March 29, 2009
Community: The Structure of Belonging
Community, as used here is about the experience of belonging. ... The word belong has two meanings ...to be related to and a part of something ... and also to act as a creator and co-owner of a community.
During the past twenty months that I have served DVC, I have come to know a college with incredible strength and heart. The strength to do enormous amounts of work on accreditation issues --in addition to our regular daily work --and the heart to make sure that all our students have opportunities to meet their goals.
As you well know, DVC was placed on "show cause" at the January Accreditation Commission meeting. The letter states: During the period of the Show Cause order, the accredited status of the institution continues. This means that our students are protected. ACCJC has very clear milestones that DVC must achieve. We have a report due October 15th to be followed by a visit.
If there was ever an opportunity for DVC Faculty, Staff, Administration, and Students to be related to and a part of something ... to come together to create positive change, this is it. There is an enormous amount of work being done concerning the accreditation recommendations, and for detailed updates please log on to http://www.dvc.edu/org/info/accreditation/.
There are three specific areas I want to address in this message. One is that DVC was required to revise our college mission statement incorporating "student learning." The group working on this took information from our "Wisdom of the Past, Visions of the Future" January 13th, all college flex day and created a "pocket" mission statement. This mission statement is an introductory paragraph to the longer College mission statement found in our Strategic Plan. It has been shared with and approved by all the constituent groups and will now go to the CCCCD Board of Trustees for their approval.
DVC is passionately committed to student learning through the intellectual, scientific, artistic, psychological, and ethical development of its diverse student body. Diablo Valley College prepares students for transfer to four-year universities; provides career and technical education; supports the economic development of the region; offers pre-collegiate programs; and promotes personal growth and lifelong learning.
The second area of my message concerns the 113 personal commitments made by people who attended our Wisdom of the Past, Visions of the Future day, as part of the creators and co-owners of a community during this transformative time. Friday April 3rd from 1:00 - 3:00 pm was designated as a follow up time for people to gather, share learnings, and celebrate what they have been doing with their commitments and to talk about their work. We will be meeting in the Community Conference room.
There are points in any effort where many hands, hearts, and minds are needed, and this is the third area of my message. For an organization to walk through a transformative change, such as the one that DVC must do within the time constraints imposed upon us takes courage and commitment. The courage to look at ourselves and address thoughtfully the changes being required of us and the commitment to so with respect for ourselves and others. We are creators and co-owners of the DVC community as we bring different roles and responsibilities that must be honored with our language, hands, hearts and minds. I want to thank each and every person involved in the process, and I honor the work you are doing.