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College of Marin
President’s Weekly Briefing —April 18, 2013
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Fourth Quarter Budget Update

As we begin the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012-2013, I thought this would be a good time to provide you with a budget update on how our actuals compare to our operating budget. Keep in mind that the 2012-2013 projection will continue to vary during the year as new information on revenues and expenses is received.

During a period when our expenses were projected to outpace growth in revenues, and faced with a $2.9 million structural deficit at the end of fiscal year 2011-2012, we created a four-year budget plan designed to mitigate the shortfall.

In 2012-2013, the first year of our budget plan, we targeted $1.2 million in reductions. Approximately half of the reduction was to be in direct instruction, while the other half was in non-instructional areas. At the time, it was questionable whether we could achieve the $1.2 million reduction.

I’m pleased to report that the current projection indicates that we will be able to achieve our goal. Collectively, we can be proud of this achievement. But, we aren’t out of the woods yet.

Although we have done a good job at managing our expenses, our actual revenue is projected to be $459,000 less than originally planned. This is primarily due to secured tax revenue being $504,000 lower than originally projected, offset by anticipated increases and decreases in other revenue categories (e.g., other tax revenues, enrollment fees, state and local revenues). When final secured and supplemental property tax revenues are paid out in late June or mid-July, we will have a clearer sense of the impact from any change in real estate sales and/or property values.

In our original four-year budget plan, reductions in years two through four were projected to be $1.5 million, $300,000, and $200,000, respectively. Based on current projections for revenue and expenses for 2012-2013, reductions in years two through four are projected to be $1.5 million, $550,000 and $350,000, respectively. The need to maintain a minimum of a 5% reserve level, and work toward achieving our Board of Trustees’ Reserve Operating Principles and Guidelines, directly correlates with the level of reductions.

It should be noted that $3.1 million in reserve funds have been used since fiscal year 2011 to close the gap between revenue and expenses.

On Tuesday, April 16, I presented the Planning Resource and Allocation Committee (PRAC) with a proposed 2013-2014 Budget Plan. The 2013-2014 plan has a $1.8 million increase in both revenues and expenses over the 2012-2013 projection, and, with no action, would have resulted in an unacceptable reserve of 2.5 percent with no action. Therefore, we needed to include $1.5 million in targeted reductions. The $1.5 million targeted reduction is allocated as follows: 17 percent ($250,000) to instructional areas and 83 percent ($1.25 million) to non-instructional areas.

As you know, we have implemented a variety of strategies to mitigate our budget challenges. One of the broader scale strategies has been the Supplemental Employee Retirement Program (SERP). A total of 20 faculty, 19 staff, and two managers have elected to participate in the SERP resulting in significant future savings in salaries and benefits and the SERP has significantly reduced the potential need for a reduction in force.

In closing, I have greatly appreciated the collective work of our college community during this challenging financial period. While it is difficult to project when our financial stability will improve, I remain confident that better days are ahead.


The Clothesline Project: A Month of Awareness About Sexual Violence

A clothesline of decorated tee shirts has been placed in the Student Services Building Cafeteria to honor victims and survivors of sexual assault. The display is provided by DeAnna Schlau, community outreach and volunteer coordinator at Community Violence Solutions, an organization with several service centers in Marin and Contra Costa counties for children and adults.

The month of April has been designated national Sexual Assault Awareness Month to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence. The first Clothesline Project in 1990 started with 31 shirts decorated by women as personal testimonies and hung together in Cape Cod, Mass. It was a vehicle for women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt.


With the support of the College’s Professional Affairs Committee English Department Professor and Online Writing Center Coordinator Alisa Klinger Ph.D., traveled last month to participate in conferences where youth could learn from experts in their fields. She attended the tenth annual San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival in March, a rich weekend of inspiring ocean-themed and environmentally focused films which included a vibrant free student education program for middle and high school students. Each year, the conference draws hundreds of Northern Californian students who get to learn from conversations with filmmakers and scientists This month, Alisa attended the 59th annual Colorado Junior Classical League Convention in the Rocky Mountains where she judged student English oratory competitions. The convention draws youth from the U.S. and Canada to compete in numerous categories such as Greek history, Latin, mythology, and grammar. The convention theme this year was Quid sit futurum cras, fuge quaerere, et quem fors dierum cumque dabit, lucro appone, or Cease to inquire what the future has in store and take as a gift whatever the day brings forth. (Horace, Odes 1.9)

Nutrition Instructor Sharon Harms, who teaches part-time at College of Marin, will be receiving an Esteemed Honors award for going above and beyond her job duties and assisting the needs of students with disabilities at Santa Rosa Junior College. The award will be presented May 14 at the Board of Trustees meeting in the Bertolini Student Center on the Santa Rosa Campus.

Personnel Actions from the April 16 Board of Trustees Meeting

Appointment/Resignation of Classified Managment Personnel

  • Donald Flowers has been appointed Interim Director of Maintenance and Operations effective February 11, 2013, through June 30, 2013 due to the retirement of Robert Thompson.
  • Terry Gesulga has been appointed Interim Dean of Health Sciences and Child Development, effective March 13, 2013, through June 30, 2013.
  • Robert Thompson has resigned from his position as director of Maintenance and Operations effective April 30, 2013, for retirement purposes.

Classified Personnel Appointments

  • Phoenix Giffin has accepted the position of Gardener, effective April 8, 2013.

Retirement of Classified Personnel

  • Robert Bradford, Instructional and Alternate Media Specialist, Disabled Students Programs and Services, submitted his letter of resignation for retirement purposes effective June 28, 2013.
  • Scotti Clair, Media Center Assistant, submitted her letter of resignation for retirement purposes effective May 2, 2013.
  • David LaRocca, Custodian, submitted his letter of resignation for retirement purposes effective June 28, 2013.
  • Stephen Lee, Lead Custodian, submitted his letter of resignation for retirement purposes effective December 30, 2013.
  • Jo Muilenburg, Instructional Specialist, English, submitted her letter of resignation for retirement purposes effective May 31, 2013.
  • Juan Obregozo, Custodial Supervisor, submitted his letter of resignation for retirement purposes effective June 28, 2013.
  • Mylo Peterson, Receiving Clerk, submitted his letter of resignation for retirement purposes effective June 28, 2013.
  • Richard Rodgers, Physics Lab Technician, submitted his letter of resignation for retirement purposes effective May 31, 2013.
  • Susan Scott, Administrative Assistant to the Counseling Department, submitted her letter of resignation for retirement purposes effective June 28, 2013.
  • Frank Yanez, Custodian, submitted his letter of resignation for retirement purposes effective June 28, 2013.

Resignation of Classified Personnel

  • Mary Ebert, Police Officer, submitted her letter of resignation effective June 30, 2013.
  • Dan Quirk, Police Officer, submitted his letter of resignation effective April 18, 2013.

Professional Development: Learning Moodle ABCs

April 19
9:30 a.m. – noon
Science, Math, Nursing Building, room 130
Presenter: Alice Dieli, COM instructional technologist

Moodle ABC’s workshops are designed to get instructors up and running quickly so you can access Moodle via the My COM portal, post class materials online and communicate with your students. Although Moodle is often used to deliver full online and hybrid courses, it also offers powerful tools that can be used by all faculty to support student success in face-to-face classes as well. Attend this hands-on workshop and learn how to:

A – Add and edit your profile.
B – Broadcast your welcome message and post your syllabus and other course materials.
C – Communicate with your students via email.

To register, contact Alice Dieli and space availability will be confirmed by email.

Please note: You’ll need to know your MyCOM login (username and password) to access your Moodle shell. You may also wish to bring some course files and a picture of yourself on a Flash Drive to upload during the workshop. Feel free to bring your laptop to work on if you’d prefer.

Farm Stand—Now Open Saturdays

Wednesdays and Saturdays
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Indian Valley Campus
Parking available in lot 6

If you haven't been able to come to the Wednesday farm stand, now is your chance to buy local organic produce and plants on Saturdays, starting April 20. Please remember to bring your own bags. We sell reusable, washable produce bags for $1 each. All proceeds support the operation of the Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden.

In Celebration of Earth Day! Spring Plant Sale – Music, Food This Weekend

April 20 and 21
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Indian Valley Campus
Parking available in lot 6

The Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden will hold their annual weekend plant sale. Enjoy live music, a farm tour, bouquet-making class, and learn something new about organic farming at one of the mini workshops. Visitors will be able to pick up certified organic vegetable starts, culinary and tea herbs, annual and perennial flowers, berries, fruit trees, and native plants. Also available will be seasonal produce, face painting, and tastings. The workshops are $25 each. For more information, contact the Conservation Corps North Bay at (415) 454-4554 or (707) 303- 3069 ext. 279.

Spring Gardening: Planting the Main Season Garden
Presented by Amy Ridout, farm coordinator
April 20
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Flowers, Fruits and Herbs: Enjoying the Beauty and Bounty of the Main Season Garden
Presented by Wendy Johnson, environmental landscaping instructor
April 21
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Earth Day Marin 2013Climate Change Solutions; A Day of Action

April 21
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Redwood High School, 395 Doherty Drive, Larkspur

College of Marin is co-sponsoring the annual Earth Day Marin event this year which is a full day of inspiring speakers, comedy, food, music, kid-friendly and hands-on events. Our students in the Environmental Action Club and Biology Professor Joe Mueller’s Environmental Biology 138 course will be on hand to provide outreach support, hands-on education, and quantifying event goals and outcomes related to carbon diversion and other actions taken during the day. Please RSVP and invite your friends. 

Entertainment and speakers include: Garth Lenz, TEDx prizewinner and photographer; Swami Beyondananda, eco-savvy comedian; Jack Broadbent, CEO/Air Pollution Control Officer for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District; Peter G. Joseph, M.D. and co-founder of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility; and numerous musical talents. More information, including volunteer opportunities, are online.

Healthcare/Dental Employment Resume Workshop and Fair

April 22
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Student Services Building, first floor, KTD

Medical and dental recruiters from all over the Bay Area will be in attendance to present employment and continuing education opportunities at the annual Healthcare/Dental Career Day. Healthcare agencies will be accepting resumes and applications.

More information is online or contact the Job Placement Center at (415) 485-9410.

Fine Arts Department Faculty Exhibition

Tuesday, April 23 through Thursday, May 25
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Fine Arts Gallery, Kentfield Campus

Don’t miss the upcoming faculty show held in the newly remodeled Fine Arts Gallery at the Kentfield Campus. You are invited to an opening reception on Tuesday, April 23, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The exhibition will showcase the many art disciplines taught at the College. For more information, call Olga Borissova at (415) 485-9480.

Emeritus Center Hosts Artist Reception

Wednesday, April 24
5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Kentfield Campus
Emeritus Center

The work of internationally known artist Anna Ladyzhenskaya will be on display from April 1 through June 30, with a public reception on Wednesday, April 24, at 5:30 p.m. The artist was born in Moldova, an Eastern European nation, when it was still part of the former Soviet Union. With over 30 years of experience in the art field, she works with all forms of media to create diverse pieces, from landscapes to still lifes and portraits. She is a Novato resident and a member of the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art. Other recent exhibits of her artwork include San Francisco’s annual Celebration of Craftswomen at Fort Mason and regular displays at Gallery Elektra in Sausalito.

Campus Safety Workshops

Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to attend one of the two upcoming campus safety workshops presented by COM Police Sergeant Todd Kidder and Officer Dustin Ruiz. Attendees will learn general information about emergency guidelines as well as ways to prepare and respond should there be an active shooter situation on campus. Faculty may use this workshop to fulfill Professional Development/Flex hours. Please note: both workshops have been moved.

Wednesday, April 24
11 a.m. – noon
Austin Science Center, room 105
Kentfield Campus

Thursday, April 25
1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Austin Science Center, room 105
Kentfield Campus

Drama Department Presents I Hate Hamlet

By Paul Rudnick
Jeffrey Bihr, director

April 25 (Pay What You Will Preview) at 8 p.m.
April 26, 27, May 3, 4, 10, and 11 at 8 p.m.
May 5 and 12 at 2 p.m.
Kentfield Campus
Studio Theatre

His TV career in limbo, hot young TV star Andrew Rally has relocated to a gothic apartment in New York City. He has been offered the title role in Hamlet, but there’s a problem; he hates Hamlet! When the very inebriated ghost of John Barrymore appears in what used to be his gothic apartment, a wildly funny duel erupts between the two over women, art, success, duty, television and yes, the apartment! Tickets are $20 for general admission, $15 for seniors, $10 for students, COM employees, and alumni. For tickets contact the box office at (415) 485-9385. More information is available online.

COM Biology Professor to Speak at Social Justice Center of Marin

Sunday, April 28, 5:45 p.m.
West End Cafe
1131 Fourth Street, San Rafael
(wheelchair accessible)

Biology Professor Joe Mueller will speak about underlying systemic problems relating to environmental justice and how people can make a difference at the Social Justice Center of Marin May Day Dinner. Mueller, recipient of the 2008 Terwilliger Environmental Award, developed and directed the Natural History Program at College of Marin. He is also the steward of a small animal farm that is home to llamas, lizards, and many other creatures. There will be a no-host bar and live music followed by a Middle Eastern buffet dinner at 6:15 p.m. Joe will speak at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $35-$50 (sliding scale) for general admission and $15-$25 for students. RSVP by April 20 to Justine at (415) 883-8188. More information is available online.

Corrected Date and Time for College Success Saturday

Saturday, May 4
8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Student Services Building
Kentfield Campus

High school seniors and their parents are invited to the second annual College Success Saturday, an in-depth orientation to become familiar with resources available to them at the College of Marin at College Success Saturday. Attending students will have already taken their placement tests and met with a counselor to develop their educational plan.  The event, hosted by College of Marin Counseling Department and the Outreach Office, will also provide an opportunity for priority registration for students who wish to reserve a seat in their chosen courses for the upcoming summer and fall semesters. This is a great opportunity for faculty and staff to interact with and inform our new students about COM’s excellent academic programs and student services. Student organizations will also be on hand to welcome the incoming students to the College of Marin community. Your participation is a crucial element in this important day. Please contact Anna Pilloton at (415) 485-9663 to sign up for this great opportunity.

Grand Opening Planned for new Science, Math, Nursing Building

COM Alumnus Adam Steltzner will be Featured Speaker
Friday, May 10
Kentfield Campus
1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Dr. Adam Steltzner, lead mechanical engineer of the NASA Mars Rover Project
James Dunn Theatre

2:30 p.m.– 3 p.m.
Ribbon Cutting and Dedication
Science, Math, Nursing Building, Orbital Court

3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Interactive Tours of Classrooms and Labs
Science, Math, Nursing Building

Faculty, staff, students and the public are all invited to celebrate the grand opening of the state-of-the-art Science, Math, Nursing Building, a half-day celebration that begins with a special lecture by noted COM alumnus Dr. Adam Steltzner, lead mechanical engineer of the NASA Mars Rover Project. Steltzner, an award-winning lecturer, who headed the landing team of the Curiosity, will be on hand for the ribbon cutting and dedication. Interactive tours are free of charge to all.

Reception for COM Retirees

Wednesday, May 15
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Marin Art and Garden Center
30 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Ross

All faculty and staff are invited to attend a special reception honoring our retirees for their many years of service and wishing them well in all of their future endeavors.

New Professional Development Webinars on Student Success

Instructors are invited to learn new skills related to inspiring student success in three new courses to be offered “live” on the dates listed below or as online webinars supported by the Professional Development Committee. They will be available 24/7 on the Professional Development Calendar.

Student Success presentations – Get On Your Bike and Ride: Strategies that Inspire Students & Promote Long-Term Knowledge Retention (April 18), Growth Mindset: How to Foster Enthusiastic Learning & Encourage Students to Set Goals (April 24), and The New “At-Risk” Student Seminar: Increasing Retention, Success & Institutional Support (May 1) – were chosen based on feedback from the COM Professional Development Needs Assessment as well as goals and objectives that support the COM Strategic Plan. Faculty and staff are welcome. No registration is necessary. A link to the archived Webinar recording will be made available online on the Professional Development Web Page after the presentations. Webinars can be used to fulfill professional development/flex hours.

Growth Mindset: How to Foster Enthusiastic Learning and Encourage Students to Set Goals
Wednesday, April 24
10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Learning Resources Center, room 53

Mindset. You might have heard something about this term and Carol Dweck, the world-renowned Stanford psychologist, who discovered it. Dweck found that people with a fixed mindset believe their basic qualities, like intelligence or talent, are fixed traits and they spend time documenting their intelligence and talent instead of developing them. They incorrectly believe talent alone creates success, without effort. In a growth mindset, people believe their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. Brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a lifelong love of learning and resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. This webinar will present a framework for examining mindset theory and related research. Participants will leave with a toolbox of strategies for integrating the development of growth mindset on their campus.

Dr. Martha E. Casazza, an independent scholar and consultant, was the former vice president for Academic Affairs at The Adler School of Professional Psychology and former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at National-Louis University – both institutions in Chicago, IL. A regular contributor to professional journals, she was one of the first to call for a theoretical foundation for the field of developmental education.

Sharon Silverman Ed.D., is an independent scholar, consultant and partner in TRPP Associates with degrees in learning disabilities and educational psychology. She is the founder and former director of the Learning Assistance Center at Loyola University Chicago where she developed LEAP, an award-wining student access and retention program.

More information is available online; however, this link is provided for informational purposes only. There is no need to register to attend or participate online.

The New “At-Risk” Student Seminar: Increasing Retention, Success, and Institutional Support
Wednesday, May 1
10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Learning Resources Center, room 53

In the last three decades numerous programs have been designed to work with students identified as “at-risk.” Most often these programs have centered on college readiness, economic issues and institutional climate and fit. It’s time to expand the definition of at-risk to include psychological issues, such as students holding unrealistic expectations of the collegiate experience, diminished accountability in the educational process, and an underdeveloped work ethic. In this webinar, a new definition of at-risk will be addressed as well as strategies to increase retention of this often-misunderstood group. Sample documents, resources, and recommended reading will be provided allowing participants to leave with plans for student meetings and tracking data.

Trent Ball is the associate dean of students at Southeast Missouri State University. He provides leadership and management of on-campus Academic Support Centers and is president-elect of the Mid-America Association for Educational Opportunity Program Personnel for TRIO and Educational Opportunity Program professionals serving a 10-state region.

Valdis Zalite, director of the TRIO/Student Support Services Program at Southeast Missouri State University, is also involved in on-campus Academic Support Centers (Educational Access Programs, Learning Assistance Programs, Scholars Programs and Student Support Services) at Southeast.

More information is available online; however, this link is provided for informational purposes only. There is no need to register to attend or participate online.

Other professional development modules now available 24/7 on the Professional Development Calendar are accessible from the College homepage under the Calendar of Events drop down menu. Webinars include: Veterans On Campus, Driving Student Success Through a Culture of Evidence, The College Coach Approach: A Low Cost, High Impact Strategy for Student Success, and Staying Smart: Strategies for Moving Forward with Assessment. Check the calendar for additional information and updates. Workshops are open to all faculty and staff and can be used by faculty to fulfill professional development/Flex hours. All workshops are drop-in unless otherwise indicated.

Electric Vehicle Club Hosts Hamburger Tuesdays

Tuesdays are burger days throughout the spring semester thanks to the Electric Vehicle Club, which is hosting a weekly fundraiser to support the restoration of one of the College’s classic electric vehicles. The club will be selling beef and vegetarian burgers with the works for $3 or a burger with soda and chips for $5. The group is also selling energy drinks, water, fruit, and ice cream. Hungry burger lovers will be able to find servers outside the IVC Cafeteria, Library, and Main Building 27 on Tuesdays, 10 a.m – 1 p.m.


Baseball vs. Yuba College
Thursday, April 18, 2 p.m. in Kentfield
Baseball vs. Yuba College
Saturday, April 20, 1 p.m. at Marysville
Baseball vs. Mendocino College
Tuesday, April 23, 2 p.m. in Kentfield
Baseball vs. Mendocino College
Thursday, April 25, 2 p.m. at Mendocino

Softball vs. Mendocino—doubleheader
Thursday, April 18, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. in Ukiah
Softball vs. Contra Costa—doubleheader
Tuesday, April 23, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. in Kentfield

Track and Field—Woody Wilson Invitational
Saturday, April 20, all day in Davis
Track and Field—Conference Finals
Saturday, April 27, all day in Sacramento
Track and Field—NorCal Trials
Saturday, May 4, all day in Sacramento

Swimming and Diving—State Championships
Thursday-Saturday, April 25-27, all day in East Los Angeles

Submissions to the Weekly Briefing

Please submit information no later than Friday for the following week. Submissions received later than Friday will be included in the next week’s edition.


Have a great weekend,

David Wain Coon, Ed.D.


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