Spring Break Message from Chancellor Stuart Van Horn

The following message is being sent on behalf of Dr. Stuart Van Horn, Chancellor of the West Hills Community College District

As we prepare for spring break and Easter Sunday, I find myself reflecting on the recent days and thinking about the future.  The month of March seemed like an entire decade.  We are stunned with the pandemic.  It has been tumultuous, unforgiving, challenging, emotional, and stressful.  We did what we needed to do before it became untenable.  We turned information into insight.  We used our experience to eliminate experiments.  We didn't keep human nature out of a human process.  We knew what success looked like and achieved consensus by design over the past four weeks. 

West Hills is a nation of responders.  We take what we are given and we weather storms.  We adjust, retool, refine, and respond quickly by design.  All of you should take great pride that you work in an organization where we avoided, for the most part, the bedlam, confusion, and unpreparedness-caused trauma affecting educational organizations throughout the state.  I don’t know how much you know about what is happening statewide, but I assure you systemic challenges were deflected substantially because of our organization behavior over the past few years, our commitment to change across all areas of our district, our scale, and our relentless agility to serve students today and tomorrow.

We have not been perfect, but that was never expected.  We didn’t let perfection get in the way of doing good.  That’s something to continue to understand as we move forward.  And, something to cherish.  Hard work matters.

Education is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated.  It satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect.  It is without a doubt the only thing ever invented that can lift people out of poverty.  Keep your chin up and remember what's important.  My hope is the pandemic ends as a memory of shared challenges and shared victories.  Get some rest, be safe, and have a wonderful holiday week.  You've most certainly earned it.