February 6, 1998







TO: Institutional Planning Council

FROM: Robert F. Agrella


SUBJECT: Partnership for Excellence



As you are aware, the Governor’s proposed 1998-99 State Budget for the California Community Colleges includes $50 million to initiate a program named “Partnership for Excellence”. This initiative is based on the Chancellor’s and the Board of Governor’s budget proposal to increase the level of general purpose funding to the community college system in exchange for a commitment to greater local accountability in meeting student outcome objectives established through the consultation process. Although details about the program are unknown at this time, its general parameters do appear to be defined.

The Partnership for Excellence program has at its roots the concept of performance based funding. Performance “factors” most likely will include degrees and certificates awarded, retention rate, transfer and transfer-ready indicators, remedial to college level indicators, educational access, educational barrier removal, specialized training, and probably many others. It is likely that institutions will be required to report these data (assuming well defined measures are determined) on an annual basis.

Although it is not known how funding will be distributed to colleges at this time, we believe that Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) could ultimately receive about $1 million of the $50 million program.

Now to the direct purpose of this memorandum. I am proposing that we begin immediately to address the purposes of the Program for Excellence funding. In addressing these purposes, I believe we will be simultaneously addressing a number

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February 6, 1998

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of issues and priorities that have been identified by the Institutional Planning Council, our accreditation self-study, our Institutional Goals, the Ten Year Plan, the plans of component areas, etc. However, I must stress that the Program for Excellence should not be seen as a means merely to expend funds received. It is clear by the proposals of both the Governor and the Chancellor’s Office that the intent is to be able to measure and demonstrate increased performance and effectiveness for the funds spent.

In other words, I believe SRJC needs to be prepared to respond to student outcome measures and, in so doing, simultaneously respond to planning initiatives that are already underway.

At least five major priorities merit our focus of attention:

1) Program for Excellence funding can assist our College in activities at the department level that directly contribute to student access, success, and retention. I am proposing that a “pool” of reassigned time, under the direction of the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Vice President of Student Services, be established for use by faculty involved in these activities. Activities related to curriculum coordination, liaison between and among various learning labs on campus, and schedule and support personnel coordination, among others, would be eligible for consideration.

2) I am proposing that we create our own “Fund for Classroom Excellence” that, among other uses, will help increase hours available for student, paraprofessional, and other classified staff who work in direct support of the student learning process.

3) A priority that has been identified at the College that will be key to establishing, measuring, and tracking performance factors over time is the establishment of an Office of Institutional Research. As our Accreditation Self-Study states, this office needs to be appropriately staffed and equipped to “...bring together the diverse research now being done, coordinate it and make it readily accessible, and to assist in framing research questions and developing plans to answer these questions.”

4) I am proposing that we strengthen the efforts already underway to better coordinate our school outreach and relations efforts.

5) I am proposing the establishment of a program to assist the Board of Trustees, managers, and department chairs with development in three areas--leadership, team effectiveness, and communications.

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February 6, 1998

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What I have outlined briefly are initial thoughts for your discussion. I have also attached a budget for each of the ideas presented. You will note that I have taken a conservative approach to budgeting for these activities by assuming a funding level of about one-half of what the College may receive.




cc: Budget Advisory Committee












1. Pool of faculty reassigned time for leadership in areas that

directly contribute to student access, success and retention

-- 5 FTE @ $34K $170,000

2. Fund for Classroom Excellence $50,000 - $75,000

3. Create an Office of Institutional Research

-- Director with benefits $85,000

-- Classified Support Staff with benefits $35,000

-- Miscellaneous $10,000



4. Increased K-12 School Coordination efforts $35,000 - $50,000


5. Leadership development activities $35,000 - $50,000