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From the Desk of President Gribbons


October 1, 2019

Update to Campus Community

Dear Monarchs,

Thank you for a great start to our 70th year! Over the past month or so, I’ve had the pleasure visiting many offices and programs, including our incredible Planetarium, the Art Gallery, Ron Reis’ electronics class, our Umoja and Black Scholars programs, the Mosaic Center (including the Dream Resource Center and Veterans Center), our Food Pantry, the Family Resource Center, STEM, and the Valley Academic and Cultural Center (VACC) construction project. I’ve also had the opportunity to attend the Scholarship Awards Ceremony, Opening Day, the Classified Appreciation Picnic, and the Metro Bus Operators Training Academy graduation. I know that I’m barely scratching the surface, but these programs alone truly demonstrate the amazing gems we have at Valley College that I would argue are collectively unparalleled in higher education in California. I want to express my appreciation to everyone for your dedication and passion in serving our students through all of our programs. Thank you!

I’ve also had the pleasure of talking with some of our K-12 partners, including Board Member Kelly Gonez from the LAUSD, and Superintendent Matt Hill from the Burbank Unified School District. In about two weeks, I will be meeting with the LAUSD’s local Superintendent, Linda Del Cueto. It’s clear from the conversations I’ve had so far that there is great interest in growing our partnerships, including making dual enrollment courses available to all high school students -- especially those most at risk of not attending college.  We also want to ensure that our local high school students know about the welcoming environment at Valley, and the opportunities available to them through the LA Promise at Valley and all of our exceptional programs. While I recognize that we have quite a bit of work ahead of us, it’s great to know that we have support from the leadership of our K-12 partners.

Over the past five weeks, I have also spent quite a bit of time in discussions about construction. In addition to the VACC construction efforts, we have quite a few projects underway. Please see the attached construction update from Mark Strauss [PDF] for more details. We also have two major instructional buildings in the planning phase. Collectively, these projects reflect an incredible investment and will shape our campus for decades to come. Given the importance of the projects, Jennifer Read will be sending out a communication for two special Facilities Planning Committee meetings in October. These meetings will provide an opportunity for additional dialogue about the vision for the campus and inform the Facilities Master Plan Addendum that will be going to the Facilities and Master Planning Oversight Committee (FMPOC) soon.

Last week, I had the opportunity to hold open office hours with students, staff, and faculty. These were invaluable to me in learning about areas of concern and ideas for advancing Valley College. Thank you to all of you who were able to attend and share your ideas and perspectives. I also want to express my appreciation for my monthly meetings with our consultative groups, who similarly shared ideas on how to advance the college, and our participatory governance committees for their important work. And, of course, a special thanks to our Vice Presidents, Mike Lee, Karen Daar, and Florentino Manzano for all of the conversation and questions, especially related to enrollments, coyotes, campus cleanliness, and facilities.

While this year will be a busy one, I’m confident that working together we will make great progress in advancing access, equity, and success in critical ways. We will be having an Open Forum on October 21st from 1:30 to 4:00. I look forward to sharing more about the draft plans and opening up the forum to dialogue about our efforts.

Every week I have the pleasure of meeting new people who share their amazing stories of how you have impacted their lives, and I am deeply appreciative of your efforts. Also, please send me notes on upcoming events and accomplishments so we can help promote them.

Thank you and Go Monarchs!

Barry Gribbons
Los Angeles Valley College
5800 Fulton Avenue
Valley Glen, CA 91401
Email Barry Gribbons


View a copy of President Gribbons Campus Email - October 1, 2019 [PDF] and attachment: LAVC Construction Updates 10-01-19 [PDF]


From the Desk of President Gribbons