Dear Colleague:

I hope your summer is going well and that you are finding ways to keep cool during this oppressive heat. The work of our Reengineering Task Force continues through the summer, albeit at perhaps a slower pace. You can, of course, track their progress on the dashboard of our website at www.rethink.vccs.edu. I just want to offer you a brief update on what’s coming up in this work.

Our August Planning Retreat is focused on Reengineering

Every August the presidents and leadership teams of all 23 Virginia community colleges come together to look at and strategize for the coming years. This year’s retreat is focused once again on our reengineering work. The theme is “Creating the 21st Century Community College.”

We are excited to hear from some national figures at the retreat including Hilary Pennington of the Gates Foundation and Tony Carnevale from the Georgetown University Center on Education and Workforce.

We strive to add increasing amounts of pertinent information about the reengineering work on the website for your consideration and that effort will continue from the planning retreat. I appreciate the positive feedback we got from turning one of the New Horizons sessions into a podcast on the Rethink website – making it easier for more of you to listen and engage with what was presented there – and expect to offer similar content from the speakers and sessions at the retreat.

See you on campus

These email updates will continue and hopefully so will your responses. I want to ensure that you and as many of our colleges as possible remain engaged with our reengineering work and understand that your energy and ideas play a large role in its success. To that end, I visited 14 of our community colleges to specifically talk about the reengineering taskforce and the recommendations they were pursuing.

I intend to continue that in the coming year with a personal goal of visiting all 23 of our colleges – half in the fall with the remainder in the spring. While the planning  for these visits are on-going, I am delighted to share with you the following dates for my fall visits.

October 5: Patrick Henry C.C. and New River C.C.

October 26: Tidewater C.C. (Portsmouth Campus) and Southside Virginia C.C.

November 2: Wytheville C.C. and Mountain Empire C.C.

November 9: Piedmont Virginia C.C. and J. Sargeant Reynolds C.C.

November 29: Lord Fairfax C.C. and Rappahannock C.C.

December 1: Northern Virginia C.C. and Germanna C.C.

Further details about these meetings, which are open to all faculty and staff members, will be forthcoming in a future email. I hope to see you there!

A sampling of updates

There are more than two dozen reengineering task force work groups now in action. You can track the progress of every single one of them through the dashboard at www.rethink.vccs.edu.

Here are updates on just a few of the issues I am often asked about during my campus visits. (The numbers contained in the parentheses correspond to the workgroup numbers on the dashboard.)

(25.) Expand the Teaching Faculty Employment Spectrum
Click here to keep up with the latest work being done on this topic.

During this past month, the workgroup has had a lot of discussion about the new roles, and in particular the lecturer position. A proposed pilot of this new position was discussed at the recent Reengineering Task Force meeting, however, the reengineering Task Force felt it was more important to get wide distribution of information on all of new roles and feedback from all of our constituency groups rather than move forward with any one of the positions this coming fiscal year. This position was reiterated through discussion of the proposed pilot at the Advisory Council of Presidents meeting in June, 2011 as well.  As a result, the workgroup will hold at least one additional conference call and perhaps an additional face-to-face meeting over the next several weeks in order to finalize recommendations on how the new lecturer role will look. We will also start working on details of the 10- or 11-month faculty, the contracted adjunct, and the half-time faculty positions. Once these new roles are finalized by the workgroup, all constituency groups will be asked to provide their feedback.

(17.) Articulate Learning Outcomes for Courses
Click here to keep up with the latest work being done on this topic.

A proposed budget and a proposed workgroup have been submitted to the System Office. Implementation of the Articulate Learning Outcomes recommendation is expected to commence later this summer.

(6.) Pilot Shared Services Distance Learning Systems
Click here to keep up with the latest work being done on this topic.

The Advisory Council of Presidents approved the Shared Services Distance Learning (SSDL) proposed revenue sharing arrangement with partner colleges at their June meeting.  End-to-end testing of SIS business processes for the SSDL courses, enrollment, entering and posting of grades and Financial Aid students was completed successfully by partner colleges, Northern Virginia Community College and system office staff.  Six of the partner colleges will be offering courses in fall 2011. Forty-two unique courses have been chosen, as well as nine courses with foreign language content and one global information system course that were selected by multiple colleges, for an aggregate of 52 course offerings.  Colleges also strategically targeted courses such as University Physics, Ethics, and Business Law for students wanting to transfer to four-year institutions. A formal request made to ASR in June is to allow partner colleges to enter their SSDL courses in the SIS for the fall 2011 semester.

(19.) Reinvesting in Our People (Faculty Evaluation)
Click here to keep up with the latest work being done on this topic.

The Faculty Evaluation workgroup’s update and overview was presented to the Reengineering Taskforce at their meeting in June. It is clear that the concepts developed by the Faculty Evaluation workgroup to-date now need clarification and increased details – especially in the area of compensation. The Faculty Evaluation workgroup is scheduled to meet via conference call June 26, 2011. At that time, the workgroup hopes to assess its current concepts and begin construction of a “Fall 2011 Roll Out” of information to VCCS faculty. The “Fall 2011 Roll Out” will include four items:

1) An information overview document,
2) Frequently Asked Questions,
3) A new survey for VCCS faculty and 
4) A visual presentation of the Faculty Evaluation update for all 23 colleges. 

The Faculty Evaluation workgroup also plans to continue conference calls and to schedule one face-to-face meeting prior to the beginning of Fall 2011 semester.

Stay engaged 

This is, of course, just some of the updates available to you on the dashboard at the rethink website.

Should you have comments or questions that are specific to the efforts of an individual workgroup, I would encourage you to email the leads of those groups. The names and email addresses of the leads are included for your convenience on the individual workgroup pages.

Of course, please feel free to send me any thoughts related to the reengineering process at rethink@vccs.edu. I read those emails personally and pass them along to the taskforce. Thank you for everything that you do to make our community colleges so successful.

Sincerely,

Glenn DuBois, Chancellor
Virginia’s Community Colleges

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