Skyline College is part of the San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD)
and offers a great education to students from all over the Bay Area. The 111-acre
site, just west of Skyline Boulevard in San Bruno, is convenient to residents of South
San Francisco, Daly City, Colma, Brisbane, San Bruno, and Pacifica. Although its chief
service area is northern San Mateo County, Skyline enrolls students from the entire
Skyline College opened in 1969 and is one of three community colleges in the San Mateo
County Community College District. The District also includes Cañada College in Redwood
City, and the College of San Mateo. SMCCCD has served the educational needs of hundreds
of thousands of county residents since 1922 when the San Mateo Junior College first
opened its doors.
Dear Skyline Campus Community,
As we begin a new academic year, I would like to reflect on our experiences and work
this past year, and set the stage for what is ahead for us as a campus community.
Where We’ve Been
Our 2020-2021 academic year was full of contrast. We accomplished and gained so much
more than we could have imagined in a pandemic and yet we faced enormous loss. We
deeply connected as a community, and although we were apart, and in isolation; we
were strong, tenacious, resilient, and clear about our student-driven mission; all
in the face of being grossly challenged by uncertainty and ambiguity. Despite the
unusual experience of extreme contrasts this last year, we made it through. We were
tough. We were flexible. We checked-in with each other. We took care of each other.
We had each other’s backs. We cried together. We prayed together. We supported each
other. We were a team, in the greatest sense both unimaginable and unfathomable new
experiences. We pursued excellence despite the new terrain with so much love and humility;
all the while keeping our students first, and at the forefront of our motivation.
This is why students choose us. This is who we are. Welcome to the Skyline College family!
We beautifully cemented a foundation to move through whatever comes next, together.
We are prepared to flex, as the world of relentless external forces attempt to disrupt
our path. We have what it takes to build upon what we have started this past year
as an adaptive community, as a team. Nothing can stop us! And so, I thank you and
congratulate you for everything you did this last year to serve our students and community.
Every single person contributed in a meaningful and exceptional way to make up the
whole of who we are at Skyline College. Our groundskeepers and custodians, our public
safety and facilities teams, our classified professionals and faculty, our managers
and administrators, our instructional and student support teams, our District partners,
all came together in service of our students. I see you. I appreciate you. I thank you.
Where We’re Headed
We also worked hard to set the stage for what is up next. I spent this last year listening
carefully to you and gained a much deeper understanding of where you would like to
go as a campus community. Here’s what I learned:
- We need to rid ourselves of this “secret society” feel to our governance;
- We need to greatly improve the relationship across constituent groups with the Administration,
but especially with faculty;
- We need much greater transparency in our decision-making and committee work;
- We need open and regular communication from the President and the Cabinet;
- We need to be more inclusive and equitable;
- We need to sustain engagement with our community of supporters and stakeholders;
- We need to improve our campus climate and create a lasting and sustainable culture
of democracy and participatory governance;
- We need greater transparency in our processes and, in particular, with our budgets
and integrated college planning;
- We need cohesive and coordinated equity and antiracism efforts that everyone is involved
and included in;
- We need to assess our Comprehensive College Redesign work and address persistent barriers
and opportunity gaps for our most marginalized student groups.
There’s so much work to be done!
We got a head start on this work during the last year and laid an important foundation
for reshaping our participatory governance structure, college planning, and antiracism
and equity work. Here’s what we did:
- We adopted an integrated planning and resource allocation model , and started training with the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)
– as we embark on revising our Educational Master Plan this fall;
- We reformed our College Governance Council (CGC) to remove the vote of the President
and her Cabinet in order to honor the true purpose of CGC as a recommending body to
the President. No more double-dipping!
- We also recognized our Management Council as a constituency group, and created seats
on CGC for our managers;
- We also opened CGC to the entire campus community and had more participation than
- We adopted the Intergroup Dialogue model as the basis for our antiracism and equity
work, and began training the community in how to listen and have constructive dialogue.
Our intention is to reach a critical mass of campus community training and to conduct
dialogues on difficult subjects;
- We released the McPhail Report , and completed the work of the “Climate Review Work Group” to bring forth the valuable
recommendations to CGC in that report;
- We hosted an incredibly successful President’s Breakfast that engaged our community
- We adopted a Participatory Governance Model , and completed the work of the Participatory Governance Work Group to revise and
simplify our structure and compendium
People’s College Initiative (PCI)
The People’s College Initiative was born as a framework to address the challenges
identified during my listening tour, while building upon the foundation work we began
last year. The Statewide Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative (IEPI) invited us to submit a letter of interest. As such, I submitted the concept of the
People’s College Initiative, and it was accepted. Please read the Letter of Interest
starting on page 18 of our CGC agenda packet of May 19, 2021 . What this means for us is that we are preparing to welcome a Partnership Resource
Team (PRT) from the State Chancellor’s Office this fall. The PRT will help guide us
through the initiative, and grant us $200,000 to accomplish these goals. The Chancellor’s
Office is interested supporting initiatives that might be of benefit to other colleges
in the State and so they are hopeful this could become a model for other colleges.
Here’s the concept in a nutshell:
- PCI focuses on creating a healthy college and workplace experience through a robust
participatory governance process that people trust and believe in, resulting in open
and transparent decision-making a way of life at Skyline College;
- We want to create an antiracist and equitable culture that embraces campus wide training,
practice and action toward becoming an antiracist college;
- We will engage in regular climate reviews in order to measure our transformation in
becoming a true institution of the people, for the people.
We will be working together to fully flesh out the PCI concept to norm participatory
governance, equity and antiracism activity, and regular climate review. We did some
work along these lines with our constituent group leadership this summer to prepare
for the PRT visit. My goal is to cement a democratic culture and healthy climate that
will sustain evolving and inevitable change in leadership. In addition, this initiative
will ultimately support the greater goal of ensuring a democratic and civically-engaged
classroom experience for our students. Until we get this right for ourselves, we cannot
get it right for our students.
Here’s where you come in: I need your support and help to bring these changes to our
college community. College Governance Council will be authorizing a number of work
groups to tackle the work of implementing the PCI. We want each and every one of you
to be involved, because this is about you, and about us, and about how we work together
to shape our future. There will be lots of communication about the PCI and the opportunities
for your involvement early in the fall semester. Your voice matters, and I encourage
you to join us.
I am absolutely thrilled and honored to be your President, entering our second year
together, and doing this wonderfully transformative work with you! We will continue
to work with the District to do our best to bring us safely together in-person again.
But let’s not forget to remain flexible and adaptable in an ever-changing landscape
of this persistent pandemic.
A heartfelt welcome back to fall semester!
Dr. Melissa Moreno
President of Skyline College