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College of Marin
President’s Weekly Briefing - December 7, 2011
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Holiday Party—Mark your Calendars!

You are invited to the campus holiday party on Thursday, Dec. 15, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Woodland’s Café, 799 College Avenue. Hors d'oeuvres will be served and there will be no-host cocktails with a celebratory toast at 4 p.m. RSVP to or ext. 7508.

Data Dashboard Update

A link to the Data Dashboard developed by the Office of Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness to make data and research more accessible is now available in the folder list on the Intranet First Page. The Data Dashboard contains research and statistics on student demographics, enrollment, success rates, and cohort tracking. Due to network security protocols, you will need to be signed in to the Marin network on campus to access the link. To learn more about how you can access information in the Dashboard, training workshops have been scheduled on  Dec. 15, Jan. 11 and 12, from 11 a.m. to noon. All workshops will take place in the Library Information Literacy Classroom. Additional workshops will be planned during the spring semester.

Flex Program Update

The Professional Development Committee is finalizing the January 2012 Flex program. Jan. 18 and 19 are Independent Flex Days. Friday, Jan. 20, is the Mandatory Flex Day that includes the Spring College Convocation and department meetings. The Independent Flex Days will include several workshops on topics that include Moodle training, emergency preparedness, suicide prevention, faculty orientation, health and wellness, and a college-wide teambuilding activity. Detailed information will be posted on the Staff Development Web page and sent via email next week.
Reminder to faculty: Fall 2011 Flex Verification Forms are due in Human Resources by Friday, Dec. 16. The form can be downloaded from the Staff Development Web page.

What All COM Faculty Need to Know About Moodle

Moodle isn’t just for Distance Education anymore! Starting in November, there is a Moodle shell available for every course, including those that currently use Course Studio to create a web presence. Here are some relevant dates to help you with planning. Please write to Moodlehelp at this link if you have any questions or suggestions!

Important Dates
All COM courses automatically have both Course Studio and Moodle shells. To get to your Moodle shells, please log into MyCOM, select the Distance Education tab and press the “Login to Moodle directly” hyperlink, You will find your classes listed under “My Courses”. If there are errors of omission or commission, please contact your dean and department chair or department assistant. They will generate a change order to inform OIM to make the change in Banner and the changes will automatically be made in Moodle. Moodle updates its sync with Banner every 24 hours.
End of day on Dec. 7, 2011: Please inform Moodlehelp ( if you would like to consolidate more than one of your course sections in a single shell. Moodle calls this a metacourse. Those of us who used Blackboard are used to referring to this practice as cross-listing. We are going to try to use the metacourse terminology since cross-listing has another meaning for OIM.
First week in January 2012: Moodle will be down while we load the latest version.
8 a.m. on January 21, 2012: All COM students will have access to their courses’ Moodle shells (the first day of classes for spring 2012). All fully online and hybrid courses will be taught using Moodle.
Aug. 1, 2012: MyCOM’s Course Studio will be permanently disabled, and COM will become a sole LMS institution—an institution with one learning management system.
If you do not move your course support materials to Moodle before school starts, students may be confused by seeing both Course Studio and Moodle shells for your course.
For those faculty using Moodle as course support for spring 2012, we suggest putting a note in your Course Studio area so that students will know how to find their way to Moodle. For example, Ali’s note reads:
This class meets in Moodle. Please select the Distance Education Tab after clicking the Back to Student tab at the top left. Then, click on the link to Moodle at the top right of your screen.

For those instructors using Course Studio in spring 2012, please paste the following announcement in your Moodle shells so that students have instructions on how to navigate back to MyCOM.
This class meets in Course Studio. Please return to MyCOM. You will be taken to the MyCOM login page. Follow the instructions below.

  • Log in using your MyCOM username and password
  • Select the Student tab
  • Click the “Click here to:” link within the My Courses channel

Dates in spring 2012 when IT will go into Moodle and remove students whom you have dropped or who have dropped themselves from your courses: (note that they must be removed by A&R before we can remove them in Moodle):
January 24, 2012: the first Tuesday of classes
January 30, 2012: first Monday following the start of classes
February 15, 2012: two days after census.
We are planning an all-day Moodle Training Camp on January 18—details to follow. For more Moodle training opportunities please go to DE homepage Faculty Support Services link Also, for up-to-the-minute info on Moodle training, pedagogy, and other resources, please go to DE@COM.

Section 125 Benefit Plan—Open Enrollment

The College’s Pre-Tax Section 125 Program year ends on Dec. 31, 2011. An open enrollment memo for the Section 125 Benefit plan was sent to campus mailboxes last week. Employees who wish to enroll or make changes in their current plan(s) will need to do so by Dec. 14, 2011. Participation in the pre-tax plans is voluntary and the enrollment period is limited to once annually.

NOTE: The Health Plan Benefit Open Enrollment Period will occur December through January. More information regarding the health plan open enrollment will be forthcoming in December.

Section 125 of the IRS Code provides options to use pre-tax dollars to pay for certain health and welfare benefits. The employee share of health care premium contributions, dependent/child care expenses and out-of-pocket medical/dental expenses, including office visit and prescription co-pays, are all eligible for payment with pre-tax dollars and provide a reduction in tax withholding and reportable wages. Enrolling in the Flexible Spending Account program allows you to set aside funds for unreimbursed medical/dental expenses, childcare or dependent care expenses, and supplemental insurance premiums and have those funds deducted from your paycheck before your taxes are calculated. Pre-taxing these expenses may save in taxes on the money you are currently spending.

Depending on your individual situation, you may wish to consider looking into tax saving options under this program. There are also changes due to Health Care Reform related to over the counter medicine and drug reimbursements. These items may not be reimbursable unless prescribed by a physician. Please contact the AFLAC representative, Donna Reeve, if you have questions about what is covered and reimbursable.

Ms. Reeve will be on campus for individual appointments on Dec. 6 and 7. You may make an appointment by calling Ms. Reeve directly at (415) 250-0540 or at

Enrollment forms are available in Human Resources and in Payroll.

Discount Tickets to Cirque de Soleil Available to COM Employees

Cirque Du Soleil’s performance of Totem in San Francisco has only 1 month left. The final show for Totem takes place on Dec.18 and any interested employees can click here to purchase discount tickets.

Upcoming Events

The Cherry Orchard

W. Allen Taylor, director
by Anton Chekhov (Van Itallie translation)
December 9, 10, 16, and 17 at 8 p.m.
December 11 and 18 at 2 p.m.

College of Marin Performing Arts Tent, Central Lawn
$20 General; $12 Seniors; $10 students, COM Employees, and Alumni
COM Box Office: 415-485-9385
Join the College of Marin Drama Department for Chekhov’s droll depiction of pre-revolution Russia, when old ways gave way to the new and the foibles of all the classes became very apparent as the Czarist society began to crumble. Chekhov’s final play, The Cherry Orchard, is universally acknowledged as one of the masterpieces of world theatre. Written prior to the Russian Revolution, the play is a tragicomic glimpse through the window of time as the death of one era gives birth to the new.

Marin Oratorio 50th Anniversary Concert

Four Centuries of Great Choral Music
Boyd Jarrell, director
Saturday, December 10, 8 p.m.
Sunday, December 11, 3 p.m.

College of Marin, Kentfield Campus
Diamond Physical Education Center
Donation suggested: $20 general, $15 students, staff, seniors, and alumni
COM Box Office: 415.485.9385
Marin Oratorio celebrates fifty years of masterworks concerts with a festive program featuring J.S. Bach’s Magnificat in D, Giovanni Gabrieli’s Jubilate Deo, W.A. Mozart’s Coronation Mass in C, and Alleluia by Randall Thompson. Founded in 1961, Marin Oratorio returns to its roots in the lively acoustic and beautifully renovated Diamond Physical Education Center. The chorus will be joined by full orchestra and guest vocal soloists Lindsey McLennan, Katherine McKee, Brian Thorsett, and Robert Stafford.

Advanced Voice Class

The Greatest Generation—Popular Songs of the World War II Era
Linda Noble Brown, instructor
Saturday, December 10, 3 p.m.
The Tamalpais Retirement Community
501 Via Casitas, Greenbrae
Monday, December 12, 11:10 a.m.
College of Marin, Kentfield Campus
Olney Hall, Room 96
FREE admission, parking $3

Beginning Voice Class

Into the Spotlight!
Linda Noble Brown, instructor
Monday, December 12, 2:10 p.m.
College of Marin, Kentfield Campus
Olney Hall, Room 96
FREE admission, parking $3

College Chorus and Chamber Singers: Winter Concert

Boyd Jarrell, director
Jeffrey Paul, accompanist
Tuesday, December 13, 7:30 p.m.
College of Marin, Kentfield Campus
Diamond Physical Education Center
Donation suggested, parking $3
From the fading sunshine of fall to walking on new fallen snow, the College Chorus will set the mood as we feature Omnia Sol Temperat by Z. Randall Stroope, There Is Sweet Music by Mary Lightfoot, and Velvet Shoes by Randall Thompson. The Chamber Singers will present French and Italian madrigals, love ballads, and Christmas motets featuring Videntes Stellam by Francis Poulenc.

Contemporary Opera Marin: Amahl and the Night Visitors

Paul Smith, director
Friday, December 16, 7:30 p.m.
Olney Hall, Rm. 96, Kentfield Campus

Saturday, December 17, 5p.m.
Toby’s Feed Barn, 11250 Highway 1, Pt. Reyes Station

Sunday, December 18, 2 p.m.

First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo, 72 Kensington Rd., San Anselmo

Sunday, December 18, 5 p.m.
Muir Beach Community Center, Muir Beach
FREE admission
Contemporary Opera Marin, the opera program of the College of Marin, presents Gian Carlo Menotti’s holiday favorite Amahl and the Night Visitors in a fully staged, English language production on location throughout Marin. This hour-long production is suitable for the entire family.

Eat at Wipe Out Bar and Grill and Help the Classified Senate

On Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., invite your friends and family to eat at Wipeout Bar and Grill located at 302 Bon Air Center, Greenbrae. Wipeout will donate 20 percent of the funds earned during this event to the College of Marin Classified Senate. Please request a flyer by emailing Flyer must be presented to your server. The Classified Senate uses funds to recognize outstanding faculty and staff, honor retirees and long-time employees, and host community-building events such as faculty and staff appreciation luncheons.

COM Athletics

Men’s Basketball—Skyline Tournament
Friday-Sunday, Dec. 9-11, TBA in San Bruno

Women’s Basketball—Allan Hancock Tournament
Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 8-10, TBA in Santa Maria

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