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Employee Communications

June 16, 2022

Greetings, Campus Community:

I hope this email finds you well and in good spirits.

First, I would like to thank the campus community for hosting an outstanding commencement ceremony. We had over 600 graduates in attendance and nearly 2000 guests, and I have received countless accolades for how nice and smooth the ceremonies went. Great job, everyone!

COVID-19
According to the health department, there are 562 active cases as of 6/16/2022. The seven-day positivity rate is 13.5%, and the county averages 55 cases per day. IVC's vaccination rate is 88%, and the booster rate is 80%. Cases are increasing, so we encourage everyone to wear a mask indoors or in the close presence of others.

Also, I want to reiterate that effective July 1, we will resume back to the 5-day workweek onsite for administrators, staff, and temporary hourly employees. Faculty will work in accordance with Article 15 of the ratified 2021-2024 CBA, which was approved at the June 15 board meeting. (Note: the college will only be open four days a week from June 17 through August 5, 2022).

Summer/Fall Semesters
The Summer intersession starts Monday, June 20. IVC continues to be one of the only colleges in the California community college system experiencing an increase in enrollment year over year. As of today, June 16, 2022, we have 671.27 FTES compared to last year's 473.15; that is a 41.87% increase. We are not quite at our 2019-2020 enrollment levels, but we are closing the gap. Great job, everyone!

Open registration for fall starts July 5. We have a very good mix of course offerings for students, roughly 55% onsite, 40% online, and 5% hybrid/hyflex. We aim to increase enrollment by at least 15%. That would put us at about 2950, close to our 2019-2020 enrollment levels.

Aspen Prize
Thank you to everyone who was able to attend the Aspen recognition event on June 8. It is such an honor to be considered top ten in the nation! We have earned this status because of you! Your hard work, dedication, and commitment to our students and the community have made this almost impossible goal a reality! Great job!

However, there is still work to do, and I'm sure we can become number 1 in the nation. The Aspen Site Visit team will be here on October 12-13. At that time, we'll showcase what we are doing. How we do during the site visit and how well we articulate our plans and strategies that led to this success will determine whether we are considered number one. Thus, during summer and fall, we will spend a lot of time preparing for the visit, like preparing for an accreditation visit. We can do it; we are IVC!

Equity Leadership Institute
 IVC Equity Leadership Institute
IVC ELI 1
As a follow-up to my previous campus update, we are launching the Equity Leadership Institute and seeking volunteers. Please take a moment to review the attached document. Your supervisors will reach out to you to solicit volunteers. This excellent professional development opportunity will enhance your engagement and help the college become more equity-minded.
 
Food Service Vendor
We now have a food service vendor! Woohoo! Amy Snack Shack will replace our previous vendor, Chips & Salsa. Amy Snack Shack will operate in the college center starting August 15, 2022. We are excited about this partnership. I want to thank the administrative services team and the ad hoc committee, comprised of faculty, staff, students, and administrators, for selecting the vendor.
 
Construction update
  • New College Center (Building 600) is substantially completed and will be ready for students and staff to use on August 1, 2022. The District is in the process of completing "punch list items" by July 15, 2022. The delivery of furniture is scheduled for July 25, 2022.
  • Building 700 installation of new HVAC systems should be fully completed by June 23, 2022;
  • Building 2100 – The nursing modernization project will be completed by July 30, 2022. The delivery and installation of furniture is tentatively scheduled for July 25, 2022.
  • Buildings 10, 100, 600 – HVAC rehabilitation project. The installation of a new HVAC unit for building 600 is underway and it is tentatively scheduled to be completed by July 30, 2022. Building 10 and 100, their new HVAC units will be installed in the fall (November/December).
  • Buildings 200, 300, and 800 – the modernization of building 200 will be completed by the end of September 30, 2022. Renovation of building 300 will start at the end of June 2022.
 
Final thoughts
I hope everyone has a wonderful summer! If possible, please take some time off and spend it with loved ones. You deserve it! You all have worked hard this past year and produced some outstanding results! I cannot be more proud of each one of you for the many accomplishments that we have achieved.
 
Here are just a few accomplishments of note:
  1. Aspen Prize Finalist
  2. Recognized for our Accreditation Excellence
    1. New participatory governance structure
    2. New program review process
    3. New evaluation tools
  3. Enrollment excellence – one of the only colleges to report gains in enrollment each term throughout the year
    1. Significant growth in our dual enrollment program
  4. Completion of more construction projects this year, than in the past five or more years, including:
    1. Gymnasium
    2. Counseling center
    3. Financial aid office
    4. Nursing building
    5. DSPS building
    6. College center
    7. Replacement of several HVAC system
  5. Production of our first Annual Report

There are many other notable accomplishments, but I do not want this email to be too long.

As we move into the 2022-2023 academic year, I want us to build on this momentum. We have a great chance to be the number one college in the nation; we still have several major construction projects in the queue, such as the auto-tech and the instructional buildings; we'll expand housing opportunities for our students and much more.

I'm so humbled to serve you and our amazing community! I hope you have a wonderful summer!

Sincerely,
Lennor
 

May 25, 2022

Greetings, Campus Community:
 
I hope this email finds you well and in good spirits.
 
First, I would like to acknowledge the tragedy that happened in Texas. Our hearts cry out to those victims (kids) in this senseless act of violence. I sincerely hope that one day, we, collectively, can put an end to these reprehensible acts.
 
May Revision:
The Governor released the May revisions on May 13, 2022, and it is a great proposal that addresses a lot of our pressing needs. The proposal includes over $2 billion for community colleges. More specifically, it contains the following:
$493 million for a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 6.56%, the largest COLA for community colleges in nearly 40 years.
Significant per-student funding increase of $375 million, with $250 million ongoing to increase Student-Centered Funding formula rates and $125 million ongoing for a basic allocation to recognize districts' growing digital footprint.
Establishes 2024-25 as the funding floor, preventing districts from falling below that level in future years and allowing gains to be actualized through the SCFF moving forward.
Discretionary Block Grant of $750 million one-time to address pandemic-related issues and to reduce long-term obligations.
An increase of $25 million ongoing for Student Equity and Achievement to support campus climate and advance student equity efforts.
Deferred Maintenance investment of $1.5 billion to reduce district backlogs.
Provides non-98 statewide capacity of 26 positions to support districts and colleges.
 
In all, if the legislative bodies approve the budget, it will support our enrollment and retention, DEIA, student-centered funding formula, and campus modernization projects.
For the joint analysis, click here.
 
COVID-19:
According to the health department, there are 301 active cases as of 5/24/2022. The seven-day positivity rate is 14.2%, and the county averages 28.4 cases per day. IVC's vaccination rate is 88%, and the booster rate is 80%. Cases are increasing, so we encourage everyone to wear a mask while indoors or in the close presence of others.
 
The college will shift away from the remaining scheduled accommodations. Thus, effective July 1, 2022, we will resume back to the 5-day workweek onsite for administrators, staff, and temporary hourly employees. Faculty will work in accordance to Article 15 of the ratified 2021-2024 CBA which we anticipate will be Board approved on June 15. (Note: the college will only be open four days a week from June 24 through August 5, 2022). However, we are aware of the need and our ability to work remotely effectively. Thus, we will begin discussions with the bargaining units to see how we can incorporate this new reality. As a word of caution, all positions will not be able to work remotely due to the nature of the work, student needs, and outside agency guidelines, which makes this a delicate situation to navigate, and it may take time to successfully implement.
 
As it relates to COVID, we'll continue to follow the guidance from federal, state and local health departments, and adjust our safety measures accordingly. Currently, the state has very few restrictions. If you require any PPE, please do not hesitate to let us know.
 
Graduation:
We are very excited to have our first in-person graduation next month, June 11, 2022. As of today, we have 1,930 applications and 1,131 unduplicated degree applications for Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer terms, of which 661 students have submitted their intent to participate in the commencement. Graduates and all attendees (including staff, faculty, and administrators) will also be required to wear a mask and provide proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test result taken within 48 hours of the commencement date.
 
Enrollment:
We are very pleased with the summer enrollment trends. As of Tuesday, May 24, we are pacing ahead of last year by 15.15% in FTES and 7.65% in headcount.
The summer schedule has a nice mix of online and onsite course offerings, and the team is working to maximize fill rates. Great job, everyone!
 
Equity leadership Institute:
As you are aware, Equity is at the heart of what we do. Our goal is to ensure every student has the opportunity to succeed regardless of their situation, sex, gender preference, race, past experiences, and/or limitations. To help us become even more equity-minded, we are launching the Equity Leadership Institute sponsored by Student Equity and Achievement and 3CSN. This summer, we will roll this out and plan to have representation from across the campus. More information to come.
 
Construction update:
New College Center (Building 600) will be ready for students and staff to use on July 1, 2022. The District is in the process of completing "punch list items" by June 6, 2022. The delivery of furniture is scheduled for the last week of June 27, 2022.
Building 700 installation of new HVAC systems should be fully completed by June 17, 2022; however, it will be available for the recognition ceremony and graduation.
Building 1500 – Restroom remodel, and renovation have been completed and are ready for public use.
Building 2100 – The nursing modernization project will be completed by June 30, 2022. This includes the delivery and installation of furniture.
Building 10, 100, 600 – HVAC rehabilitation project. The District is waiting for the manufacturer to send the new units from Canada. They should be arriving sometime in June 2022.
Building 200, 300, and 800 – the modernization of building 200 will be completed by the end of September 30, 2022. Renovation of building 300 will start at the end of June 2022.
 
Food Service Vendor & Beverage Vendor:
The college is in the final stages of selecting a vendor and has received two applicants. The committee will meet with the vendors on June 6 and make a final recommendation immediately following. The goal is to have a vendor in place before the fall semester.
 
We have received one beverage vendor so far, and the deadline closes on Friday, May 27.
 
Budget Enhancement Process:
The President's Cabinet has received the final budget enhancement recommendations from the campus community. The cabinet will make the final determination when the tentative budget is near complete, which will tell us our financial status for the upcoming year. That said, priority will be given to programs that have demonstrated quantifiable success and are closely aligned with the vision moving forward, such as the embedded tutoring program, training & development, and enrollment growth and retention. We would like to fund all projects; however, unfortunately, that is not feasible.
 
Juneteenth:
AB 1655, the bill to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday, has passed through the committee and should be implemented as an official state holiday soon. Although it still has to be signed into law, the District has decided to move forward with the Academic Calendar Committee's recommendation of observing Juneteenth as a District paid holiday on June 17 for this academic year. We recognize that other organizations observing the holiday will do so on June 20; however, the Academic Calendar Committee and Cabinet decided on such short notice that it is best for the District and students to observe the holiday on Friday, June 17. June 20 happens to be the beginning of the summer session, and unfortunately, the 4th of July also falls on a Monday. Observing the holiday on the 20th would create significant disruption in scheduling to make up for that lost classroom time. We will make the adjustment back to the observed holiday as mandated by the state next academic year.
 
The District holiday will go to the Board as consent at the June Board meeting on June 15.
 
Mascot:
If you haven't already taken the mascot survey, I urge you to please do so and share it with friends, alumni, and community members of the Imperial Valley. We have such an excellent opportunity to grow our culture of inclusion and have come so far. We ask you to please assist in the next steps as we move to officially brand the college. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/IVCNewMascotSurvey the survey closes May 26.
 
Final thoughts:
Again, I'm honored to serve you as IVC's 10th Superintendent/President. I strongly believe despite the challenges we have faced from COVID, changes in leadership, and enrollment declines, we are moving in the right direction. Being recognized as an Aspen top 25 community college in the nation is a great indicator of our success. In addition, enrollment is turning around; we are improving and upgrading our facilities, offering courses in multiple modalities, and enhancing our basic needs and supportive services. In all, this is just the beginning of something even greater. I look forward to an incredible 2022-2023 academic year. Thank you for being outstanding faculty, staff, and administrators.
 
Sincerely,
Lennor

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