Greetings Faculty and Staff:
It’s my pleasure to welcome you back to campus after a summer that I hope was filled with rest and recharging. Today is the first day of our 2022 fall semester and my 16th day on the job as your Chancellor of the South Orange County Community College District.
I have been overwhelmed with the warm welcome and truly appreciate your graciousness and kindness, as I transition into this new role.
For the last couple of weeks, I have been meeting with stakeholders throughout the district. I also had the opportunity to attend the amazing opening sessions at both Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College and was able to meet many members of the college communities. Quickly, I have sensed the rich history of the SOCCCD and the awesome responsibility of continuing what was established over 50 years ago. This is clearly a community that values students, equity, innovation, and excellence.
For the next few months, I intend to learn more about the inner workings of District Services, Irvine Valley College, Saddleback College, ATEP and the community that supports our work on behalf of students. It’s called my First 100 Days of Listening. The majority of my time will be spent listening to you and understanding what you believe is important - including our strengths and opportunities. I plan to share my observations and themes that evolve from my meetings with you, which will serve as a framework for strategic vision and action as we work collaboratively to better support our students, serve our community, and advance our colleges and district.
As we embark on another academic year, I want to take the time to applaud your efforts and commitment to our diverse student body, particularly for the last couple of years. It is clear that you made sacrifices and adjustments to continue excellent service and education throughout the pandemic. And as I shared during my remarks during the Opening Sessions, we have the opportunity to collectively re-imagine the future of the SOCCCD and our colleges.
While we can’t quite say that we are in a post pandemic era, my hope is that we are past the most difficult part. Your sustained commitment to our mission and values does not go unnoticed.
I will be looking to you to maintain that same passion and enthusiasm for the work we do, as we work together on a number of priorities. Together, we will make important progress to reach and exceed our goals.
Thank you again for all you have done to welcome me to this community, and for sharing your invaluable insight into our great academic endeavor.
I welcome each of you to the fall 2022 and wish you all a productive, healthy, and happy semester.
Dr. Julianna Barnes