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May 2016 Message

Congratulations on the completion of what I hope was an enjoyable and fulfilling semester!  I imagine you are feeling both a sense of relief and satisfaction considering all your hard work these past few months.  I know many of you are looking forward to some down time, while others are just hoping to catch your breath before diving into the summer term.

This being my last communication of the 2015-16 academic year, I wanted to express my thanks to all of you for your passion and commitment to ensuring the best possible conditions exist for our students to learn and succeed.  Whether in the classroom, library, counseling center, service counter, back office or through maintaining an attractive and safe campus, your efforts have made a real, positive difference in the lives of our students.  When considering all of your outstanding work, it's no surprise that we are conferring 2,889 degrees this year - a 14 percent increase over last year.  This is a statistic of which you all should be proud.  I am looking forward to seeing our students walk on stage at this week's commencement ceremony, and hope to see many of you there.Whether working this summer or taking an extended break, it is my hope that each of you find some time to relax and reenergize.  My summer plans will definitely involve some backpacking and mountain biking.  They will also include preparing for the fall kick-off of our Strategic Planning process and our participation in Achieving the Dream - both of which you will hear more about at Convocation in August.    A number of transitions will also be taking place this summer.  First, we will begin a search process for a Vice President of Instruction as Colleen Owings has recently announced her retirement beginning August 1st.  Colleen has dedicated her heart and soul to American River College, having served ably for over 20 years, and I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with her.  In addition, we are almost finished with the search for our Vice President of Administrative Services. My thanks to all of you who participated in the hiring process and impression sessions, and importantly, my sincere appreciation to Ray DiGuilio for his outstanding efforts these last five years on behalf of the college and our students. Ray will be with us until the end of August, however, I hope to announce his successor within the next few weeks.   Please keep an eye out for information about a retirement celebration for both Ray and Colleen as well as more information regarding the VPI search process and timeline.  I'll end here by again expressing my thanks for all you do to facilitate and support our students' learning and success.  Have a great summer.