President's Update: August 27, 2020
I trust you continue to adapt to this new normal, one that I sure hope changes sooner rather than later. It just feels like the year of the lost summer - it does not feel like it can be the end of August already. I am sure many of you are worn down by this constant stress and uncertainty. I gain strength by reflecting on how lucky I am to have such meaningful work - what we are doing is...
To the Shasta College Community:
I trust you continue to adapt to this new normal, one that I sure hope changes sooner rather than later. It just feels like the year of the lost summer - it does not feel like it can be the end of August already. I am sure many of you are worn down by this constant stress and uncertainty. I gain strength by reflecting on how lucky I am to have such meaningful work - what we are doing is providing stability, personal growth, and future security for our students. So hang in there, encourage each other in your interactions, and we will continue to make a significant difference in our community.
Make a difference!
One way that makes me feel better is knowing I made a difference in a situation, no matter how large or small. One way we can all make a difference is to help solve the blood supply issue. In speaking with our local blood provider, they are worried more than ever about not having enough blood for local needs, as the COVID-19 situation has affected their donations. So we are doing a blood drive next week on September 1 from 10am-3pm - on-campus - to help with this problem. I sure hope it goes well, as they are asking us to reach out to other community colleges in the North State to encourage them to do a similar approach, assuming we have a successful drive. So please consider participating - make an appointment at https://donors.vitalant.org/dwp/portal/dwa/appointment/guest/timeSlotsGenExt?token=IXzUycJObVZD5L0jbh6mumEYHQ89bfTQPEMoq9c4AFM%3D
As of our latest numbers, we have 2586.62 FTES enrolled for fall compared to 3000.67 at this point in the fall of 2019. So we are down about 14%. Typically, this would cause great worry and stress for me concerning our future budgets, as 70% of the funding formula is based on headcount enrollment. I am concerned, but not as much as typical. I think it will affect our future budgets, as we have fewer students to help us in the other 30% of the funding formula (the equity 20% and the success metrics 10%). But my understanding is that for current year, the Chancellor's Executive Orders are helping protect us (and the entire system) from enrollment drops due to the pandemic. So over time, I believe a 14% drop will not be as dire as it would in a non-emergency situation.
We are evaluating how to approach spring, and plan to have a decision made in the next two weeks as to the way in which we will approach spring course offerings. One of the main predictive modeling sites I monitor is at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (see https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america?view=total-deaths&tab=trend). They are still expecting a rise in cases and hospitalizations in November/December. I find it interesting that if we could get mask use up to 95% from the current 50%, the model shows it makes a real difference. I have also been watching the news on areas with universities, and the outbreaks associated with some of those regions. We remain concerned about the high exposure rates in large universities and believe that our decision to reduce in person interactions and institute strict preventive protocols have helped reduce our exposure rate on campus. These decisions will help us to gradually open more services to our students in a safe manner.
Links from Welcome Back Day
Just for your reference, below are links from the presentation I went through on Welcome Back day.
California Competes website:
California Competes dashboard
Chancellor’s Office Vision for Success link
North State Together link
Shasta College Foundation links
Speaker Series Links
OK - that is all for this update. Stay positive and safe as you continue to serve our students with excellence!
Shasta-Tehama-Trinity Joint Community College District
11555 Old Oregon Trail
Redding, CA 96049