January 17, 2014
The Jan. 17 meeting of the Inland Valley Community College Trustee and CEO Association was held at MSJC’s San Gorgonio Pass Campus
Local college trustees and CEOs met with California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris on Friday at Mt. San Jacinto College’s San Gorgonio Pass Campus to discuss issues facing higher education.
The event was organized by the Inland Valley Community College Trustee and CEO Association, said MSJC Trustee Eugene Kadow. Kadow has served as the IVCCTCA chairman for two years. The meeting, held about 30 miles east of Riverside in Banning, attracted about 40 college leaders from as far as Ridgecrest and Blythe to nearby colleges like the San Bernardino and Riverside community college districts.
“We wanted to invite the chancellor to come down and talk to us about what he is looking forward to in the coming year as far as finance and other legislation,” Kadow said.
MSJC Superintendent/President Roger Schultz said, “We are honored to hear Chancellor Harris’ vision, especially as the resources that will help us better serve our students begin to return to community colleges.”
Chancellor Harris covered a variety of topics, including the improving California state budget, the Chancellor’s Office Student Success Initiative, and stronger communications and collaboration between community colleges and the California State University and University of California systems.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s January budget proposal includes funding that would restore access to about 130,000 students across the state, Harris said. The budget proposal also includes funds that will help community colleges continue to reach the goals set forth in the 22-point Student Success Initiative.
Harris told the group that even during the economic crisis, community colleges were able to boost student achievements. Enrollment went down 22 percent during that time due to the historic funding cuts, yet California’s community colleges granted 25 percent more certificates and degrees.
Harris praised the college trustees and CEOs for the hard work they do at the colleges. Referring to a more positive state budget and student successes, Harris said that community colleges are now entering a window of opportunity over the next several years.
“I suspect we’re going to look back on this time 10 years from now as a golden era,” Harris said. “A time like the ‘60s and ‘70s, where we were opening a new college a week and everything that was great in community colleges was going on in California.”
California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris addresses community college trustees and CEOS on Friday, January 17, 2014 at Mt. San Jacinto College’s San Gorgonio Pass Campus.