February 19, 2009

Greetings all,

This edition of “What’s on My Mind” will capture a number of random activities that I have had the pleasure to be involved with over the last several weeks. And as always, I’ll try and make a connect to our 2008 – 2009 themes of: leadership for: student success, community building, bringing learning alive, and positive social change.

President’s Advance – approximately 120 PVCC faculty and staff participated in one of two sessions. There were two primary outcomes of the Advance: 1) assist all employees to connect or re-connect to our five Strategic Priorities, and 2) develop greater College level focus on the five priorities as we begin the planning process for FY10. Sue Van Boven and Rick Vaughn did a great job facilitating the World Café sessions. The findings and overall recommendations will be posted soon. Door prizes were won by John Douglass, Marilyn Cristiano, Norma Chandler, Catherin Snyder, Shelle Witten and Gary Smith. Each received a copy of Learning Reconsidered – A Campus-Wide Focus on the Student Experience. Ask one of them to borrow a copy – it is an amazing summary of what we know to be true about the student learning experience.

PVCC Rocks on Saturday – Last Saturday it was hard to find a parking space in the East lot. In addition to our Saturday classes, a home track meet, home softball double header, home baseball, and the tax assistance program in the Computer Commons were all going on. The Learning Support Center and the Library were also quite busy. My thanks to all of the faculty and staff who keep the College alive on the weekends.

Community Connections – I recently served on the final selection committee for the PVUSD Superintendent search. As many of you know, John Kriekard will be retiring in July and the PVUSD Board announced that Jim Lee, currently one of the associate superintendents has been selected as his successor. PVCC has quite a positive reputation with the teachers, staff and parents of the District. This month I also began my term as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Paradise Valley Hospital. I look forward to learning a lot from the for-profit hospital industry and exploring potential partnerships with PV Hospital.

Teaching and Learning – This past week, I was invited to sit in one of our classes where I got to see, firsthand, active and engaged student learning. What did it look like? Students asked relevant and tough questions; students worked on brief yet connected small group problem solving activities; learning was visual, kinesthetic, and audio; and students knew each other’s names. While I know it is somewhat unusual for this visit, it was one of the most important activities of my week. I’ve also been invited to shadow one of our nursing students in a hospital setting and I look forward to this as well.

PVCC at Black Mountain – a special thanks to Denise Digianfilippo, Interim Dean of Academic Affairs, for her work on the program development of our new site. I’d also like to thank Shirley Green for her operational leadership with our current courses offered at Cactus Shadows High School, and Jackie Askin for her leadership on the construction at the site.

Please join me this weekend in supporting the Third Annual Fine and Performing Arts Student Scholarship Fund raiser – A Tribute to Stevie Wonder. I am sure it will be a great show!

Have a great week.

Paul Dale, Ed.D.
Interim President