Message from the Chancellor - 9/17/2020

West Hills Employees:

Today, I am joined by members of the District Leadership Council (DLC) to release important information regarding our spring 2021 instruction and an extension of our current remote, virtual operations timeline. As you may know, I expanded the membership of DLC in late spring to include additional voices representing labor group leadership. Given the stress many are feeling due to the ongoing uncertainty related to the pandemic, and amidst nature’s fury these days facing our local and mountain communities, members of DLC are committed to communicating with you in a timely and transparent manner so you can anticipate upcoming changes as best as possible.


Earlier this afternoon, DLC concluded its monthly meeting and we write to inform you that West Hills College Coalinga, West Hills College Lemoore, and the North District Center, Firebaugh will continue with mostly remote, online instruction for the spring 2021 semester. In addition, this communication formally extends virtual, remote services delivery through January 3, 2021. An updated timeline is attached. As was the case this last spring, staff deemed as essential workers as designated by each College President and District Executive Administrators will be on campus or at the District Office performing those necessary functions.


It is important that we clarify the path for our students for spring 2021 now. If conditions improve in the coming months, we can pivot to more traditional instructional delivery. By knowing now, each of us can process the ramifications and then begin planning accordingly. The members of DLC also recognize that we all react to ambiguity and stress differently. What COVID-19 should teach us is that we need each other’s expertise more than ever. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to the members listed below.


By definition, higher education looks toward the future. To devote oneself to learners of all types and ages is inherently hopeful, optimistic. Our ideas, theories, and discoveries all stake a claim to tomorrow. The pandemic has crushed this orientation on almost every level. The twin evils of the year – pandemic and social injustice, converged upon us. Disruption has led to change and, after what has either felt like the longest summer or the shortest summer on record, we are all moving forward this semester far differently than ever before. Even before this year, our district felt the pressure to think outside the box in extending services to staff and students as a result of the failed implementation of the so-called Student Centered Funding Formula (SCFF). While we are sure there are forces that want to take us back to another place, we don’t want to go back. We want to move forward. As we do so, DLC pledges its continuing responsiveness to our organizational challenges yet remains fully confident that, while we may look differently in the future, we will emerge a stronger organization in our relentless pursuit of student success.


Sincerely,


Stuart Van Horn, Chancellor
Richard Storti, Deputy Chancellor
Kelly Cooper, Vice Chancellor of Education and Technology
Brenda Thames, President West Hills College Coalinga
Kristin Clark, President West Hills College Lemoore
Becky Cazares, Director of Human Resources
David Gejeian, WHCFA President
Jeff Wanderer, Academic Senate President West Hills College Coalinga
Rene Paredes, Academic Senate President West Hills College Lemoore
Andrea Pulido, CSEA President
Brandon Hicks, CSEA Vice President
Marty Ennes, CTA Representative
Sarah Shepard, CTA Representative

WHCCD Covid-19 Response Timeline Updated 09-16-2020