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President's Office

Campus stewardship: supporting student success, fostering communication and engagement, and promoting equitable and sustainable practices

 

Spring 2016 Opening Day: LMC "All-College Meeting" President's welcome to faculty, staff & managers

LMC Pittsburg Campus -- Somewhere Over the Rainbow

 

Good morning – and welcome to Opening Day!

 

Before we move into the program, I’d like to take a moment to share some information about the items you received as you arrived today.  After a significant amount of work – and through a collaborative, cross-department effort – we now have checklists for 44 Associate degrees!  There is a set of Degree Checklists for Counselors, for Faculty in the degree-awarding departments, and for Staff at the Information Desk.  There are also stickers that can be given out to students who receive a Degree Checklist, as well as buttons that all of our LMC Educators – full-time faculty, part-time faculty, classified professionals, and managers – can wear to let students know about this new resource available to them.  Many individuals were involved in this initiative – instructional faculty, counseling faculty, and classified, working together to support student success – and I’d like to ask all of them to stand.  I’d also like to acknowledge one member of the Degree Checklist “team” for her above-and-beyond contributions (often behind-the-scenes) to the success of this project: Susie Hansen. And, of course, we can't talk about the Degree Checklists without recognizing Janice Townsend for her leadership on this initiative.

 

It’s wonderful to see everyone this morning – returning from Winter Break, reconnecting with colleagues, feeling re-energized, and ready for Spring semester.  And, with the weather we’ve been having, it’s more and more common to see everyone carrying umbrellas.  But, aren’t we grateful for all this rain?  It can present us with challenges as we travel through our day, but at the end of the downpour comes beautiful sunshine and a curved band of color in the sky. . . like the one in this picture.  LMC: the figurative pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – the College of promise and opportunity for our students. 

 

As you were arriving and settling into your seats this morning, you may have noticed music playing in the background – a famous and familiar tune, with well-known lyrics:

 

Somewhere over the rainbow,

skies are blue.

And the dreams that you dare to dream

really do come true.

 

At LMC, dreams really do come true…

. . . for our students, as they pursue their educational and career goals

. . . for our community, through workforce development and partnerships that foster economic vitality

. . . all because of YOU and the work you do.

 

The symbolism and aspirational elements of the rainbow provide another way to think about “the next level,” the theme that we touched on in August during the Fall Opening Day program and at the District-wide Convocation on Innovation last January: the “next level” is that pot of gold we reach at the end of the rainbow, the goals we strive to achieve.  Somewhere over the rainbow, our dreams and future vision – for our students and for LMC – really can and DO come true.

 

So, what does “the next level” mean to us – individually and collectively?  What does LMC look like “over the rainbow”?  Well, I think it can take many forms.  It can happen in both big and small ways.  It can be a simple idea that one person puts into action, making a positive impact on others – little by little, one by one.  It can be a large-scale project – vast in scope with broad participation – that transforms the institution overnight. 

It can be seen in many of the things that have already been accomplished across the College:

These are just a few examples of “next level” happenings at LMC.  In addition, there are many things that have been in the works that can take us to “the next level.”  For example:

And, there’s a growing wish list of things that definitely would catapult LMC somewhere over the rainbow, such as:

At “the next level” – over the rainbow – LMC is at the forefront of student success and community college excellence: being nationally recognized for our transfer rates, equity and inclusion efforts, workforce development partnerships, completion outcomes, professional learning programs, closing the achievement gap, and innovative best practices.

 

At LMC, these dreams really CAN and DO and WILL come true – because of all of YOU and the outstanding work you do on a daily basis.  I’m excited about what the future holds for Los Medanos College and confident in our ability to get to “the next level” together.

 

So here’s to continued progress on our goals, success for ALL of our students, and a great Spring semester!

 

Bob Kratochvil, Ed.D.

President