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.
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!
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:
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.
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.
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,
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,
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!
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.
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.
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
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!!!
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.
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,
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.
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,
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.
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,
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.
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.EDUCATION
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.
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,
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,
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.