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From the Desk of the President


June 26, 2017

Money, Money, Money


Hello Monarch Family!

I hope this email finds y’all enjoying summer and looking forward to the upcoming Fourth of July weekend.  Summer weather has definitely arrived in the San Fernando Valley.  I had quite a weather odyssey last week.  On Sunday, my family and I flew to Las Vegas to meet a family friend for a few days, where the temperature reached 116 and 117, breaking long-held records.  On Wednesday, we got on a plane and flew to Seattle, where, when we landed, it was 70 degrees.  It was quite an adjustment.  However, the next day, the temperature climbed to 80 degrees, at which point, a local “heat advisory” was issued.  On Friday, as the temperature climbed to 88 degrees, by noon, another heat advisory had been issued and “cooling centers” were opened across Seattle.  You can imagine I found the reaction to being in the 80s quite humorous!

My purpose for being in Seattle was to attend the 3rd Annual LGBTQ Leaders in Higher Education Institute which is put on by the LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education.  To date, there are 80 presidents who belong to the organization, and each year, we hold an institute to offer professional development for individuals hoping to advance at two- and four-year colleges and universities across the country.  The LGBTQ Presidents meet twice per year, and I am pleased to report that the January 2018 meeting will be held at LAVC.  I look forward to welcoming my colleagues from across the country, many of whom are happy to be escaping their cold winter weather for a little LA sunshine and warmth.

Work, of course, did not stop while I was gone last week.  Our Summer I session is in full swing, and our enrollment in Summer II continues to grow.  This growth is important since it will help us with our overall FTES in 2017-2018.  Unfortunately, we will end 2016-2017 down 2-3% below our base, which means that we really need to grow by 2-3% to get back to base in 2017-2018.  Adding a strong Summer II will help, and the amazing work being done by Student Services and Academic Affairs to get students enrolled in expanded offerings for Fall will definitely help us.  We receive daily enrollment comparisons to last year from the district, and while we are not exactly where we were last year, we are making progress.

Of particular significance last week was the Board Budget and Finance Committee meeting that Vice President Mike Lee attended on my behalf.  At that meeting, by a unanimous vote of 3-0 with very little discussion, the Budget and Finance Committee approved LAVC’s request to waive our remaining debt owed to the district.  Our request, which had the full support of district CFO Jeanette Gordon, was based on the fact that we had followed the Board policy passed in October 2013 that outlined the steps by which a college could request that their debt be waived or forgiven.  This was made possible largely by the fact that LAVC has ended each of the last three fiscal years in the black and because LAVC has paid back more than half of what its total debt was.  The last step in the process is a vote by the full Board on Wednesday, July 12th, the night that will see two newly elected Trustees sworn in, Trustee Moreno sworn in again, and a new Board President elected.  Jeanette is confident that, with such strong support from the Budget and Finance Committee, our request will be approved, especially since we followed the Board policy and the process. 

Folks, what that means is that we will no longer have to make a debt payment each year of over $650,000, which will help us as we go into some challenging budget and enrollment times.  As you probably know, because I bring it up all the time, our district budget allocation model assumes all colleges are growing.  At this point, the district isn’t entirely sure that we will make our base for 2016-2017, although they are doing everything they can to make it happen.  So, our enrollments will be really, really crucial for our financial health.  However, having the weight of debt off our shoulders is amazing.  I can’t think of a better example of partnership at a college than reaching this point.  Thanks go to Vice President Mike Lee and his fabulous staff for keeping us on track to end each year in the black, and thanks go to Vice President Karen Daar and her equally fabulous staff for tightening up our enrollments and efficiency so that even when we missed our enrollment target, we did so with great budget restraint, and thanks go to Vice President Tino Manzano and his unparalleled staff for their efforts to recruit and orient students and for getting them enrolled in the old DEC system for Summer while introducing them to the new PeopleSoft SIS system for Fall.  Of course, the work of the faculty and staff to forge ahead even when we didn’t have all of the supplies or things that would help us with students is also what made this moment possible. This was a team effort, and it truly demonstrates what a special place LAVC is.   

I also wanted to offer a quick update on what’s happening with professional development.  Deborah Kaye, whose assignment was 50% Professional Development and 50% Accreditation, is retiring on June 30th.  Because we are 6 years away from our next comprehensive visit, I do not believe we need to hire someone to do accreditation work, but with the growing need for more professional development, I plan to replace Deborah’s faculty position with a full-time classified Professional Development Director.  This position is also necessary in order for us to complete our work on our Quality Focus Essay project #3, where we committed to fully integrate and strengthen our professional development opportunities for all employee groups at the college.  There will still be some dedicated faculty professional development work through the Senate, but this new position will develop a comprehensive program in consultation with the faculty, staff and administration that meets the needs of the college.  Stay tuned!

I do not have any office hours scheduled for July since I will be on vacation for a little over two weeks and I know many of you will be gone at various times, too.  It’s quiet in the Tree House, so if you happen to be passing by, please feel free to stop in. 

Again, congratulations on a job well done this past year, and especially for staying the course to get us to the point of having our debt forgiven.  I will send an email after the full Board votes on July 12th!  Thank you for all of your hard work! 

We are THE Valley College and Y’all ROCK!

QOTTH ("Queen of the Tree House")

Dr. Erika Endrijonas
Los Angeles Valley College
5800 Fulton Avenue
Valley Glen, CA  91401
Twitter:  @LAVCPrez

Download a copy of President Endrijonas Campus Email - June 26, 2017 [PDF]



From the Desk of President Endrijonas