President’s Monthly Report
In a previous Board Report, I shared an update about my efforts to connect with our community throughout the LB district -- particularly pulling in the smaller, more rural corners of our service area -- as important stakeholders that can provide us with critical relationships to ensure we are best serving our community. This month, I’d like to turn that lens around and share what I am doing on the national level to further LBCC’s mission.
Though we are a community college, a national reputation and the resulting relationships are vitally important. Especially during these turbulent times, supporting LBCC’s nationally prominent role in a virtual environment helps build awareness of our college as a resource for future partners and grads, involves Oregon in national discussions that affect us locally, allows us to access opportunities and funds that we otherwise might not have knowledge of, and broadens the base of LBCC allies and supporters nationwide.
To that end, this year, here is an overview of my activities on a national level on behalf of LBCC:
● AACC Board of Directors: I have served on American Association of Community Colleges Board of Directors since 2018. In this capacity, I have been an active member of the Public Policy and Government Relations Committee and have chaired the Commission on Public Relations, Advocacy and Advancement. These roles have enabled me to connect with other presidents and community college leaders throughout the country on issues important to our sector. I have also served AACC on the Awards of Excellence subcommittee and participated in the Workforce Development Institute, and have served as the AACC Board liaison to the National Asian and Pacific Islander Council.
● AACC Advocates in Action: My AACC term ends next month, and the by-laws require at least a one-year break in service, so I will not continue on the board in 2021-22. However, I will remain an active participant in the Advocates in Action group, convened by AACC’s Government Relations team. Further, I have applied to serve on an AACC Commission, and will be notified about my selection status soon.
● ACCT Activities: The American Association of Community College Trustees (AACC’s “sister” organization”) is another important national group for LBCC’s visibility. This year, I attended their annual conference and also participated in their National Legislative Summit. In particular, I was pleased to join meetings with Rep. DeFazio, Rep. Schrader, Sen. Wyden and Sen. Merkley. LBCC students joined me for those meetings and were very poignant in sharing their stories with our congressional leaders. We were fortunate to speak with them about emergency funding for COVID relief, and to thank the delegation for funds that LBCC and students received.
● CDC Campus Well-Being Initiative: During 2020, I was an active member of the national Campus Well-Being Initiative, convened by the Centers for Disease Control and other funding partners. Before COVID, this group had been assembled to help boost public health efforts on college and university campuses nationwide. Throughout 2020, before funding was eliminated, we worked to help improve COVID safety measures on campuses.
● ACHA COVID-19 Community of Practice: In April 2021, I was appointed to the Higher Education COVID-19 Community of Practice Steering Committee. I am representing community colleges on this national committee, which is sponsored by the American College Health Association. We are coordinating efforts to help increase vaccinations, decrease transmissions, and improve overall college student health in response to the global pandemic. This initiative was recently featured in Inside Higher Ed. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/04/13/cdc-funds-info-clearinghouse-colleges-fighting-covid
● Recovery and Reskilling Network: Beginning in summer 2020, I was one of the Oregon representatives on this joint effort of the National Governors Association and American Association of Community Colleges. Aimed at helping states rebound from the pandemic, the network met regularly for technical support and data sharing webinars. Oregon’s team focused on improving pathways to short-term certificates and credentials for workers who were dislocated during the pandemic.
● College Board’s CC Advisory Panel: This year, I have been a part of the College Board’s Community College Advisory Panel; this appointment will continue until 2022. This panel assists the College Board in engaging with community colleges, who have often been overlooked in the organization’s efforts. Further, our involvement focuses on students who are underrepresented in many college/university discussions, helping advance equity efforts on their behalf.
● LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education: I recently joined the LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education organization and in January I attended their leadership symposium. I am organizing a panel presentation on global issues in leadership for next month’s national conference. I am one of few Oregon members in this organization and am the only Oregon community college president participant.
● National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3): Last July I attended my first NC3 leadership summit and I will join the gathering again this July. With a group of LBCC leaders, we proudly hosted a successful virtual National Signing Day event. I’ll be meeting with the NC3 director and board chair later this month to discuss ways that LBCC can continue to have a strong presence in this organization, which is a national voice in CTE leadership.
● Education Advisory Board (EAB): Throughout 2020 and 2021, I am joining a number of EAB virtual events, all of which are aimed at helping use data to improve student outcomes and reduce equity gaps. Two high-impact events so far have been the Virtual Strategy Summit for Community College leaders and the Future of Work Post-Pandemic Presidential Experience Lab. Content from both of these events has been folded into my LBCC Vision.
● Global Education Activities: Global education remains an interest and priority for me, as well as an area for potential enrollment growth for LBCC. Throughout the year I have participated in numerous online events with the Council on Foreign Relations as well as NAFSA and other international/global entities. It is my hope that when the U.S. consulates reopen and higher education is again looking outside the borders for partnerships that LBCC will be able to enhance its presence (perhaps in collaboration with OSU).
Each of these domains has given me the opportunity to share relevant information and updates about LBCC stakeholders, particularly as the emergency federal funding has been involved. Moving forward, as conferences and meetings begin to return to some in-person content, I hope to attend some meetings in person and to also include other LBCC leaders when possible in order to broaden our scope of involvement. In October, for instance, Jennifer Boehmer and I hope to present at CASE’s Conference for Community College Advancement. In 2022, I hope that Dean Steve Schilling and I can attend the NC3 Leadership Symposium and CTE facility tour in Wisconsin. Finally, for the 2022 ACCT National Legislative Summit, I will again gladly invite student speakers to tell their stories to our delegation, whether the event occurs in-person in the Capitol or virtually.
Our focus will always be on serving the people of Linn and Benton Counties, but by opening relationship pathways to the wider world, we can broaden the number of resources available to assist us in that mission. The pandemic has highlighted how this effort is not only more possible right now, but also more critical as we face the future as a college.