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November 2017 Message

This week's cooling temperatures and falling leaves are a clear sign that change is in the air. It's not only the seasons that are changing  however; so too is our college. Since August, we have been hard at work implementing our new strategic plan. Not surprisingly, we are starting to experience the challenges associated with what is deeply transformative work. For some, the transition to our new governance system or recent legislation such as AB705 may be causing some angst and excitement. For others, especially those directly involved in our redesign efforts, the weight of responsibility is palpable. Being so early in the process, many more of you have not yet felt the impact of the redesign; but eventually you will.

As we move further into our work, let's not forget that these feelings, whether doubt, excitement, frustration or fear, are a normal and important element in the change process. As Frederick Douglass once said, "If there is no struggle, there is no progress." 

You might recall that during this fall's convocation, I shared with you a diagram of three concentric circles, with the middle one, the stretch zone being where productive learning/change occurs. We are now navigating within this middle circle, endeavoring to resist a retreat to the past as well as learning how to avoid stepping over the line into the red.        Stretch Zone

We can help ourselves and others remain in this productive space in a number of ways, none better than staying connected to and engaged in the work. That's why I invite you to join me in attending this week's Summit. The summit kicks-off Thursday night at 6pm with a discussion with anti-racist author, essayist and educator, Tim Wise. On Friday, you have an opportunity to learn more about our redesign efforts, hear from our students about how they experience our college, and share your thoughts and insights as we collectively redesign and improve the student experience at ARC.  

We are on a journey of change and transformation. As I've said before, we can't see all the steps ahead of us, but will take each one in trust, knowing we are stronger together.  

Thank you for all you do!