Skip to Content  |   A to Z Index  |   Kentfield Campus  |   Indian Valley Campus

College of Marin
President’s Weekly Briefing - August 17, 2011
Home New Students - Prospective Students Current Students of College of Marin Colletge of Marin Faculty and Staff About the College of Marin College of Marin Search Engine

Upcoming Events | Kudos | Modernization Fall Semester Update | News from PRIE | What's New at COM This Fall

Fall 2011 Convocation Address

Dr. David Wain Coon, Superintendent/President

Good morning. It's great to have you all here this morning. For those of you returning to campus after being away for the summer, welcome back. We missed you. For those of you here this morning who worked throughout the summer, thank you. I greatly appreciate all of those individuals who keep the college operational while many of us are away. I'm delighted to be here today and welcome all of you to the start of a new academic year.

Despite the continuing poor economic outlook for the state and the nation, I am optimistic about the year ahead and enthusiastic about all that we have been able to accomplish together since I started here last December.

When I stood before you for the first time as your new Superintendent/President in January, I highlighted several important matters that needed my immediate care and attention. Together, we have been able to overcome some significant challenges.

First, and perhaps most importantly, we resolved contract negotiations with both UPM and SEIU concluding a challenging chapter in the college's history. I recognized early on, that it would be impossible to move the college forward in any meaningful way until we successfully resolved contract negotiations. I want to thank all of those individuals who were at the table or working behind the scenes on behalf of the faculty, staff and college. We will continue to work in the spirit of collaboration and respect going forward.

Finalizing the UPM contract in turn opened the door to another important item on our list of accomplishments and that is the development of a plan to begin restoring the ranks of our full-time faculty.

As you likely know, perhaps painfully so, the college has not replaced many full-time faculty positions in recent years resulting in some cases with no full-time faculty members in certain disciplines. I am pleased to report that we are committed to hiring 21 new full-time faculty positions this year. In a few moments, Sara McKinnon and Angelina Duarte, the architects of this plan, are going to share with you how we reached this important decision. Let me just say, I believe this is a tremendous opportunity for the college, one that will breathe new life and energy into the college, one that will be good for student learning and success.

Let me emphasize that the vast majority of the positions we will be filling, are not new positions. In fact, the units are currently being taught by our valued part-time faculty. What that means from a budgetary perspective, is that we will be paying for these positions with existing instructional funds.

While this very positive news for the college, it will require an unprecedented effort by our Human Resources Department, faculty and staff who will be working hard in the coming months recruiting candidates, reviewing what I predict to be equally unprecedented numbers of applications and interviewing applicants.

I am very pleased with and grateful for the collaboration that occurred between the PRAC, Department Chairs, and Academic Senate in bringing this plan into fruition.

Later this morning you will also hear a budget update from Vice President Harrison. Although we face another challenging budget year, the budget that will be presented to the Board of Trustees later this month moves the college forward in many important ways. In particular in the areas of:

  • Student success
  • Full Time Faculty Restoration
  • Employee Relations
  • Maintenance and Operations
  • Instructional Equipment and Technology
  • College Infrastructure

It is increasingly evident, that in order to maintain the quality of our programs and services, additional revenue is needed. However, given the current state of the economy, it is highly unlikely that we will see any increases in local property tax revenue or state funding anytime in the foreseeable future.

As we look to the future, we must consider other funding sources. That said, I am very pleased to report that I've been working closely with the College of Marin Foundation staff to structure a major gift campaign, which will kick off in the near future. The specifics of our three to five year plan are still unfolding and I look forward to engaging the Board on this topic later this month.

Another important hurdle that we were able to clear in March was the development of a revised bond spending plan that commits the remaining $150 million in Measure C bond funds. One important project in that revised plan is the New Academic Center. This morning our award winning architect as well as one heck of nice guy—Mark Cavagnero—is going to provide us a look into how the design of that project is unfolding. I think you will be pleased. I also encourage you to read the full Measure C update in today's program as well.

Another important update you will be hearing today is from Dr. Chialin Hsieh on the matter of accreditation. I am grateful to everyone who has been involved in the preparation of a very comprehensive response to WASC's assessment and recommendations. Equally important, I am confident that the college is making good progress in each of the eight areas of focus brought to our attention through the self-evaluation and site visit.

As we look toward next week, Monday is not only the first day of a new academic year, it's the first day for a breath of fresh air. Effective Monday, College of Marin will become a smoke-free environment. I know this has been a long time coming. I'd like to thank everyone for their patience as this policy has developed and made its way through the participatory governance process. I'd also like thank UPM for their willingness to enter into a side agreement on this matter.

I would like to draw your attention to the information in your program today. As you will see, there are three designated smoking locations on each campus. This is a launching point. We will evaluate the effectiveness or lack thereof with these locations throughout the semester. Let me emphasize, there is no such thing as the "smoking police". Collectively, we need be involved in raising awareness and holding each other accountable. A big thank you to all of those individuals who have been involved in creating temporary signs, removing and replacing signs, and removing ash trays throughout campus.

Finally, let me say that I've greatly enjoyed having the opportunity to serve as your leader these past eight months. In my first five months, I held nine open forums at both the Kentfield and Indian Valley Campuses. I have appreciated those who have attended. This has really helped to better understand the needs of the college. I will be resuming those forums in September.

Our keynote speaker was Scott Lay. Lay has served as President and CEO of the Community College League of California (CCLC) since 2006. The CCLC is a nonprofit organization that serves as the primary advocate for the 72 community college districts in the State of California. Lay has a J.D. from U.C .Davis School of Law, a B.A. from U.C. Davis, and an A.A. from Orange Coast College.

Thank you for all that you do on behalf of our students. You continue to inspire and motivate me. Let's have a great year!

back to top

Upcoming Events

Road to Success at Kentfield and Indian Valley Campuses
The 2011 Road to Success event is taking place on the Kentfield Campus Tuesday, August 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Wednesday, August 31 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This year the Indian Valley Campus will also host the Road to Success on Wednesday, September 7, from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Please tell your students!

Road to Success is designed to encourage all students to learn about the variety of COM student services, learning resources, programs, and academic departments available to help them succeed in their studies and programs. Kentfield Campus stops are Student Services, Health Center, Science Center, Physical Education Center, Learning Resource Center, Harlan Center, and Fine Arts. Indian Valley Campus stops are: Building 27, Building 8, and Building 17. Road to Success is sponsored by ASCOM, the Basic Skills Initiative Committee, and all student services and departments. For more information contact Cheo Massion, Cheo.Massion or Becky Reetz at ext. 7620,

For Evening Assistance and Supervision Call (415) 747-0699

Beginning this fall semester Raul "Bo" Botello will oversee evening supervision and assistance at both the Kentfield (KTD) and Indian Valley Campuses (IVC) Monday through Thursday, from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. If evening assistance is needed please call (415) 747-0699.

PLEASE NOTE: if there is a medical emergency or crime in progress, please call 911 first and then notify the evening supervisor.

back to top


Communications/Community Relations and Music Departments Win Award!

Senior Creative Designer Shook Chung has won a national design award from the University and College Designers Association (UCDA) for two projects that she produced for the COM Music Department. The publications will be featured at the 2011 UCDA Design Show held October 15 through 18 in Phoenix, Arizona.

COM Music Department Fall Calendar | Spring Calendar

Biology Instructor to Receive Terwilliger Award
College of Marin Community Education Instructor Sharon Barnett is the recipient of the 2011 Terwilliger Environmental Award. The ceremony will be held on Friday, September 9, 2011, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the WildCare Terwilliger Center in San Rafael. Barnett also teaches at the Marin Country Day School and Marin Nature Adventures, of which she is co-founder. Barnett's passion is evident as she makes learning about nature fun and exciting for students of all ages. Barnett also volunteers for numerous organizations including The Marine Mammal Center, Salmon Protection and Watershed Network, Gerstle Park Neighborhood Association, and the Point Reyes National Seashore. She also served a term as Director for Marin Audubon Society.

back to top

The IVC Facilities Space Use Consolidation Project is complete!

Staff, faculty, the Maintenance and Operations Department, IT, and many, many others joined together to make the space use consolidation project a great success. All offices and classrooms that were in the Ohlone Cluster (the cluster closest to the pool) have been vacated and moved into the Pomo and Miwok Clusters. The Intensive English Program and Community Education Department moved into the Pomo Cluster and the A+ and Networking Labs into the Miwok Cluster…this was not a simple undertaking.

Special thanks to Administrative Assistant Laurie Loeffler who did yeoman's work to make this happen. Also, special thanks to MaryGale Beyer for the computer planning, packing, and setting up, and to Lupe Oropeza for her beautiful restoration paint work. Thanks to everyone who invested so much time and energy in order to make this work so well!

COM Well Represented at Canal Alliance Event

Many thanks to all those who participated in the Canal Alliance event held on June 21. The Alliance estimated that there were 70 community members in attendance. Throughout the evening, individuals expressed their thanks for bringing College of Marin to their community. This accessibility provided valuable direct contact, information gathering, and online application opportunities. Over and over people commented on how comfortable they felt asking questions and learning more about educational programs and pathways. Special thanks to Anna Pilloton for coordinating such a wonderful event.

Thanks to Marin County Fair Volunteers

The COM information booth at the Marin County Fair was a huge draw for fair goers! Hundreds of prospective students stopped by to ask general questions and many shared their wonderful experiences at COM. Thanks to all of the fair volunteers for their time, including Anna Pilloton, AnnaLaura Arredondo, Annie Ricciuti, Arnulfo Cedillo, Becky Reetz, Claudette Muldowney, Deirdre Martinez, Devon Kinka, Francisco Aviles, Gloria Lopez-Gutierrez, Heather Holliday, Jeff Cady, Julie Breakstone, Kaitlin Cruz, Kathy Joyner, Krystel Becerra, Leslie Lee, Linda Beam, Linda Koffman, Melinda Molloy, Nicole Cruz, Paul DaSilva , Raul Botello, Rev. Sarah Garner, Sandi Weldon, Sara McKinnon, Sharon Harms, Shook Chung, Shuyu Liu, and Vickie Lamke.

back to top

Modernization Fall Semester Update

Laura McCarty, Director of Modernization

The Measure C bond modernization program has reached several milestones over the last year. With the completion of the Main Building at IVC and the Fine Arts building at Kentfield earlier this year, we have now completed four of the seven major bond projects and added Austin Science Center as a building to receive upgrades.

With the completion of the New Main Building last January, bond work at the Indian Valley Campus is nearly complete. The New Main Building has been well received by students and stands to earn a LEED gold rating. New signage now enhances this campus as well as improved parking areas and site lighting. One follow-up paving project will be performed this fall which will cause temporary disruption to parts of Ignacio Boulevard and parking lots 4 and 5. The bond team will continue to execute closeout items at this campus.

At Kentfield, completion of the new Fine Arts Building made a significant change on the north end of campus. Completion items and customization of this building has continued since its occupancy last January. Due to their complexity, a few items will require design and state approvals and take longer.

Design for the New Academic Center got off to an exciting start this spring. The project architects have given great consideration to the concepts of the original 1938 master plan, Kentfield's signature trees, and the College Avenue street-scape. In particular, preserving the "great lawn," the Kentfield Campus' main organizing feature, has been key in the placement of the facility. Stepped into the grade change between College Avenue and the great lawn, the design is understated and inviting from all directions. The architects are still selecting materials; however, the goal is to have transparency and natural looking, timeless finishes. The facility will include 16 general purpose classrooms, three labs and a 200 seat auditorium, as well as faculty offices and administration offices. Design and state approvals will progress through 2012 and construction is expected to commence in early 2012.

Construction for the new Science/Math/Central Plant is progressing well. The structure has taken its full shape and current construction activities are focused on the framing of the interior spaces. This project will house nursing, science, math, and the IT departments. Completion is on schedule for fall 2012.

Construction for the Performing Arts modernization and dance addition began this summer. Swing space has been implemented for the fall semester including a large performance tent for the fall production "Arabian Nights" (see details on attached map). The old FA building is being demolished to make way for the dance addition which is scheduled for completion fall of 2012. Although we will be implementing mitigation measures, there will be noise and disruption due to the close proximity of the project to the FA and Fusselman buildings. Circle drive will re-open, however, please take extra care as you pass the construction zones and watch for signage. We thank you in advance for your patience and please contact the Modernization office for more information and maps. When complete, the project will include a landscaped courtyard connecting the new Fine Arts and Performing Arts Buildings.

Design for the Child Study Center is well underway. The user group has been very engaged in creating a wonderful center inside and out. The Larkspur annex site makes and ideal site for this project with outdoor play space adjacent to the creek and parking lot 13 nearby. Finally, the athletic facilities will be improved with a re-surfacing of the track and demolition of the old bleachers. This project has begun and is scheduled for completion by December.

back to top

News from the Office of Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness

Dr. Chialin Hsieh, Director of Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness

The Office of Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness (PRIE) oversees institutional planning, research, accreditation, participatory governance, and staff development in support of institutional effectiveness and student success. You are encouraged to explore the wealth of information posted on the PRIE website on these topics.

PRIE 2010-2011 Highlights and Accomplishments

Improved Access to Institutional Research via the Data Dashboard

  • The PRIE Office is excited to launch the Data Dashboard this fall which will provide all employees with access to a menu-driven system that will provide information about enrollment statistics, student demographics, student success, persistence and retention rates, and a cohort tracking system based on live Banner data.
  • The Dashboard was developed by the PRIE Office to meet Strategic Objective 2.13 from the college's Strategic Plan 2009-2012 that calls for the development of an IT based system to track student success and retention.
  • The Dashboard was presented at the "Student Success Strategies" Flex workshop Thursday, August 11. The presenters demonstrated how faculty can use Dashboard tools to examine patterns of student achievement and develop interventions that support student success based on data.
  • A series of hands-on training workshops will be presented during the fall semester as the Data Dashboard is fully launched.
  • The Dashboard also supports WASC Recommendation #4 which states that "institutional efforts should focus on providing information based on statistical data and communicating it widely to all appropriate constituencies in order to improve institutional effectiveness."

Institutional Planning

  • The Institutional Planning web page was expanded to include access to a majority of the research reports the office produces as well as key college planning documents and information on distance education, Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs), and program review.
  • A progress tracking system was developed for the college's Strategic Plan 2009-2012 to monitor completion of the strategic objectives. It is posted on the Institutional Planning web page.
  • In consultation with the Research Advisory Group (RAG) that serves in an advisory capacity to the PRIE Office, the college's Integrated Planning Model was revised to expand the program review process to include the development of action plans for program improvement in addition to resource allocation.
  • The PRIE office instituted the dissemination of brief monthly reports, known as data nuggets, to increase awareness and promote institutional dialogue. The data nuggets are posted on the Institutional Planning web page.
  • PRIE provided professional support to the SLO team on quantitative and qualitative design, performed data analysis, assisted with survey design and facilitated the interpretation of the results.
  • The PRIE office also conducted three planning surveys to solicit feedback from the college community regarding current planning efforts. The results are posted on the Institutional Planning web page and will be included in the Accreditation Follow-Up Report.


  • PRIE provided resources and support to respond to the recommendations received from WASC in January 2011.
  • The office worked with various individuals, committees, and groups to determine a schedule and develop and implement an action plan.
  • PRIE was responsible for coordinating and editing the Accreditation Follow-up Report that will be distributed to the college community for review and feedback and go to the Board of Trustees for approval in September.
  • PRIE also identified, solicited, and will provide evidence that supports the Follow-up Report to the WASC team when they visit the college in October.

Participatory Governance

  • In order to improve institutional dialogue and communication among and between governance committees, PRIE recommended and Governance Review Council (GRC) and College Council approved a standing governance committee agenda item titled "Committee Reports." During this time, committee members provide brief reports on actions and recommendations from other committees.
  • PRIE also disseminated the monthly data nuggets to Participatory Governance System (PGS) chairs for committee discussion.
  • In May 2011, PRIE conducted the annual Participatory Governance Member Survey to assess the effectiveness of the system. Results will be reviewed by GRC in the fall and recommendations for improvement will be developed. Survey results will be posted on the Participatory Governance web page after GRC review.

Board Policies and Administrative Procedures

  • In conjunction with the President's Office, the PRIE office continued to oversee and coordinate the revision of College of Marin Board Policies and Administrative Procedures that update and replace policies and procedures in the old "Gold Book."
  • PRIE staff worked with administrators, Academic Senate representatives, and governance constituencies during the review process to revise and update policies and procedures.
  • 59 Board Policies were revised and adopted by the Board last year including BP 3570 titled Smoke-Free Working and Learning Environment that prohibits smoking on campus except in designated areas.
  • 51 Administrative Procedures were recommended by College Council and approved by the Superintendent/President last year.
  • Board Policies and Administrative Procedures that have gone through the revision process are posted on the Board Policies and Administrative Procedures web page. The link can be reached through either the Board of Trustees web page or the Board Policy Revision Project web page that is part of the PRIE website.

Professional Development

  • Expanded information about professional development opportunities for faculty and staff including Flex program information, processes to request funding, and links to state resources (@One technology training, CCCConfer, etc.) are posted on the Staff Development web page.
  • The PRIE Office conducted a Professional Development Needs Survey in May 2011.
  • The results, which are posted on the Staff Development web page, were used by the Professional Development Committee to help plan the fall Flex program and will be used to develop activities throughout the year.

back to top

What's New at COM This Fall

Restructuring of Functional Areas and Departments

Student Services

This semester the college is restructuring several departments to improve institutional effectiveness. Areas within Student Services have been realigned to improve delivery of services to students. Outreach, Assessment, and Student Affairs, are now reporting to the Dean of Enrollment Services.

Information Technology (IT) and Media Services Merge

Previously, these important and interrelated technical service areas reported to two different administrators. With so many advances in technology in recent years and more to come, the need to integrate Media Services with Information Technology is necessary in order ensure high-quality services. Going forward, these areas will merge and report to the Director of Information Technology. Realigning technology support services will allow the college to operate and manage technology more effectively to better serve our students and the college as a whole. As soon as all restructuring decisions are finalized, organizational charts will be made available.

Distance Education (DE)/Moodle Migration Update

Fall Moodle Migration Phase 1 (Fall 2011)
COM moved to Moodle 2.0 as its distance education learning management system (LMS) after the college's license with Blackboard expired at the end of June 2011. The Moodle Migration Team includes: Alisa Klinger, Marshall Northcott, Burton Schane, Steve Brown, Cathy White-Lambert, and Kathleen Kirkpatrick. Susan Andrien oversees the budget. Shook Chung and Cathy Summa-Wolfe have provided design and communications support for the project.

Spring Moodle Migration Phase 2 (Spring 2012)
DE courses offered in other learning management systems will be included in Moodle Migration Phase 2 for spring 2012. By spring 2012, all courses using a learning management system will be taught using Moodle.

College of Marin Goes Smoke Free!

In a move to better protect the health of its students, staff, faculty, and visitors, at its June meeting the College of Marin Board of Trustees approved Board Policy 3570 prohibiting smoking on campus. The policy went into effect August 15, 2011, and prohibits smoking, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, and pipes at both its Kentfield and Indian Valley Campuses. Smoking will be permitted in designated areas located in select parking lots at both campuses. In preparation for the tobacco ban, COM is advising the campus and community of the new policy, as well as referring smokers to support services for those wanting to give up tobacco.

The smoke-free policy includes buildings and grounds owned or operated by COM. The new policy, Board Policy 3570, will apply to all persons on campus, including employees, students and visitors. More information is available online.

back to top

Have a great week!

David Wain Coon, Ed.D.


President's Monday Briefing Web Page
Technical Contact: Nicole Cruz, Assistant to Director of Communications and Community Relations, (415) 485-9648 x7648
Content Responsible: Cathy Summa-Wolfe, Director of Communications and Community Relations, (415) 485-9528