Messages from the President


Waypoint: “If only I were the new SBCC President, I would …!”

September 19, 2016

Before moving to Santa Barbara, I spent time reading Noozhawk, EdHat, and other blogs having articles on the College.  The SBCC articles were one thing, but I was also interested in the comments that followed the articles.  It was easy to see that there is a lot of interest in the College and lots of people had ideas about what the College ought to be doing.  This gave me the idea to pursue these ideas more directly, asking “If only I were the new SBCC President, I would …!”  I also wanted to learn about perspectives related to College's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.  I developed a related survey and sent it to faculty, staff, students, and community members on July 1st, my first day on the job.

The survey response was way beyond expectations.  As you can see from the “Survey Participants” table below, I received 675 total responses with 69 from faculty, 42 from staff, 135 from students, and 429 from community members.  Clearly, there is a lot of interest in SBCC in this community!

Survey Participants

Survey Participant

Response

     Faculty

69

     Staff (classified and managers)

42

     Students

135

     Community Members

429

          Total

675

I conducted a thematic analysis, reading and coding every response.  While this was a labor intensive process, I wanted to read personally every response, which was very valuable to me.  I think you’ll find interesting the top six responses in each category, which I have presented below.  They are honest and unvarnished, so some things we will like and others maybe not so much.  In any case, we can learn from the responses if we are open to do so.   

Top Six Responses to “If only I were the new SBCC President, I would…!”

Top Six Survey Responses

Response

1)  Restore State-Funded Adult Education

163

2)  Find the Optimal College Size

125

3)  Improve College Service

88

4)  Listen to Faculty, Staff, and Community

45

5)  Connect with the Community

43

6)  Deal with Student Housing

33

Top Six Perceived Strengths for SBCC?

Top Six Survey Responses

Response

1)  Faculty, Staff, and Administration

167

2)  Broad Program Selection

113

3)  Beautiful Location

89

4)  Pathways to Careers and Higher Education

45

5)  Quality Instruction

36

6)  Outstanding Reputation

36

 Top Six Perceived Weaknesses for SBCC?

Top Six Survey Responses

Response

1)  Neglect of SB in Favor out of District Revenues

122

2)  No State-Funded Adult Education

72

3)  Terrible Parking

64

4)  Unbridled College Growth

55

5)  Focused on “Junior College”/Transfer Mission

47

6)  Lack of Housing

44

 Top Six Perceived Opportunities for SBCC?

Top Six Survey Responses

Response

1)  Reconnect with the Community

69

2)  Bring Back the Community’s College

68

3)  Restore State-Funded Adult Education

66

4)  Offer Certificate/Vocational Programs

48

5)  Develop New Programs

28

6)  Build on SBCC Foundation’s Promise

28

 Top Six Perceived Threats for SBCC?

Top Six Survey Responses

Response

1)  Unbridled Growth

76

2)  Lack of Community Focus

67

3)  Poor Community Relations

59

4)  Lack of Housing

58

5)  Poor Community Perceptions

42

6)  Loss of Community College Mission

41

In the end, there was some excellent information collected from the survey.  No, it is not scientific, but it certainly provides compelling qualitative input to our decision making processes.  It is also helpful in our communication efforts to correct misconceptions.  For example, our growth peaked in 2009-10 and has been declining ever since.  I would appreciate your thoughts and feedback on the survey results sent directly to me.

 

Together forward,

Anthony E. Beebe
Superintendent/President


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