October 9, 1998

 

 

 

 

TO: Institutional Planning Council

 

FROM: Robert F. Agrella

President

SUBJECT: Partnership for Excellence, "Statement of Principles" (Attached), and the Planning Process

 

 

"Partnership for Excellence," a proposal of the Chancellor's Office in which unrestricted funds are linked to a system-wide commitment to improve student learning according to various measures, was approved by the legislature late in the summer. Anticipating its passage, well before either its magnitude or its implications could be predicted, the Institutional Planning Council began discussing how this new funding could be used to advance the goals that evolved through the planning process developed in 1997-98.

In the spring, the Institutional Planning Council reviewed and recommended for implementation a number of activities that were tied directly to our Accreditation Report, internal planning documents, and component area goals. This list was expanded over the summer by the component administrators and me when it became clear that the funding for SRJC was likely to be much greater than predicted in the spring. Early this fall, IPC decided to circulate these administrative ideas and invite the entire college community to suggest additional proposals.

As this process unfolded it has been confusing for a number of reasons: the novelty of unrestricted funds that must, nevertheless, relate to measurable per-formance; the "evolving" nature of the proposal at the state level as it underwent various political processes; and, the sheer lateness of the passage of the state budget. Nevertheless, I remain pleased that we decided to get the discussion underway early, even as we have struggled to understand the many implications of the "Partnership," communicate what we know to as many people as possible, and integrate it into the planning that has begun.

Institutional Planning Council Memo

Page 2

October 9, 1998

 

 

 

A major and fundamental question has been raised in many quarters: Is there being developed a special allocation process for "Partnership" funds, independent of the existing planning and allocations procedures?

It certainly might seem so, given the wide distribution of the administrative list of proposals and the request for additional ideas (in bright purple!) sent to all faculty and staff and many students. In addition, early in the IPC discussions it was not clear whether the state regulations might require some special process to be developed to account for Partnership funds.

As we, as a College community, have discussed the Partnership for Excellence program, listened to people's questions, learned more about the funding, and reflected on the College's goals, it has become clearer that many individuals and, hopefully IPC as well, see the Partnership for Excellence goals being consistent with those we have already articulated. Thus, this new revenue source is an opportunity to address issues we have long identified, either by increasing support to existing programs or developing new approaches and initiatives. Therefore, in my opinion, the answer to the question should be, No, the allocation process will not be independent of our existing processes.

The attached "Statement of Principles" underscores our commitment to the integration of "Partnership for Excellence" to our existing planning process, with the hope that the process will become stronger. This statement reflects the thinking that guided the component administrators and me as the original proposal for P4E funding expenditures was being developed, and I believe can serve us well as we look to the future.

Your consideration, discussion, and endorsement of this statement of principles for the P4E program is requested. Thank you.

RFA:lb

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