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From the Desk of the President
January 19, 2017
Hello Monarch Family!
Happy New Year! I hope y’all had a great holiday season. We are only 19 days into 2017, but already, it’s clear that we have an interesting year ahead of us based just on what’s happened thus far, including USC and Clemson’s last-minute, come-from-behind bowl victories in the opening days of January! I only wish my Dallas Cowboys had followed suit last weekend.
As all of you know, LAVC was the victim of a ransomware attack which completely locked down 61 out of 124 of our servers. This impacted, among other things, our email system, our website, voicemail, SARS, our assessment software (APMS), shared department files, the bookstore, SharePoint, financial aid, master calendar, and our searchable schedule, just to name a few key servers. As of today, 47 out of the 61 servers are back up and running, and IT expects the remaining 14 servers, which are less critical to the operation of the college, to be back up by the end of February. Thankfully, it appears that no information or data was taken or compromised as part of the ransomware attack. However, in addition to conducting all sorts of network testing and assessing our vulnerability to thwart attacks going forward, IT will soon be sending instructions to all users to change their passwords and to make them more complex as part of a larger effort to enhance our network security and protect our systems.
I would be remiss if I did not give a huge shout-out to the IT professionals who have worked non-stop, including weekends and holidays, since this incident occurred to get our computers and servers working again. District IT Director, Jorge Mata, has been assigned temporarily to our campus to work with our staff and with our cyber consultants to both help us return to full capacity and to establish a district-wide protocol to avoid a future attack at all nine colleges and the ESC. Kaleung Tsao and Volodymyr Vivcharenko from the District have also put in many hours helping us. Nick Minassian from Mission College has put in many hours over and above his responsibilities at his own college, too. I am equally grateful to our very own Los Angeles Valley College IT staff – Hanh Tran, Yefrem Kozin, Kabwe Chanda, Garrett Sasahara, Ed Moradkhani, Shirin Herrington, Christian Burkhardt, Ray Dawson, Sal Mosqueda, Claudette Bentley – for their Herculean efforts and long hours working to get us going again. We still have a ways to go, but we at least have the systems we need to function as a college to get us through the Winter Intersession and to start Spring 2017.
Speaking of Spring, our numbers are a bit down. Most of the colleges across the district have soft enrollments; I can’t help but wonder how much we were impacted at LAVC by the lack of an online searchable schedule for 2 weeks. We will need to be vigilant this Spring about getting as many students enrolled in our classes as possible, and as I always do, I am pleading with the faculty to take students if you have any open spaces in your classes. While our Winter was strong, we still need Spring (and Summer) to help us make our enrollment targets. Even if we don’t grow, it is imperative that we at least “make base” or that we come in equal to where we were last year. Thankfully, we have not spent any growth funds advanced to us by the District, so if we come in flat, we will be able to pay the District back without going into a deficit situation. As I noted, though, LAVC is not alone in terms of enrollment challenges.
I have attached the rankings for new faculty positions for Fall 2017. This list was initially developed by PEPC and then sent to the Academic Senate for their approval before being sent to me. This year, our initial number for faculty hiring from the District is 8. But, similar to the number we finally landed on last year, how we got to 8 is a bit complicated. I should also note that not all colleges in the District have finalized their Faculty Obligation Number (FON) for Fall 2017, so we are ahead of the curve again this year.
The District determined that we would have to hire 15 replacements due to “late” separations in 2015-2016 and “early” separations in 2016-2017. So far, I have confirmed that we have had 14 such separations, and due to the recently-approved Early Retirement incentive, I will probably not receive any further retirements until the period for declaring one’s intent to take the early retirement incentive begins, which is after the deadline for positions that would count towards the Fall 2017 FON for LAVC. The District then projected that we would need to hire an additional 5 positions, but they also gave us credit for the extra 12 positions we hired last year. Some of you are probably thinking back to an earlier email where I noted that we hired an additional 14, which we did, but two of those were transfers in from other colleges at the same time that we lost two faculty who transferred out. Transfers are already counted in the overall District total, so technically, we hired 12 faculty new to the District FON.
So that made 7 our total number for Fall 2017. However, the Chancellor asked me to agree to hire an additional 3 positions (for a total of 10) to help relieve financial stress on some of the smaller colleges WITH THE GUARANTEE that any position we hired over our FON would be paid for by the District by shifting the funds away from colleges that would not be able or required to hire. In other words, if the FON is a District number, then the District would distribute funding for the positions based on where they landed. However, based on what happened to us last year, meaning our number plummeted after P2 because we had not grown as the District projected in P1, I told the Chancellor that we would hire 8 faculty based on my growing concerns about us coming in above our base. So, that’s how we got to 8 positions. I’m not a Mathematician, but I play one at work.
Anyway, so taking all of this into account, I have decided to go forward with the following 8 positions, most of which adhere to the list with a few exceptions:
Now, for those of you who have looked at the list, you can see that I skipped over Counseling, which was ranked 4th. It was not an easy decision to bypass Counseling, but we are desperate to meet our enrollment targets, and it’s imperative that we hire FTES-generating faculty. I absolutely value the hard work done by our Counselors, but finances and FTES are our bread and butter, and we need everything we can get. I also skipped over a second Math position because they have had quite a few new hires since my arrival in 2014 and the remaining two positions were necessary.
I already indicated my reason for hiring the new Head Football Coach. I chose Manufacturing as the last position for several reasons. The first is that with Mike Avila’s last-minute retirement in June 2016, the program was left without any full-time faculty. As well, the Advanced Manufacturing program is part of our participation in the district-wide Community College Pathways Trust II grant, and we have a very strong Manufacturing Bridge Academy through Workforce Training that feeds into the certificate and degree program. Finally, because of new Strong Workforce Funds coming to the college and a revised state Department of Finance interpretation of collecting apportionment for classes taught by faculty supported in part or fully by grant funds, we will be able to offset our Program 100 expenses for most of this position, which will help us as we possibly struggle through the next few years with enrollment challenges and uncertain state funding levels. As noted above, though, it is possible that we will have additional positions to fill if our enrollment numbers come in higher, and if that happens, I will re-visit the list.
Finally, as some of you may remember from the list last year, I deferred hiring a Technical Director of Theater Arts due to the timing of the completion of the Valley Academic and Cultural Center. Last year, it looked like we were going to break ground on the building with a construction schedule that would have had the building in place by Fall 2018. As you know, we did not get final approval for the VACC until August 2016, which pushed the completion date of the VACC to December 2018. With the current rains, my hunch is that the building won’t be completed until March 2019. Therefore, it does not make sense to hire the Technical Director for Fall 2017, so I am deferring that position once again and will commit to hiring the position in Fall 2018.
Ok, that’s enough news for this first email of 2017. I will have more updates to pass along over the next couple of weeks, including information on Measure CC and an upcoming forum as part of the development of the new District Strategic Plan.
Try to stay dry over the weekend!
Dr. Erika Endrijonas
Los Angeles Valley College
5800 Fulton Avenue
Valley Glen, CA 91401
Download a copy of President Endrijionas Campus Update Email - January 19, 2017 [PDF: 114 kB]; Attachment: Fall 2017 LAVC Faculty Rankings [PDF: 93 kB]
From the Desk of President Endrijonas Archive