that could have otherwise supported students. Imagine the benefits to students if the next four years cultivate a safer and more welcoming climate in addition to saving resources spent on legal and regulatory challenges.
Our district mission says in part:
We are driven by an equity agenda and … 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.
I am confident that we will continue to be driven by an equity agenda and that our community will support an equitable and just future for California and the United States. Despite the fact there is much difficult work ahead, we have proven we are up to the task.
COVID-19 Update and Campus Access
Given the recent Santa Clara County change to Purple Tier due to a surge in COVID cases and expected continued increase in transmission of this virus, especially as we enter the holiday season and colder weather, please keep yourself and others safe by wearing a mask, conducting frequent hand-washing, social/physical distancing, and practicing other preventive measures applicable to your home and work areas. Your health and safety are our utmost concern.
Please note, if you do get sick, have a positive COVID test, or are exposed to someone who tested positive, please adhere to the following.
Notifying the District if You Have Symptoms, Have Tested Positive for COVID, or Were Exposed
Regardless of whether you work on campus or remotely, if you experience COVID-like symptoms, have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, or if you have tested positive, you are required to notify your supervisor or the District Office of Human Resources. Your supervisor will then report your case to the District’s COVID Response Team who will conduct the required follow up.
In accordance with County guidelines, the District is required to track and report cases, and to conduct contact tracing to assist the county in its role to monitor and respond to the pandemic and prevent transmission of the virus.
The District Office of Human Resources will contact you to discuss the extent to which your situation is affecting your ability to work, options for continuing pay, if needed, and next steps.
As with any medical information, please be assured information regarding your health condition is considered confidential and will not be shared except as required or allowed by law or regulation.
For more complete information on Employee Expectations, please see the full document located on the District Office of Human Resources webpage at http://hr.fhda.edu/_covid-19/index.html
Revised Campus Visit Schedule and Protocol Reminders
Wednesday, December 2, 2020, and Wednesday, December 16, 2020
The District has tomorrow scheduled as a day for non-essential employees to return to campus to retrieve items or gather other resources necessary to continue their work. Please note that in order to return to campus everyone must follow safety protocols, including wearing a mask at all times while on District property, maintaining physical distancing, and observing frequent hand washing/sanitizing.
In light of the surge in cases and the recent holiday any employee who may have traveled or participated in gatherings with others outside their immediate household should follow the County guidance to observe the required quarantine period (14 days) and postpone their visit to a later date. Further, for employees who are concerned about the number of employees currently scheduled to come on to campus (50+ at each campus), a later visit may be appropriate. As a solution, the District has also scheduled Wednesday, December 16, 2020 (two weeks from tomorrow’s visit date) as an additional opportunity for employees to come onto campus. If you scheduled a visit for December 2 but now have decided not to do so, please follow your site procedures for notifying the appropriate person of your change in plans.
With appreciation for your cooperation and understanding during these challenging times,
Spring 21 Update
On September 16, I wrote to you saying we needed to plan on continuing to offer instruction and services remotely through Winter Quarter 21. We are proceeding accordingly and there will be extremely few exceptions to the work-from-home rule during this period, primarily involving allied health programs, child care, police, grounds, custodial, technology, business services, bookstore, library reserves, and facilities staff coming to campus as needed. Students and staff will work onsite on a very limited basis with all safety precautions in place, including utilization of a contact tracing app that we continue to modify as we gain more experience.
I also indicated that our plans for Spring Quarter 2021 would likely be decided in January, but you and our students need certainty sooner than January. Our colleagues with responsibilities for scheduling spring classes need direction now as to the possibility and feasibility of expanding on campus instruction. Given the current surge in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and stays in intensive care, we must stay the course through the end of Spring Quarter 21 and limit programs and services as indicated above. Santa Clara County is expected to announce increased restrictions next week and I will update you with any changes that would affect our district.
The Coast Conference met today to poll its 17 colleges as to their plans to opt in or out of competition for Spring 1 and Spring 2 sports as designated by the California Community College Athletic Association. I attended along with Thuy Nguyen, Lloyd Holmes, Kulwant Singh, and Eric Mendoza. Colleges that opted in indicated they were doing so if testing costs were affordable. They still have the choice to opt out at any time they determine they can’t afford testing.
Foothill-De Anza and others opted out on the basis of health and safety and that there is no assurance that testing will become affordable for our colleges. Waiting to decide would postpone the inevitable. It is our belief that students are better served by knowing now rather than later. We are concerned for their safety and that of their families if they are exposed to surges in COVID-19 that are considered likely given cold and flu season and large gatherings over the holidays. We know this is a source of great disappointment but we find the health risk to be even greater. By the time you read this, California may have already reported its one millionth case of COVID-19.
The current estimate to test Foothill-De Anza student athletes and employees for Spring 1 and Spring 2 is more than $1.5 million. This does not include the testing that would be required of game officials and visiting teams whose home counties would not have as strict a set of requirements as Santa Clara County. In addition, this cost does not include other expenses such as proper cleaning after each event, housing, transportation, etc.
In light of the current expectations for a mostly virtual Spring 21, we are developing a return-to-campus plan that would provide clear guidance as conditions change and we see opportunities to offer more programs and services on campus. Because of the enormity and complexity of meeting changing requirements, we have hired Pat James, who currently serves as an OEI professional development instructor, to monitor, update, and document regulations and our compliance. She will also assist us in communicating processes and decision points so that there is general understanding of who makes what decisions when. We will also convene a districtwide Return-to-Campus Task Force in January to coordinate work already accomplished at the colleges and Central Services regarding guiding principles, prioritizations, and logistics. Return-to-campus is still a work in progress, but we are committed to investing the time necessary to ensure that when we can return, it will be done with both safety and clarity.
You may not fully appreciate that you have made us a model district thanks to your dedication, resilience, and empathy. I was interviewed by La Voz this week and the reporter told me that he had talked with an international student about her experience this fall. She said: “I didn’t feel welcome by America but I felt welcome by De Anza.” I have no doubt this response is emblematic of Foothill-De Anza. We have our flaws but continually strive to make all our students welcome and successful!
With deep appreciation,
What painful times we live in. The good news is that we are in this together and no matter what happens, our students and their success will always to be our raison d'etre.
I want to take this opportunity to congratulate our incumbent trustees Gilbert Wong, Peter Landsberger, and Laura Casas who have won reelection. We all look forward to their continued leadership and commitment to our equity agenda that is so prominent in the board priorities that they adopted this past Monday.
Please take care of yourselves and each other as we move forward in fulfilling our mission. Foothill-De Anza is an astounding community in so many ways and I thank you for the privilege of working with you.
Interim Vice Chancellor of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity
I am pleased to announce that Myisha Washington has been selected to serve as Interim Vice Chancellor of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity from November 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. Please join me in thanking her for taking on these duties that are monumental in normal times let alone what we are currently experiencing locally, nationally, and globally.
Below is an excerpt from her resume that shows her progression from 2004 to the present day in increasingly responsible human resources positions at Foothill-De Anza.
• Plan and facilitate appropriate training for all employees.
• Assist in the development and present training on human resources related topics and procedures, and as required to effectively implement collective bargaining agreements; assist with providing direction and development of new employee orientation and staff development programs.
• Monitored and maintained complex HR technology systems and software and generates related reports as required; prepared and maintained a variety of files, records and reports.
• Served as substitute District resource person to management and unions for negotiations teams and meet and confer groups.
B.A. Visual and Public Art (Cum Laude), California State University, Monterey Bay
Let me close by thanking the faculty, classified professionals, and administrators who served on this search committee. By the end of Fall 2020, we will invite appointments to the search committee for the permanent vice chancellor so that we can advertise and interview during Winter 2021 and hire by July 1, 2021.
Winter 2021 Planning
Chancellor Eloy Oakley, head of the California Community Colleges, sent a message to CEOs on September 10 which included the following:
“I have spoken to several of you about plans you are considering for instruction in Spring ’21. I fully support that each college announce sooner rather than later that you will continue to be primarily online/remote for the remainder of the academic year. The more certainty we can provide our students and communities the better we will allow them to plan accordingly. This allows our faculty to be fully prepared for the remainder of the academic year. If things improve we can always bring students and staff back to campus. I can’t stress this enough, make the call soon. To reinforce this choice know that today Chancellor White announced that the CSU will continue to be online in the Spring and in my discussions with President Drake he is seriously contemplating doing the same. Once CSU and UC are committed in the Spring it will become increasing harder for our colleges to consider bringing non-CTE students back to campus.”
Chancellor Oakley’s message was aimed at colleges on the semester system, but the same need for certainty applies to us as well. If you attended my open office hour on September 9, you heard me say that we do need to plan on continuing to offer instruction and services remotely through Winter Quarter 2021. There will be extremely few exceptions to the work-from-home rule during this period, primarily involving allied health programs, child care, police, grounds, custodial, technology, business services, bookstore, and facilities staff coming to campus as needed. Students and staff will work onsite on a very limited basis with all safety precautions in place, including utilization of the contact tracing app that we are currently piloting. Plans for our Spring Quarter 2021 will likely be decided in January.
Striking a balance between the need for employee flexibility and services for students, the campuses will operate on a five-day schedule through Winter 2021, with the option for departments to operate on a four-day schedule based on approval from their administrator. Central Services departments will continue to operate on a four-day schedule, with the option to operate on a five-day schedule based on approval from their vice chancellor. Please be sure that your days and hours of service can be readily found and are clearly communicated.
It is impossible to adequately thank you for your resilience, creativity, and patience throughout the past six months. I reflect back on the inspiring year-end celebrations in June and am confident that we will continue to find ways to build and maintain a sense of community and connection for students and ourselves. Let’s be each other’s COVID Response Team!
Looking forward to seeing you for opening days.
I would like to provide clarification and an update on the planning we are doing for the November 1 deadline for budget reduction proposals currently in progress. First, any proposed changes would only be implemented if we could not start 21-22 with a balanced budget. This will depend on actual revenue for 20-21, state funding decisions for community colleges, and possible federal emergency assistance. In addition, the previously published timeline for decisions and employee notice of layoffs would only be implemented should your November 1 plan include the possible use of a filled position.
AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO FILLED POSITIONS, YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO IDENTIFY ONE-TIME FUNDS TO REACH YOUR TARGET.
The November 1 plan was never the same as previous budget reductions where we had to remedy a structural deficit and eliminate ongoing costs that were typically filled positions. Because you will not be required to identify permanent reductions for a July 1, 2021 implementation, you need only identify the source of funds to be used if revenue fell short of projections for 21-22. For example, and as an illustration only, if an area with multiple accounts were asked to identify solutions for the shortfall, the November plan might include a combination of 19-20 carry forward, capital outlay, expense transfers to grants/categoricals, salary savings from unfilled positions or unpaid leaves, enterprise funds, etc. This will allow us to “buy time” in order to continue our planning processes for more permanent changes, should they ultimately be necessary.
AS OF SEPTEMBER 1, THE REVISED REDUCTION TARGET IS $9,000,000.
I am thrilled to report that revised projections and closing figures for 2019-2020 from Business Services instill hope for a smaller deficit. Vice Chancellor Cheu is preparing a slideshow showing the changes that have occurred over the past months. She will share this information at my office hour from 11:00-12:00 on Wednesday, September 9, and it will also be posted on my website.
I hope this update and clarification of what is being asked by November 1 assures you that we strive to protect our full and part-time employees because our people make this district the incredible organization that it is!
With sincerest thanks for your tireless dedication,
Update on Campus Closures
As our intrepid firefighters gain more control over the Bay Area’s fires and with the weather cooperating, the air is improving enough in Los Altos Hills for previously cleared individuals to return to Foothill as of Thursday, August 27. This reopening applies only to those essential workers whose duties require them to be on-site and a very limited number of students, faculty, and staff who are involved in allied health programs. Because the air in Cupertino does not appear to be improving, De Anza essential workers will continue working remotely until Monday, August 31.
I want to thank Chief Danny Acosta, Officer Jeff McCoy, and Chancellor’s Cabinet and their teams for all their work over the past week (including nights and weekends) to put together contingency plans to address fire emergencies, including the elaborate planning required to open campus parking lots to evacuating vehicles, relocation assistance, and firefighting staging. We even determined where a helicopter would land were that necessary!
While the smoke has begun to clear, there are challenges ahead for many colleagues whose lives have been upended by the fires, and the Foothill-De Anza family is rallying. The colleges and Central Services are seeking information about who has been affected to determine what we can do to help. To date, these funds have been established:
Karen has written about her harrowing escape, the fire’s destruction of her canyon community and her gratitude.
https://www.gofundme.com/f/karen-smith-lost-her-cabin-to-czu-wildfire - recently set up by Karen
President Holmes would like to tailor assistance to individual needs because some have been non-financial such as housing or animal care. Please send requests to email@example.com.
https://www.gofundme.com/f/karen-villlaba-was-affected-by-the-wildfire - sponsored by the CDC at De Anza
If you have been evacuated and need assistance, or know of a Central Services colleague who does, please contact Monica Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Senate has limited funds available and will do its best to help. To support this effort, click HERE for a classified senate payroll deduction form.
During this time of upheaval, if you have fire- or health-related circumstances that affect your ability to work – for example, having to evacuate or caring for someone who is sick or affected by the fires – please let your supervisor know the particulars of your situation. Some people may need to set up remote work stations in new locations and others may need to take leave. The district will be as flexible as possible in meeting these needs.
Let me conclude by saying how proud I am of the generosity and kindness that have already been demonstrated by our Foothill-De Anza family. Crises are said to bring out the best and worst in people and this latest has certainly brought out the best in all of you.
With deepest appreciation,
Fall 2020 Update
Thank you for all your good work serving nearly 21,000 students during Summer 2020, resulting in an increase of more than 3% full-time equivalent students (FTES) over last year! For the past month, I have delighted in stories from parents and grandparents praising the quality of instruction at Foothill and De Anza and marveling at how much more their loved ones enjoyed their experiences with you in comparison to a number of universities. Bravi, one and all!
Given that Santa Clara County continues to be on California’s COVID watch list, the colleges and district offices will remain closed through January 3, 2021. This means we will continue offering services remotely. There will be extremely few exceptions to the work-from-home rule during this period, primarily involving police, grounds, custodial, technology, business services, bookstore, and facilities staff who will work onsite on a very limited basis with all safety precautions in place. Please join me in thanking all our colleagues who provide these services that are so critical to the continuity of our educational mission.
The decision to continue remote operations is driven by our desire to protect the health of students, faculty, and staff. The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department has not yet cleared colleges and universities to reopen, and the attached graph leads us to proceed with an abundance of caution.
I am including the link to California’s recently issued COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Higher Education Institutions so that you have the most current guidelines under which we are operating.
Striking a balance between the need for employee flexibility and services for students, the campuses will operate on a five-day schedule for Fall 2020, with the option for departments to continue a four-day schedule based on approval from their administrator. Central Services departments will continue to operate on a four-day schedule, with the option to revert to a five-day schedule based on approval from their vice chancellor. Please be sure that your days and hours of service are readily found and clearly communicated.
Foothill and De Anza are currently permitted to offer limited onsite instruction in allied health for Fall 2020. When the fall schedules were developed to include hybrid classes beyond allied health, we could never have imagined that the state would still be in early Stage 2 of California’s reopening plan. Unfortunately, this means that classes planned with some in-person meetings must now be fully online. We are planning a virtual program for district and college opening days and are looking forward to these activities given the success of the recent year-end celebrations; you truly exceeded expectations! Watch for more on opening day plans soon.
If you have additional needs related to working remotely, please speak with your manager. We will do our best to accommodate you and continue to schedule periodic opportunities to return to your worksite for essential equipment and supplies. Many, many thanks for the dedication and resilience you have demonstrated over the past five months. These are challenging times like no other and, as always, you have risen to the occasion. The tradition of undaunted persistence at Foothill-De Anza lives on!
I very much miss being with all of you in person and hope to continue seeing you during my open office hours on Zoom so we can stay connected, celebrate our successes, and share ideas about the future.
Wishing you and yours good health,
July 30 Update on Instances of COVID-19 at Foothill-De Anza
We have three more employees who have tested positive for COVID-19, including the employee with some symptoms who was mentioned in my update to you on July 21. Two additional employees have been tested and are awaiting results. One individual has not been on campus since March and four individuals accessed the following locations between July 15-22:
All areas have been cleaned at least once since July 22.
EXCEPTIONS TO MASK WEARING REQUIREMENTS
For those who may have been concerned to see some colleagues on campus without a mask, please be assured that all employees have received COVID training regarding face covering and social distancing. There are several reasons why some team members might remove their face coverings, including:
1. The team member is performing work alone, outside (common for the grounds team or construction crew when not generating a lot of dust or debris in the air);
2. The team member is unable to properly communicate safety concerns through the face covering – maintaining social distancing and having brief conversations without a face covering is acceptable if it is ensuring the safety of the team members performing work;
3. The team member needs to remove the face covering for a brief time to hydrate, eat, or for comfort (during lunch or breaks, or if they are unable to breath properly and require a moment without the face covering) – they have been instructed to do this when they are by themselves/away from others;
4. The team member needs to change out from a face covering to an actual mask that is intended for construction activity safety.
Please join me in thanking Danny Acosta, Susan Cheu, Dorene Novotny, and Myisha Washington for carrying out so many tasks behind the scenes on behalf of safety protocols and timely reporting. Also, join me in sending good wishes to our colleagues for a speedy return to health.
July 21 Update on Instances of COVID-19 at Foothill College
I would like to inform you of a new instance of COVID-19 at Foothill College and an update on the earlier instance at the Foothill Dental Clinic.
The District was notified Sunday that a volunteer disc jockey at KFJC Radio Station on the Foothill College campus tested positive for COVID-19. The volunteer last worked on July 3 and experienced symptoms on July 8. The disc jockey reported that they were tested on July 13 and received a positive COVID-19 result on Saturday, July 18. The individual noted that they were probably infected at their place of employment and that they were faring well despite the flu-like symptoms.
All personnel working at the radio station have been notified and no one else has reported COVID-19 symptoms. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, as the disc jockey has not been on campus since July 3, we feel there is a minimal chance that any other volunteer at the radio station is likely to have contracted COVID-19 from the affected individual. We are asking the radio station volunteers to continue to self-monitor as a precaution.
KFJC staff follow the CDC and Santa Clara County Public Health guidelines, which include maintaining safe social distancing, wearing facial coverings/masks, and performing self-checking for COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, and shortness of breath) before coming onto campus. All personnel working at the station perform a gel-in and gel-out routine using an approved hand sanitizer.
The radio station has one person working at a time. Disc jockeys only briefly encounter one another during a change in shifts. Each disc jockey cleans all radio station surfaces at the beginning and end of each shift; there are typically five to six shifts per day. A deeper cleaning of all station surfaces (including the bathroom) is performed twice a week by station personnel.
The KFJC Radio Station is an essential program: it has to maintain the Emergency Alert System (EAS) for the South Bay, provide the community with COVID-19 alerts, and meet FCC requirements for continuous broadcasting as a public service. Given the importance of KFJC for the local community and the station’s careful adherence to all required COVID-19 protocols, we support uninterrupted operation of the station.
Foothill Dental Clinic
Both the student and faculty member who were possibly exposed to the patient who tested positive for COVID-19 a few days after the appointment in the clinic on July 6th have tested negative. While we are grateful to hear that news, we are concerned for the custodian who cleaned the restrooms for 5200 and has developed symptoms of a runny nose and cough. The individual has been tested for COVID-19 and will remain at home until the results are received. I know we all wish our colleague well.
Please continue to follow CDC guidance: we care about you and your loved ones.
Instance of COVID-19 at Foothill College
The district was notified yesterday that a dental patient at the Foothill College Dental Clinic reported testing positive for COVID-19. The patient was treated in the clinic on July 6 and reported the diagnosis to us during a follow-up phone call on July 12.
Following protocol, the clinic screened the patient 24 hours prior to the appointment, then again on the morning of the visit, and the patient reported no exposure or symptoms. We now know that the patient went to the emergency room on July 9 after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
The faculty member and student who treated the patient are self-isolating until July 20 and will not return to campus until they have been tested and confirmed negative for COVID-19. No other faculty or students have reported symptoms and, in keeping with the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will closely monitor their health for 14 days.
Dental clinic faculty and staff were notified about the patient’s reported COVID-19 diagnosis yesterday and students were informed this morning. All expressed a desire to continue clinical instruction.
The students, faculty, and staff in the Dental Hygiene Program follow a strict routine to ensure that the clinic is as safe as possible. They are equipped with complete personal protective equipment (PPE), including N95 masks, gloves, gowns, goggles, and shoe and hair coverings. The program adheres to the protocols of the CDC, American Dental Association, and California Dental Association, including steps to take in response to potential COVID-19 exposure.
The dental clinic is deep-cleaned daily, including fogging with hypochlorous acid twice a day after each clinic session. All surfaces are covered with plastic, which is removed and replaced after each patient. Only eight of 18 stations are in use and each station is separated by plexiglass.
The clinic remains open as the students require clinical training for degree completion and to sit for their state examinations. Dental hygiene is one of the few programs being allowed to use campus facilities on a limited basis where hands-on experience is required for licensure of these essential workers.
I have the utmost confidence in the responsible behavior of the students, faculty, and staff in the Dental Hygiene Program. They were accustomed to rigorous protocols prior to the pandemic and have adapted readily to additional requirements. We will continue to support them as they pursue their studies meeting the highest standards of excellence and safety.
Support for Our International Students
I want to bring you up to date on steps the district is taking in response to the announcement this week by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that could result in the revocation of international students’ visas if they are taking all their U.S. courses totally online.
This action, which is being characterized as an effort to pressure schools into returning to in-person instruction, would roll back modifications to visa requirements made for Spring and Summer 2020 as campuses across the country moved online because of COVID-19.
Action to block the new directive is coming quickly from multiple directions. Citing its potential for worsening the spread of the novel coronavirus, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Oakley and CSU Chancellor Timothy White announced today that California is suing the Trump administration to block this draconian measure.
Our district, meanwhile, has signed on to an amicus brief supporting Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a lawsuit to stop the rule change. Foothill and De Anza’s presidents and I have issued statements of support for international students and all that they bring to our campuses.
The district’s office of International Student Programs (ISP) has reacted swiftly and decisively, leading the way to ensure that international students can continue their education at our colleges and communicating clearly to students that they are welcome and have an honored place here.
Specifically, ISP has offered assurances that:
- All international students will have options available to allow them to continue their studies at Foothill or De Anza.
- Both colleges will offer hybrid instruction in the Fall 2020 quarter and thus meet the federal government’s hybrid requirement.
- International students who are currently studying outside the U.S. can register for and take Fall 2020 classes from abroad regardless of whether they are in F-1 status.
Our colleges have a long tradition of welcoming international students and appreciating the global perspectives and experiences they bring to our district. International students pay the full cost of their education, with no subsidy from the state. This contributes additional funding that allows us to better support instruction and services for all students, beyond the funding provided us by the state.
I am grateful to the staff of our International Student Programs who have worked quickly and smartly to gather information, consult with peer institutions, and brainstorm with the leadership at both our colleges to find student-friendly options for fulfilling the new visa requirements, should they come to pass.
Thursday evening, ISP held virtual town halls to answer questions from international students. They are working hard to ease the fears of our students , many of whom are far from home and suffering from the stresses of COVID-19 and an uncertain future.
I can say with confidence that working together, we will find our way through this.
With deep appreciation for everyone’s efforts,
July 10, 2020
Update on Instance of COVID-19 at Foothill-De Anza
We've received several questions related to the districtwide email I sent this weekend notifying you that an employee was confirmed to have COVID-19.
Here are answers to some of those questions:
- The district continues communicating with the Santa Clara County Health Department.
- HR has contacted employees who could have been exposed as a result of the employee's
illness, and they are currently in self-quarantine/isolation for a 14-day period.
If you have not been contacted by HR, then you have not been identified as at-risk.
- Deep cleaning will be taking place as needed in the locations at Foothill and De Anza where the employee had spent time, and signs have been posted on all affected buildings. The new district office building was not affected.
Employees may contact Myisha Washington in HR with additional questions or refer to HR's webpage for COVID-19 related resources: http://hr.fhda.edu/_covid-19/index.html
Wishing you and yours a safe holiday weekend,