A personal message

President's Message

June 29, 2010

Dear Diablo Valley College community;

There are opportunities presented in each person’s life when a decision must be made to walk a different path. Such a time has come for me and it is with mixed emotions that I write this letter. I began my work in the California Community Colleges in 1974 in San Diego and have contributed over thirty-five years to the mission of the colleges and the students we serve. I am committed to the social public policy of equity education that Diablo Valley College and the Contra Costa Community College District represent.

As you know, I have coronary artery disease, which manifested itself this past March. I find that it is now time for me to make a decision about myself, for my family and my health. Therefore, I will be retiring from the Contra Costa Community College District on October 1, 2010.

As I look back over the past three years and count the many wonderful ways this College has grown and changed, I feel privileged to have been a part of working with you. We began working on the unauthorized grade change pulling together information, identifying procedures and practices that needed changing, and letting our community know what was happening. Faculty, classified, and administrators were all a part of identifying areas that needed to be strengthened.

Then came our accreditation adventure. The enormous amount of work that has occurred to bring this College together is demonstrated in the numbers of staff, faculty, administrators and even students involved in open college meetings, participating on committees, chairing committees, and seeking input from others, whoever the others may be. I am so grateful that we were able to create an effective participative model.

Important changes occurred with faculty working on curriculum, revamping program reviews, devising student learning outcomes, and assuming several administrative positions. Administrators worked hard through organizational changes to design and complete their first program reviews. Classified staff participated fully on committees and in the classified senate.

As the budget crisis fell upon us, so did the need for workload reductions. We designed an open and expanded budget process that allowed anyone to come and hear all the background information and experience the decision making process. Our faculty stepped up by accommodating more students in their classrooms, while everyone started thinking creatively of how to still meet the needs of our students with less.

Better communication has occurred both formally and informally as we all began to share information about what we were doing, how we were doing it, and where we were going. This has been an exciting time and we have accomplished so much together. I have been pleased to have helped DVC reorganize and make changes during this tumultuous transitional time. These last three years have been a remarkable part of my career and I will miss the DVC atmosphere and exciting energy.

I will take vacation in July as I have been planning to do since last December. I will return in August to work on the completion of the October 2010 accreditation report. I will submit the report to the Board at their September 29th meeting prior to it being mailed to ACCJC.

My retirement letter will be presented this week in closed session at the June 30th Board meeting. Chancellor Benjamin will communicate with the DVC community after the Board meeting concerning next steps. I am pleased to have had the opportunity to work with the DVC family. It has been a very exciting time, and I wish each and every person at Diablo Valley College my very best. Thank you for welcoming me to the community and for being a vital part of this college.

Judy E. Walters, Ph.D.

To: Members of the Diablo Valley College Community

From: Helen Benjamin, Chancellor

Subject: Retirement of Dr. Judy Walters

Date: June 30, 2010

As you know, Dr Walters has announced her retirement to be effective on October 1st of this year. While Dr. Walters and I shared a hope that she would be here much longer than three years, her time with us has been extremely productive, filled with activity and resulted in many positive changes in the college. I sincerely thank her for her hard work and her positive impact on the college and the District. Dr. Walters joined us at a critical time for the college and has helped us through a variety of challenges, all of which she faced with creativity, extremely hard work, and a “can do” attitude. As she moves to the next phase of her life, I am certain that she will continue to make a lasting impact in whatever she endeavors to do. Join me in thanking her for her dedication and commitment to our students and employees.

It is indeed true that the only constant is change. And so, we find ourselves, once again, in search of a leader for Diablo Valley College. I want us to begin as soon as possible our collective search for the next president of DVC. To this end, I intend to appoint a short-term acting president (a non-candidate for the permanent position) to begin on October 1, 2010, , eschew a time-consuming interim search, and, in August, focus with you in earnest on the work of hiring our next permanent president. A general schedule for the search is attached to give you a sense of how we shall proceed.

I will be leaving today for a two week vacation that I planned at least six months ago. As I learned of Dr. Walters’ intent, I have been in conversation with the president and vice president of the Governing Board and with the full Board last night about our next steps. The members of the Governing Board and I are in agreement with the approach to move to a permanent search right away when the new academic year begins. DVC faces a great deal of work and myriad challenges and opportunities in the fall —another accreditation visit for the college after October 15, continued implementation of the accreditation recommendations, a variety of legal and other issues, and now a presidential search. During my “off time” I will carefully consider the interim president. I plan to make an appointment that ensures the college has an experienced leader who is familiar with both the college and our District.

Opportunities to hire a new president come along infrequently, and we need to make sure we take advantage of this hire at this critical time in the history of the college. I ask that all of you consider the characteristics, skills and experiences DVC needs in its president over the coming decade. Please join me for an “all college meeting” on Wednesday, July 14, at noon in the Trophy Room; I look forward to engaging your helpful input and always thoughtful queries. I shall see you then. Enjoy summer!

Recruitment Timeline for President, Diablo Valley College

August – September 2010

Chancellor meets with Diablo Valley College (DVC) internal community to discuss hiring of new president.

Chancellor announces plan to recruit for president of Diablo Valley College to external community at Governing Board meeting.

Follow-up e-mail announcement to college constituency leaders from the Chancellor.

List of constituency representatives to the screening committee due to the Chancellor.

Chancellor meets at DVC with the screening committee to develop profile and discuss hiring process.

Draft profile submitted to Governing Board for input.

October – November 2010

Governing Board gives approval for profile.

District Human Resources (HR) will coordinate the design of recruitment materials to include website advertising, print ads and brochures.

November 2010

District HR releases the job announcement with a close date in March, 2011.

February – March 2011

Final date for submission of applications.

District HR screens for minimum qualifications.

The screening committee conducts paper screening.

The screening committee meets to discuss candidates and select interviewees.

The committee conducts the screening interviews.

March – April 2011

Open forums for the finalists. Reference checks conducted. The Chancellor conducts the final interviews.

The Chancellor meets with the committee for feedback and to discuss final selection.

Governing Board approval of hire for DVC President.

April – June 2011

New president will beginning transitioning activities with college and District employees and community members.

July 2011

New president starts July 1.

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