Posted to the Johnson County Community College electronic mail server, Infolist:
Sent: Friday, July 19, 2013 12:03 PM
Subject: [infolist] Message from Joe Sopcich
When I was hired by the trustees to do this job, it was made clear that we, as a college, needed to hit the ground running. It was one of the stated benefits of hiring an internal candidate. Aside from a few newspaper stories and a magazine article that focused on the “local” hire as the new president of JCCC, there was minimal fuss or hoopla. And that’s the way it should be. I’m very proud to be the new president of this college, and I want to do my best for the institution, for you, for our students and patrons, and for the community. So now it’s time to get to work in pursuit of these objectives.
For those of you who came to my sessions during the interview process, you may remember that I talked about “One Community, One College, One Goal.” That’s what I hope to do over the next year – help us all focus on the same goals so that we’re working together to achieve them.
Professional Development Days
For that to happen, you need information, and we’ll start during Professional Development Days. We’re developing sessions on the college’s key performance indicators (KPIs), which will help us improve student persistence, graduation and transfer, transfer performance, student satisfaction and general education outcomes. We’ll also offer sessions on the college’s budget. The college is facing a number of budget challenges right now, and we want you to know what they are and why we will be doing some of the things we need to do. If you can’t make the sessions in August, we’ll be happy to present them to individual work groups throughout the fall.
In addition to the budget and the key performance indicators, I wanted to take a hard look at the college’s organizational structure. I knew I wanted to limit the number of people reporting to me directly and for divisions and departments to be grouped in ways that would enhance discussion, collaboration, efficiency and effectiveness. By now you may have heard from the head of your division or department about the college’s new structure.For some, it’s a big change; for others, it’s not. If you’d like to see the new organizational chart, you can access it here.
Basically, two executive vice presidents will report to me – Dr. Judy Korb, as EVP for Instruction and Operations, and whoever takes my old spot, the vacant EVP position for Administrative Services (the national search process will start in August, but in the meantime, Mitch Borchers will serve that role in an interim capacity). Dr. Korb will oversee Academic Affairs, Student Success and Engagement, and Continuing Education, as well as Human Resources, Legal Services, Marketing Communications, Institutional Effectiveness (formerly known as Institutional Research) and Grants Leadership and Development.
Administrative Services will have Finance, Business Services, Campus Services, Information Services, Insurance and Risk Management, JCCC Police and the Carlsen Center Box Office. The Center for Sustainability will report up through Campus Services.
Kate Allen, the associate vice president of institutional advancement, will also report directly to me. She will oversee the Foundation, Government Affairs, the Performing Arts Series and the Nerman Museum. And of course, Terri Schlicht, the executive assistant to the president and the board, will continue to report to me. Janelle Vogler, executive director of audit and advisory services, will continue to report to the board of trustees.
We are using existing expertise (such as Dr. Korb’s academic experience) to help direct the three areas that focus most directly on students and teaching – Academic Affairs, Student Success and Engagement, and Continuing Education. This will allow better coordination and facilitation of planning, especially as we develop a joint master academic plan in accordance with a new strategic plan and set expectations for our key performance indicators. The initial idea came from a suggestion by the academic deans in spring 2012, which called for both a VP and an EVP in the academic branch. Because the budget won’t allow for the creation of another position at this time, hiring the vice president who will also serve as the chief academic officer first will stabilize the branch and help to identify additional efficiencies in our operational areas.
Please note that no new positions have been created as a part of this re-organization. Based on our operational needs and budget challenges, certain departments have been eliminated. In addition, through retirement, the position of program director for the Public Safety Training Center has also been eliminated. I want to thank the administrators and staff involved in those areas for their work over the years and their contribution to the college. These are always hard decisions to both make and learn about. But these actions are something we needed to do. They will result in $700,000 in salary and benefit savings.
This academic year we’ll be looking at more ways to improve the effectiveness of what we do for our students and the efficiency with which we do it. This is what we’ll determine together as we focus on “One Community, One College, One Goal” to provide the best possible experience for our students.
Thank you for your support and hard work on behalf of Johnson County Community College.