Welcome back to another exciting school year. In my very short time serving on this campus, it has been very apparent; ELAC is a place of extraordinary opportunity for our students and a shining jewel in our community. I have also met many wonderful, supportive and friendly faculty, staff members and administrators. With more than a 1,000 people working here I look forward to meeting all of you. I would like this opportunity to share with you a bit about who I am, and what my vision is for the coming school year.
I am a first generation American citizen. My father immigrated to this country after he was liberated at the end of WWII. Like so many immigrants, he came to this country seeking an opportunity for a better life. Learning English was his priority. He needed to be able to speak and understand English to get a job. Learning English and getting a job were ultimately his access into the middle class. His ability to provide for his family and to be a contributing member of his community all had ties back to his ability to access educational opportunities. It was his initial experiences with our education system that have been very influential in shaping my educational values and beliefs.
I served students as a faculty member for 12 years and have been serving as an academic administrator for the past 20 years. I have experience working in K-12 education and Community College education. I have served as an Academic Affairs Dean and Provost at Long Beach City College and Vice President of Academic Affairs at College of the Desert. Of my 32 years in education, 29 were spent serving students and the community of Long Beach. My last three years were spent serving residents of the Coachella Valley. As you can see, I am not one to change jobs too often!
My vision, priorities, and philosophy as an educator are very simple:
Stay focused on providing our community with opportunities to access higher education to meet personal and educational goals.
Provide an environment (in class and out of class) which supports life-long learning, evokes critical thinking, stimulates creativity, encourages innovation and promotes positive health and environmental friendly habits and life styles.
Encourage an atmosphere that is respectful, courteous, celebrates diversity, inspires and supports teamwork/collaboration and promotes open communication.
I bring all of my above values and ideals to serve you at East Los Angeles College. We have many opportunities and challenges ahead of us this year. Californiaâ€™s enormous financial burden, has caused us to react in ways that challenge our core beliefs as educators. I am certain collectively we have the passion, knowledge base, innovative spirit and cooperative will to overcome any challenge to do what is best for our students. Working together, we will find solutions to help build upon all of your current outstanding efforts. We still have many new Bond projects ahead of us to complete on the ELAC campus, we have new satellite campuses/sites to get started on, and most important, we have more than 30,000 students who will be looking to us to help better their lives and their familiesâ€™ lives.
I have an open door policy; I spend a great deal of time out and about on campus, and you will see my wife and I supporting many student events and activities. I look forward to serving you, our students and the ELAC community.
Have a wonderful school year,