The final leadership theme for the 2019-2020 year centers around a core pillar of our vision – “strengthening our local impact through positive social change.” The notion of positive social change gets at the greater public good of Paradise Valley Community College at two levels: a) institutional where we aspire to close equity gaps, enhance students’ economic and social mobility, and contribute to improving the quality of life for our communities; and b) individually at the student level with our hope that students are able and committed when they leave PVCC to address one of many vexing social issues challenging Arizona (i.e. illiteracy, racism, food and shelter insecurity, immigration, sustainability, etc.). Several years ago I commented on the power of positive social change.
I was first exposed to higher education’s power to generate positive social change as I witnessed the campus unrest at San Francisco State in 1968. As a ten-year old kid sitting on the curb side, I watched the student protests and ultimately police conflict/engagement in the name of greater student access, pleas for the introduction of ethnic studies and advocacy for greater faculty diversity. Rather than the violent protests of then, today’s tools are empowering our students with critical and creative thinking skills, creating the social context for learning, and encouraging the confidence and permission that they can make a difference.
This fall semester, as a college, we will be re-committing to the “why” that drives the “what” and “how” of our work. I ask that you join in this conversation.
As a reminder our leadership themes for 2019-2020 are: 1) a renewed focus on the student experience; 2) redefining our organization around innovation; 3) creating conditions for employee engagement and success; and 4) strengthening our local impact through positive social change