Report to the Board of Trustees
Bill Scroggins, Superintendent/President
September 30, 2008
1. One of the most significant financial challenges for COS students is the price of
textbooks. Under the leadership of the COS Academic Senate, the college will be
addressing this issue by providing textbooks on a rental basis to students in selected
courses for the Spring 2009 semester. The pilot is being funded by the District at an
initial level of $12,000. The Senate’s Textbook Rental Proposal is attached. Here are
some key elements.
Faculty must agree to a Three-Year Adoption commitment.
Textbooks selected for the rental program will be from core classes for general education
such as Biology 30 (Human Anatomy), Math 200 (Elementary Algebra), and Psychology 1
The textbook is rented at 30% of the retail price. The rental fee is due at the time of
Textbooks rented must be returned at the end of the semester. The date will be determined by
the bookstore. If not returned, students will be responsible for the full retail price of the
textbook and their student record will be placed on hold.
2. The affordability of college textbooks is both a statewide and national issue. The
California State Auditor has published a report entitled Affordability of College
Textbooks. Below are some of their observations and audit data.
Increases in textbook prices have significantly outpaced median household income, which
makes it more likely that some students will forgo or delay attending college because of the
financial burden that postsecondary education imposes.
Of 23 textbooks reviewed, publishers released a new edition about every four years on
average; however, many of the deans, department chairs, and faculty members interviewed
stated that revisions to textbooks are minimal and are not always warranted.
Campus bookstores have implemented several strategies to reduce students’ textbook costs;
however, they have not consistently employed them.
The community colleges and CSU, with some participation from UC, have explored possible
solutions for the rising costs of textbooks, including open educational resources and the
Digital Marketplace, both of which offer means of content delivery that differ from that of
3. The latest edition of Community College Week carries an article on the issue of textbook
costs and discusses the challenges that face college bookstores. To quote,
The U.S. Government Accountability Office reports that the cost of textbooks rose at twice
the rate of annual inflation over the past two decades, making it harder for financially
strapped students and parents to afford a college education. The New York Times, in an April
25 editorial, called for colleges and universities to support digital textbooks as a way to "rein
in runaway costs." And there is both state and federal legislation addressing this issue. On the
federal level, the House (H.R.3512) and Senate (S.B.45) have introduced companion bills to
curtail rising textbook costs. Introduced in 2007and currently in committee, The College
Textbook Affordability and Transparency Act calls for several measures to ensure that
textbooks and supplemental materials are affordable. On the state level, several states have
either signed into law or are considering bills that mirror the proposed federal legislation.
4. We have been regularly reporting the tremendous growth in the number of students
enrolled at COS, now having reached 13,000. Our unit of measure for funding is the
number of full-time equivalent students (FTES). An FTES equates to a student taking 15
credit hours per week for both Fall and Spring Semesters, a total of 525 hours (15 hours
per week X 17.5 weeks per semester X 2 semesters). Dr. Ron Johnson, VP of Academic
Services, keeps track of these numbers because they determine our state funding:
currently $4600 per FTES. His latest numbers, reported below for consecutive fall
semesters, reflect a 15% growth over last fall with just 23 more class sections. This
shows that our growth has resulted primarily from a higher fill rate for existing classes.
The two-year growth is 36%. Wow!
Fall 06 Fall 07 Fall 08
Sections Sections FTES Sections Sections FTES CR Sections Sections FTES CR
Active Cancelled CR Active Cancelled CR Diff Active Cancelled CR Diff
1365 133 3512 1450 134 4167 655 1473 153 4774 607
85 1 655 19% 23 19 607 15%
5. Janell Spencer. Business Need a great employee?
Internship Coordinator, has Now accepting applications for Fall interns
been busy recruiting local
businesses to take COS Business Internships
start September, 2008
interns. The announcement
shown to the right has Hire job-ready COS students who earn college credit
appeared in several local while learning and working within your organization!
publications. If you operate a
local business or agency, give Want to know more? Contact
Janell a call! Janell Spencer, Business Internship Coordinator
6. The COS activity calendar for this fall is filling up rapidly. Here are some coming
a. Our fourth annual Disability Awareness Day will take place on Tuesday, October 21, from
11:00 am to 1:00 pm, on the COS Quad. The purpose of this event is to provide information
to sensitize the community regarding disabilities, as well as to make individuals with
disabilities aware of community resources available to them. By including food and activity
booths, this event will be both fun and informative!
b. On Thursday, October 9, from 4:10 to 5:30 pm the COS Faculty Association will host a
Candidates Forum in Room 1 of the Sequoias Building. Running for COS Trustee in Ward 3
are incumbent Earl Mann and challengers Ruben Macareno and Carmita Rodriguez-Pena.
c. Quite a few of us from COS will be attending the Sunrise Summit next Tuesday morning,
October 7, from 7:30 to 9:30 am, at the Lamp Liter Inn. The program will feature a panel of
Greg Collins, Darlene Mata, and Steve Peck exploring issues facing our city such as growth,
water, planning priorities, and environmental issues. Cost for the event is $25 for Chamber
members; $40 for non-members. It includes a full breakfast.
d. The Expanding Your Horizons girl’s conference is scheduled for October 25th and will be
held on the College of the Sequoias campus again this year. There are a limited number of
slots still available, so individuals and schools can register their girls online at
www.tcoe.org/eyh. This year’s keynote speaker is Assemblymember Nicole Parra.
e. On Saturday, November 1, COS will host the First Annual Latino Youth Academy. (See the
attached flyer.) The Academy will have an educational, leadership and vocational focus with
presenters from the Highway Patrol cadets, correctional officers, architecture, FBI,
printworks club, real estate, MESA, newspaper/photography and TV production plus many
others. Organized by the COS chapter of the Latina Leadership Network, the Academy will
feature several speakers including Guillermo Willie Lopez from Richard Santana’s
“Homeboy Goes to Harvard Productions” and Martin Zuniga, a professional soccer player.
We already have 350 youth confirmed to participate representing Live Oak School in Tulare;
Divisadero Middle School, Green Acres, Valley Oak, La Joya Middle School in Visalia; El
Monte School in Orosi; as well as Goshen, Santana and Pixley. This event is free to
participating schools. If you would like your school to participate, contact Anna Williams at
email@example.com or call 737-4877.
7. Our folks here at COS continue to receive many accolades.
a. Dean Larry Dutto is now DOCTOR Larry Dutto having successfully defended his
dissertation for a doctorate from Colorado State University. Larry’s long and
exemplary service to COS has touched many people over the years. Here are a few
comments from Tim Holland, former Dutto student and now Director of the Advanced
Transportation Technology and Energy Center at College of the Desert.
It is my absolute honor to congratulate Dr. Dutto on this accomplishment. During my
time as a student at COS, I was able to learn many things from several of my Agriculture
instructors. Little did I know then that some of the best lessons would not only come out
of the classroom, but they would also come from watching people like Dr. Dutto work. I
remember back in 2002 I asked Dr. Dutto (who then was Division Chair for the Ag
Department) for help with my campaign for ASB President. Looking for advice on how
to succeed, imagine my surprise when he said he would be glad to help and then he gave
me a bag of Tootsie Rolls. Six hundred Tootsie Rolls later I became ASB President
2002/03 in which I was able to do some great work with Debbie Douglas, Don Goodyear
and many of you. Since then Dr. Dutto has been a pillar of support in my life, a true
mentor, a true friend, always available for advice as I continued at Fresno State (Go
Dogs) and even now in my present position (for which he suggested I apply). Sometimes
as we continue on our way in our day to day struggles it is easy to forget the people that
have shaped our lives and given of themselves in order to see us succeed. Please take this
moment to tell that person, in your life….Thank you, Larry (uh, Dr. Dutto).
b. As reported previously, our Puente Program won national recognition, and
English professor and program co-director David Hurst attended the ceremony
and filed this report.
I was fortunate to be able to represent the COS Puente Project in Houston this week
at the Celebracion de Excelencia held at the National College Access Network
conference. We were a semifinalist for the Excelencia in Education grant at the
community college level. You can read a more complete account of the event in my
blog post on the COS Puente website. By the end of the year, we will be among the
programs featured in the 2008 compendium of effective practices to engage,
encourage and graduate Latino students. As with any of the programs on our
campus, Puente’s success is due to the mélange of support, cooperation, and active
involvement we have received from all areas of this campus and Teresa and I want to
thank you all for your support. Si se puede!
c. Leslie Caviglia, Deputy City Manager for the City of Visalia, passed along this
praise for our own Ruben Aviles, Supervisor of Custodial Services.
I just wanted to let you know how much we appreciate Ruben Avilas' assistance in
reevaluating your recycling program at COS. Our Natural Resource Coordinator just
left and he was very pleased with the program that was developed jointly between
COS and the City. He is dropping off 50 blue bins for the professors who are willing
to recycle, and they are reorganizing the bin system. In all, you'll help us continue to
exceed the state mandated goal, and it's estimated that COS will save about $2,300 a
month! That's what I'd call a win-win!! If there are other ways we can help COS "go
green," please let us know!
d. Jennifer La Serna, Dean of Arts & Letters, and Adrienne Duarte, Coordinator of
the First Year Experience Program (and a counseling faculty member), have had
an article accepted for publication by the iJournal: Insight into Student Services,
an online magazine published for student services professionals in the California
Community Colleges. Both Jennifer and Adrienne have been key leaders for the
Essential Learning Initiative here at COS. The abstract is quoted below and the
full article is attached.
The statewide Basic Skills Initiative has brought increased attention to California
community colleges and the challenges surrounding meeting the needs of the large
number of students who require developmental level support. As a result of the basic
skills self-assessment, the College of the Sequoias developed a strong collaboration
between academic and student services and among faculty and counselors to work in
unison to support students. The Essential Learning Initiative and First Year
Experience are examples of two programs designed to enhance partnerships across
campus and develop alliances that result in holistic support for students.
e. I was very pleased to see
so many COS faculty,
staff and students at the
Awards recently to share
with me recognition by
the Tulare County
Hispanic Roundtable in
the form of the
President’s Award. That
award is really tribute to
all of you at COS who
have worked so hard to
serve our community.
8. As COS grows, a limited amount of state dollars is made available to hire more full-time
faculty. At the moment, we are unsure how many faculty will retire this coming spring,
but we plan to move ahead with hiring four instructional faculty positions and one
counselor. For those of you interested in the details, we monitor the “faculty obligation
number” (number of full-time faculty positions) through a tracking system that follows
replacement positions as faculty leave and growth positions as the FON increases. The
attached tables show the FON tracking for last year to this year (Fall 2007 to Fall 2008)
and for this year to next year (Fall 2008 to Fall 2009) the latter of which shows how we
will proceed with hiring for next year. The process of prioritizing faculty positions (will
we hire in Psychology or Nursing?) is explained on the attached document. Basically, a
department that sees the need for a faculty position writes a rationale that addresses a set
of previously established criteria. (By the way, this process has been under review by the
Academic Senate for the past few months, and a change is anticipated in the near future.)
9. As you know, College of the Sequoias is eligible to receive federal grants as an Hispanic
Serving Institution (HSI) because we are more than 25% Hispanic (actually over 40%). A
new category called Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges and universities (HSACUs)
was added this year when Congress passed the Farm Bill (the Food, Conservation, and
Energy Act of 2008). Section 7101 defines HSACUs as colleges or universities that
qualify as Hispanic-serving institutions and offer associate, bachelors, or other accredited
degree programs in agriculture-related fields. Sounds like COS to me! Section 7129
authorizes the following five new grants for HSACUs:
HSACU Endowment Fund (formula-based);
HSACU Equity Grants Program (formula-based);
HSACU Institutional Capacity-Building Grants Program (competitive);
HSACU Extension Grants Program (competitive); and
HSACU Fundamental and Applied Research Grants Program (competitive).
There is an up-coming conference in Denver which COS staff will attend to find out
more about these new grant opportunities.
10. As I mentioned previously, the newly reauthorized Higher Education Act contains several
new provisions that affect College of the Sequoias. In addition to the summarizes I have
included in prior Board Updates, I recently found a concise, readable summary that
compares the new act with the former version and have attached that document for your