Marguerite Versher

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Lets Collaborate

December 12, 2012

Wow! Has a lot happened at CCSF or what?

Will the College survive the Accreditation Report and Fiscal Crisis Team Report?  Both of which called the administration and board on the carpet for its ongoing mismanagement and lack of fiscal responsibility.  Maybe CCSF does not hold anyone accountable for anything, but it has been made plain that the governing authority over CCSF will do so.

Everyone is grateful to the City for passing Proposition A to support the College, but of course we are not certain that the College will do the right thing with the new funding.  We still enjoy the same fiscal leadership that we have had over the last 10 years.  CCSF did not just get into the financial mess and its strange to say the least that we are relying on the same folks to get us out.

I hope that someone will see the light and follow it to help the college during such a painful crisis.  We first want to do no harm to students.  That should be upper-most on the list of priorities.  My advice is to pray for those who know not what they do and always

LET'S COLLABORATE!

May 8, 2012

Greetings.  I've had another knee surgery, this time on my left, but no replacements yet....

Unfortunately, the College has seen much better times in more ways than one.  I can't say that I'm proud of how the college has handled difficult matters. For some reason fairness, opportunity, open process, and level playing field have disappeared and been replaced by appointments of inner-circle friends at the expense of the college community, students, and California tax-payers. Because of these destructive practices, the College has opened itself to charges of discrimination.  Honestly, its difficult to call it anything else although there are those who excuse the lack of fairness and others who defend it, but it is often those who have benefitted the most from the lack of a fair and open process.  I say to them, " walk in my shoes" however other perspectives such as mine are too often dismissed. 

The same board meeting (April 26th) where the Chancellor was praised by some for his so-called leadership was the same meeting that lasted well past midnight because people of color were fed up with the lack of opportunity and promotional opportunities for people of color.  It was hard to miss the irony that an African American Chancellor could be so blind to the facts so eloquently presented to the board by so many. 

Where does the College go from so far down?  The new interim chancellor can only guide the college fiscally and the only person that has changed is the Chancellor.  The Board of Trustees are the same people to have approved the now former Chancellor's "appointments" without requiring an open process.  So how far does the college have to sink before it can rise enough to make the claim of being an equal opportunity employer?  Only time will tell, I guess and I hope to still be around to collaborate with the fantastic faculty working in the trenches to make the college a better place.

Lets Collaborate!

November 3, 2011

OK I think we are now in attack mode and one never knows from what direction it may be coming.  I've seen it all and its not pretty. People are protesting corporate greed by occupying "Wall Street", but who knew the center of that would be Oakland? Berkeley maybe, but Oakland is a wonder. 

How does this relate to City College? The college is in cut mode again, as if there is anything left to cut, but our own throats.  We really need to become more efficient in how we do business and find new ways to generate revenue.  I think they go hand in hand. Looking to the past instead of bringing a vision for the future will only keep CCSF going backwards.

Departments are being asked to cut classes and offices to cut services.  Can we really afford to make more cuts to either without short-changing students and thus our future? Efficiency is a big word that packs a lot of punch.  How are we working to become more efficient or are we looking in that direction? How do we use available technology, innovation, the knowledge and expertise of facuty and staff? That hasn't changed in 50 or more years.  We don't have telecommuting, cross-training, nor centralized services. Students are sent from one office to another to get accurate information, staff spend all day on computers in an office, and when someone retires, the position goes unfilled and all of that knowledge and experience is lost. There are critical staff that continue on, but if they for any reason were not at CCSF, the college would be hard pressed to fill that gaping hole because that was the only person that performed those duties.

As you all know by now, I am a firm believer in collaboration and sharing resources.  If grant funds are available and can off-set costs for your department, then we need to find ways to do so. I was in desparate need of a computer, currently using my personal laptop for work, and Health Sciences came together to purchase a replacement for my 1999 refurbished piece of junk.  I am eternally grateful to that Department and their shining example of collaboration. My support of grants and programs at CCSF has been unwavering and I can say that their support of me has been the same.  I will continue to collaborate with all of you for as long as CCSF allows me to do so, but as I said at the beginning, attack mode.....so warn others and

let's collaborate

 

August 19, 2011

Well a whole new academic year is underway and times are changing fast.

I can't help but feel for the current and new college students all over the country facing difficult economic times while the cost of post-secondary education continues to climb.  Its crazy how professional sports are in dispute over how many millions to pay their respective players, corporations are making record profits, yet teachers, police, firemen, are being cut, and politicians refuse to increase or even restore tax levels for the wealthy, oh but they gave themselves a raise.

How do you encourage and support young people, when adults are struggling to make sense of this troubled society.  Its a global economic mess, but we press on and inspire young people to try to make a difference in their communities and the world.  Keeping hope alive is a full-time job.

I am also wondering about the rapid expansion and development of technology.  Its certainly been great and amazing, but also has taken away from human interaction....between voicemail, email, texting, twittering, and social network sites, calling on people by phone or in person seems old fashioned.  I miss conversing directly, as we go about our busy lives, it seems that I have met fewer co-workers and "friends" in person or have not seen in ages....at least not since the technology revolution.

I wonder how the generation of the industrial revolution felt.  Rapid change can be a double-edged sword.  I still have solid books to read rather than a Kindle or Nook....I still call my Mom using my home "land-line", and I still try to get to offices around campus to say hello in person.

If you are in Cloud Hall and passing 233, stop in and say hello....

Lets Collaborate

 

February 1, 2011

Happpy New Year a whole month in now.  Everything is going so fast.  Some may have missed me as I was out Fall, 2010 having orthoscopic knee surgery.  I am hobbling around campus getting stronger now and hope to be 99% by mid spring....100% is way too much to hope for at this point.

I hope that you will contact me for any assistance for grant support.  Also, I would like to know if you are in fact working with colleagues and sharing resources in these tight budget times.  It looks as though the budget crisis will continue into the next fiscal year and perhaps beyond.  We are going to need to help the college survive tough times by increasing grant funding.  The best way to accomplish our goals

Lets Collaborate!

March 15, 2010

Long Time No See!

Sorry about that.  Its a long story short, my laptop crashed.

Anyway, so much has happened and is happening with the funding for education, especially in California.  And no summer school at CCSF, is the unthinkable. How do you envision the future generations that will be providing leadership for our educational system?  They're sure to remember when the educational system let them down.

On the up side, they are learning to exercise the right to protest and perhaps change the political fabric of the state by voting for those whose mom taught them how to share.

Lets Collaborate PLEASE!

October 26, 2009

Dear All:

I am back from a vacation which has renewed my spirit.  We all need some form of renewal. Our personal choice this time was a 8 day cruise down the coast of Mexico as far as Acapulco. We were so blessed to miss the storm of the century in the Bay Area on the way out and ahead of hurricane Rick on the way back.  We saw dolphins and whales, the beautiful beaches of Manzanillo, and the sleepy fishing town of Zihuatanejo. 

The sunshine and warm waters really helped to feel healthy and youthful.  I don't think I coughed or sneezed, ached in the knee, nor had trouble sleeping the entire time.  This tells me that the idle rich must really enjoy being idle and rich....and don't need a public option for healthcare either.

I highly recommend real vacations away from the troubles of the world as told by CNN.  Believe me all of it will be there upon your return.  If you can't get away, I recommend turning  off the boob-tube and/or computer, turn your radio dial to music or go for peaceful walks regularly.  You will feel so much better. The French get vacations and family leave time far more often than American workers.  They don''t suffer from the stress related ailments nearly as much as we do and have all types of phrases that translate to mean "oh well, such is life".....  If we take care of ourselves and adopt the healthy practice of removing stress from work and life....renew our spirit via fresh air and clear thoughts, we can work with one another to achieve our goals.  If that doesn't work, call a cruise line and get away from it all.  There are some really good deals well worth the price.

Lets Collaborate

September 29, 2009

Dear All:

I am worried about us all. Does the economic crisis mean that we can no longer provide a solid post-secondary education to all those who desire?  What will happen to future generations if we now accept high dropout rates, massive incarceration of youth, high tuition with reduction of course offerings, remediation with no hope of matriculation....

And we wonder why unemployment is high. Its like the song, "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" only you can substitute flowers with all sorts of things like Where have all the innovators gone or where have all the honest people gone.....where have all the reasonable people gone???

The song says graveyards, but retired, suppressed, shouted down could be substituted.  We need HELP in all kinds of ways....financially, emotionally, psychologically,....you name it.

I do pray and keep the faith.  I find that I do it more often and that is a good thing, I think.  I am certainly praying for a visionary to take over the state of California.  I am a native and I don't recognize the State other than we are still on the Pacific coast.  California used to be leaders in providing the best and the brightest education to most.  Now we are somewhere around the bottom with Mississippi.  Nothing against Mississippi, my Grandmother was born and raised there, but even she wouldn't allow my mom to go to school there.  My mom was educated in Illinois and then came to City College and was a graduate of the Class of 1949.  She attended school with people who were the first African American fireman, NFL official, policeman, principal all of San Francisco.

Admittedly, looking back on times of discrimination and cold war seems like harder times, but people seem to rise higher in their determination to overcome such hardships.  So the song can go, "Where Have All the Determined People Gone....Gone to Regroup and return more determined than ever, every one....  No matter how bad things get, collaborating and helping one another will always be the best solution to trying times.

Lets Collaborate!!!!

July 10, 2009

Gee...it seems like forever since I have been able to update the website.  My laptop was stolen from my house and its been a struggle and a process to get back to this point, but I am blessed and highly favored to have a new computer and was not hurt during the burglary.  I actually came home while the theif was in my home, but I high-tailed it out of there when I realized nobody was supposed to be home!!!

Anyway, for education, the cuts just keep on coming.  I feel so sad for students these days.  School is expensive and you can't get  a break with courses being cancelled, employment opportunities are limited, and the cost of living goes up....but gas prices are falling.  Whoppee! Who can go anywhere?

I hope you will take a chance on furthering your programs by seeking grant opportunities. Looking into additional funding sources can be time consuming but the rewards are great and certainly beat letting things go to hell in a hand basket.  The College's general fund is being stretched to the limit.  The response is typical....campus shut downs, lay-offs, course cancellations, and higher fees. Universities and Colleges have long ago realized that alternative funding sources for program support is the way to provide exciting cutting edge educational opportunities for the future.  No reason the like minded and enlightened CCSF community can't do the same.

Lets Collaborate

April 29, 2009

Well there have been so many changes at CCSF that I hardly recognize the place.  We are still working hard to achieve maximum output with minimal resources.  It amazes me how some of the CCSF faculty continue to seek new opportunities to enhance teaching and learning for this institution. 

As a citizen, I am grateful for their efforts.

I am officially helping with seeking and writing proposals.  Of course I have been doing that all along.....whatever I can do to help is my motto, officially or unofficially. 

I'm sure Spring Break was a welcoming rest to most and summer is fast approaching.  Time flies whether you are having fun or not so its best to have fun and enjoy each day while we can....and remember

Lets Collaborate

January 22, 2009

Celebrating newly installed President Obama and the first family was absolutely fantastic right in my living room.  I have never watched so much television as I did from 5am to 11pm on January 20, 2009....

The Washington Mall was one incredible mass of happiness. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've never seen such enthusiasm for a President and his family nor interest in ceremony and tradition.  I really felt all the ancestors watching.  Its not that he's a person of color, but he has such a sincere presence and geniuine desire to serve humanity rather than profit from it.  What a concept...

Speaking of celebrating, the Division of Institutional Advancement is celebrating the years of outstanding service and contributions of Dr. Robert (Bob) Gabriner.  Bob will be leaving CCSF a laundry list of great achievements and lasting successes......Diego Rivera mural project, the RP Group, the Decision Support System, the Student Success project, over $50 million in grants, contributions, donations and development of Alumni relations.

What a legacy?

Thanks Bob for everything and especially the support you have always given your staff.  If its one thing that we can carry forward its that through collaboration and teamwork, we have sustainable success at CCSF.

Rams and Gators

Lets Collaborate

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  2009

I have had a nice holiday break and I hope you all have had the same.

Someone said to me that the new year begins January 20th with the Obama administration.  That's one way of looking at it and at CCSF the official new

administration of our Chancellor. 

With the new year, it always seems that we get the opportunity to begin again with resolutions, changes, and pledges.  Whatever you have in mind for 2009, I wish us all much success and many more new years to make it happen.

We can study and research until we know everything there is to know, but there comes a time when we have to "Just Do It!!"

Lets Collaborate

Happy Holidays!

If there were ever a time to collaborate, its during the holidays.  We are looking forward to the new year....whoa, 2009.  We are not looking forward to bidding a fond farewell to Bob Gabriner. The Office of Institutional Advancement has made available a beautiful journal to record messages from CCSF community.  Please come by before January 27th to record your thoughts and well wishes to the Vice Chancellor as he embarks on his excellent adventure to San Francisco State. 

We continue to follow his lead....

Lets Collaborate

November 20, 2008

I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I worked at UC Berkeley for 12 years.  The University system of administration is very different from the Community Colleges.  UC is sort of an exclusive club that gives faculty, staff, and students a sense of achievement by being there. 

I get that feeling at CCSF when new grant projects are developed.  Those that engage in what can be called sponsored projects, its like giving extra effort to your community.

Lets Collaborate

November 5, 2008

President Elect Barack Obama.....I never thought I would see a day when this could happen in the "good ole" US of A. ....sanity has been restored and a calm sense of pride and willingness to work to live up to the promise of equality, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness has come over Obama supporters all over the world.  I don't think I have ever seen so many happy people in so many places crying and laughing and praising God.

I spoke to many family and friends who only wanted to say to someone else that understands how amazing this is for us all.  A president for everybody, what a concept.....

The call has been made to serve...and this is another concept that has been lost somewhere along the way.  Service to one another is what we are priviledged to do most days at CCSF.  The request to be served can oftentimes fall on deaf ears, but in my family it was do it yourself so you may learn how to do it right and what you may have done wrong.  You tend to avoid those errors the next time.  In my mom's words, "You learn your best lesson the hard way."

I've pulled back a little from over doing for grant managers since developing the web site.  I am trying to get people to use and consult the site regularly.  I may not be as organized as President Obama's campaign's use of the internet, but if there's info on grants management that is not on the site, let me hear from you.  I want to include as much helpful info as possible.

President Obama.  I like the sound of that. 

In the spirit of helping one another

Lets Collaborate

 

October 21, 2008

All I can say is, "thank goodness for vacations!" 

Honestly, I did not think I was going to make it to my scheduled vacation.  Just 4 days before my husband and I were to leave, we were involved in an auto accident that left our SUV and the full-sized Ford truck that hit us, both totalled.  We all walked away with aches and pains and the drunk-driver was carted away by medical staff and police.

Given the circumstances, our cruise vacation was so much more relaxing and enjoyable.  I did not want to return to what we affectionately call WORK.  I did vote by absentee ballot.  It was the most excited I'd ever been with regard to voting. I could feel my grandmother smiling and all those who fought and died for the right to vote. I think that all Americans are guarding their votes more closely after experiencing the last 2 presidential elections.  As Martha Stewart says, "and that's a good thing".

Accuracy is critical in all circumstances as well as transparency....just look at the economic crisis.  We can learn much in our efforts to manage our grant projects or should I say what not to do....I don't think we would be bailed out.

I am not 100% yet so it is taking extra time for me to get up to speed and to catch up with flying papers. 

Do contact me as needed so we can catch up with your projects......in other words,

Lets Collaborate!

 

September 23, 2008

The state has a new budget and it seems that the feds have a no limit budget.  I have been listening to reports about bailouts and failures and regulating, but I have not heard anyone mention fiscal responsibility. 

All of you grant project directors know you can't spend what you don't have and the average citizen knows, you can't write a check if there's no money in your account.  It seems that the governments, federal, state, and local, have no clue how to manage a budget....key word here BUDGET.

Don't let your grant budget monitoring slide.  Ask your grant account contact at the District Business Office for BANNER printouts as often as needed.  I don't think there will be any bailouts coming for us at CCSF. If you have a generous supply budget, share the wealth. Chances are your department budgets for items that we generally take for granted will be shrinking. 

Let me know if you need assistance or have questions about your budget.  Do it before you experience the painful realization that your budget is falling short.

Deficit spending is only an option for governments....so remember

Stretch your dollars and

Lets Collaborate  

September 18, 2008

Wow....those were some hurricanes!  I have family in Louisiana and Texas and they are surviving some tough times.  I don't want to use this forum for drumming up donations, but whatever you can spare to the Red Cross will help so many people.  While we bail out financial institutions, as a taxpayer, it seems that we would be bailing out other working taxpayers first.....and stop the wars, please!  Geez, things are a mess.

Anyway, I want to congratulate all of the faculty who have had their new and continuing grants funded.  As I lemented above, these are some difficult times, so to be funded is really an accomplishment.  And now we even have a State budget after only 80+ days.  Obviously the legislators are not reading my postings.

For those that do, now more than ever we must collaborate or parrish. I hope that you will involve colleagues and students in your projects.  There aren't many things to get excited about, but doing interesting work helps.  I'm glad that I get a chance to see projects improve and expand the mission of educating.  Thank you to all of you who keep me at City College.

Lets Collaborate

August 14, 2008

Welcome Back!  or should I say, "here we go again".

I can honestly look back and say this has to be somewhere around academic year 20 something if I combine my work at different colleges and universities.  I believe this makes it 12 years here at CCSF.

Things have drastically changed since then.  I think about those no longer with us quite often, especially Mr. Steve Levinson.  For those of you who never met him, you missed a gem, a scholar, and a gentleman.  I had the greatest admiration and respect for him and still offer my thanks for encouraging me to stay at CCSF.  I have had very postive experiences at CCSF, but also some extremely disappointing ones that have challenged my perseverance.

As we begin a new academic year, changes contiue to alter my vision for the future.  The biggest change will come as Dr. Robert Gabriner accepts a new position at San Francisco State.  Bob and Steve hired me in 1996 so I feel the support I've enjoyed for 12 years dissolving.  I've been able to take on different challenges and responsibilities because they had confidence in my capabilities and saw potential where many only saw the color of my skin.  I've come to appreciate that especially as I grow older.  I wish Bob all the best in his new position and glad that my alma mater will benefit from his expertise.

Also departing are Kelley Karandjeff and Elisa Rassen. Elisa actually took Kelley's place when Kelley departed to earn her Master's degree.  Kelley returned to work at the Evans Campus up until the end of July. Elisa's final day at CCSF will be August 29th. They have both made major contributions to the college and will be missed.  I am happy that both have chosen to venture away from CCSF and wish them much success.

As we all move forward into the unknown, I hope that you will continue to find answers to your grant questions here on the website and through sharing information with everyone here in the same boat.  We all want calm waters and smooth winds as we sail along with our projects and with our lives. 

The best way of course for that to happen?

Lets Collaborate!!!

 

July 8, 2008

Hope you had a great holiday weekend.  I really did enjoy the festivities which included fireworks at Jack London Square in Oakland and the Fillmore Street Jazz Festival.  Sadly, today I attended memorial services honoring one of the nicest people I'd ever met.  Although she worked for BART for 30 years, she was only approaching 59. When someone you know crosses over, you tend to question your own mortality and realize that we should not put things off.

I hope that everyone is enjoying the summer whether taking long awaited journeys to far off lands or sunbathing in the backyard. We learn much during leisure time and should share those experiences with peers and students.   Afterall, a picture is worth a thousand words.  Just think what you can do with a whole gigabyte of them....Who knows, there may be a grant project in there somewhere.

Safe Journey to all the adventurers and don't forget the sunblock!!!

Lets Collaborate

June 23, 2008

Thank goodness for yoga. Just when I was getting worked up over district office delays.....10 weeks for a contract to be signed!!!!....my summer yoga class began.  Perfect timing.  I was not going to have enough inner light left to shine. You would not believe what I was told to do in order to expedite a contract with "special needs".  Are you ready?  Put a post-it on it.  Yes, that will cut the delay in half, maybe or prevent the contract from being lost altogether.  Who knew that a post-it could solve the mystery that is the District Office.

OK I will lighten up.....I really think that they need a professional organizational development consultant to help improve their quality control.  My friends say its a symptom of being a public employee....if that's the case, I'm changing my affiliation.  I am now a private citizen working for a public organization.  I feel better now.  I will keep you posted on the post-it resolution.

In the meantime.....

Lets Collaborate

Friday the 13th

Its hard to think of any Friday as being bad luck, especially leading up to the weekend.  Grant projects do wonderful things, but nothing can outpace what weekends can do for mind and body.

There have been several grant issues that have come to the forefront this week that cause me concern..... that our attention to how we process and administer grants and contracts leave much to be desired.  I want to make the process not so overwhelming or seem not so complicated.  My faith is faltering as I look into the faces of project coordinators valiantly undertaking grant programs at CCSF.  My frustration doesn't come from the project coordinators, as I feel their pain.  Its those in leadership positions that I take to task.  Their all so busy its hard to get their attention on matters that seem to be low priority. I often find myself thinking that I should go to private detective school to find out how to investigate what happened in the process between being awarded a grant or contract and why nothing is going forward or why I am informed AFTER the wheels fall off the project.  Even those that I supposedly work with leave me out of the loop and expect me to know whats what.

I need your help to stop these practices.  If you are signing on to apply for a grant or know you are going to receive a contract....email a heads-up and I will feel that much better.  If you make an appointment with me to discuss things prior to receiving the award, I will feel even better. 

Of course, Fridays hold a special happy time for me in anticipation of the weekend, but being kept in the loop which helps me do a better job for you and CCSF runs a close second.....well maybe not so close....

In good luck and bad......

Lets Collaborate

May 16, 2008

As we turn our attentions to closing out this fiscal and academic year, we start to feel the heat and  summer breezes coming on and at times we can be overwhelmed.  Hopefully, we've not left things to the last minute and we are so organized that juggling several dozen items simultaneously is a piece of cakes.  Well, for those of you that can, I hold you with great regard.  I happen to be one of those types that enjoy flying by the seat of my pants.  Its similar to, from what I understand, flying without a net.  The thrill of accomplishment is so much greater. Sometimes, if you are too well organized, its difficult to see in the rear view mirror, but only what lay ahead.  You may miss that phew!, wow! or whoo hoo! feeling that can come from feverishly working that you don't notice that a much needed break is coming soon.  The harder you work, the faster time flies.  It can be that too well organized folk are prepared to take the coming break for granted, if that's possible. This is all, of course philosophically speaking.  Whether organized or not so much, we all deserve a pat on the back for juggling another year of life with a grant. 

I really appreciate the difficult work that faculty and staff perform daily and continue to come back for more.  How crazy are we? 

Hopefully, n ot so crazy as notto miss an opportunity to enjoy the sunshine, family, and summer fun.

Let me know if you require assistance, my pants and I are ready to fly....

Lets Collaborate

 

May 1, 2008

Well, we are still on the long end of 2008, but definately on the short side of the Spring semester.  Summer plans will be finalized soon and the campuses will change to the pace of summer sessions and San Francisco weather patterns.  One of my favorite things about summer is the choice of fruits available in the Bay Area, especially on July 1st.

Grant projects that begin funding on July 1st aren't always set to go on that day, but neither is the District.  It generally takes about ten days into the month of July for Business Services to conclude enough of the process of closing out the fiscal year to start the next.  There is sort of a lull in the action, so to speak.  If you are a faculty grant coordinator and are not on campus to conduct the project until August, its a good idea to review the previous year to measure the pace of grant activities before you depart. . 

After submitting grant applications and renewals, polishing off the final project report, and doing general clean-up of your space, take time to congratulate yourself on achievements over the academic year.  The best way to do that is to review your files.  You will find among those papers, forms, and stuff you can probably toss in the recycle bin, the record of work proving a job well done.  WE do shuffle and accumulate a great deal of paper in this age of technology, but it does seem to accomplish the general goals of grant activities. 

Give yourself a well deserved break, at least while there's a lull in the action, and enjoy the fresh fruits of the summer......Of course the weather wil be as expected at the Ocean campus, but we're prepared come sun or fog.

Lets Collaborate and Recycle

April 11, 2008

Hope everyone had a great Spring Break and Cesar Chavez Day!

It went by so fast, I did nothing that I planned to do. I got some much needed rest.  Its been quite busy since returning.  Board resolutions and FIO's for the April board meeting were due on April 2nd, so now we are looking at the May board agenda, items due April 20th, and soon the close of the Spring 2008 semester.  Wow! that was quick.

I remember developing this website over the Christmas holiday and break and now its been up and running practically a whole semester.  I hope that its been helpful.  I find myself using the quick links from this site instead of sifting through the CCSF site...drilling down to the earth's core, it seems.

I would like to expand the site to include grant projects and websites that excite the senses and provide a link to innovative ideas and best practices in education.

I'd like to take this opportunity to highly recommend a book by a woman that grew up around the corner from my mom in Evanston, IL., entitled, Walking in Circles, the Black Struggle for School Reform, by Barbara s. Sizemore.

Sadly, Dr. Sizemore lost her fight against cancer prior to the book's publication.

In her own words,

"The curriculum of America's education system is filled with distortions, omissions and false statements regarding the African and the African American.  Experience and education have convinced me that schools can change if the actors inside it are committed to high achievement as a high priority and are willing to work together to achieve that end.  The purpose of Walking in Circles is to stress the importance of the imputation of Black inferiority, and to encourage a spirit of struggle against white superiority."

As a Black woman that has had to negotiate the American/San Francisco public school system and also vigilantly oversee my daughter and son's education, this book vindicates my opinion of the shameful system that can now boast of astronomical drop out rates. We can gather statistics and spend money on studying the problem with the educational systems from primary through post-secondary or we can begin to equip ourselves to address the problems by understanding that its all of our problem. Dr. Sizemore truthfully gives voice to the reality of disenfranchised youth and the dysfunctional system we call public education.

In the words of Zora Neale Hurston, "As the farmer said to the potato, plant you now, dig you later."

Lets Collaborate

March 21, 2008

Well Spring break is here and we can all use a break in the action.  The construction projects on the Ocean Campus has everyone exhausted by trying to find their way around.  When I finally left for the evening yesterday, the exit from the second floor was closed.  I was left wondering exactly how long had I been in the office without leaving the building. 

I guess its time to take a break and smell the blooming flowers.

The problem with taking a break may turn out to be that it will be busy busy upon return. 

Deadlines such as April 2nd for the April board agenda and May 2nd for expenditures may cause us to feel rushed.  I hope that the website postings of deadlines and advice on planning has helped to prepare throughout this spring semester and beyond.

I have a feeling when we return, all exits will be open and campuses all over the city will be bustling once again.  Being in an academic environment gives me energy by being surrounded by those seeking and exchanging knowledge. The challenge is always that the knowledge we impart is based on truth. 

One truth is for certain, spring break is a welcomed part of the semester so have a great one!!!

Lets Collaborate

March 4, 2008

I can't believe how fast we are blasting through 2008. Mid-terms are coming up and Spring break is just around the corner.

With that in mind, its a perfect time for planning out expenditures for the remainder of the State fiscal year ending June 30th.  It does not matter if you are on a different calendar year, the District Business Office, which includes purchasing and grants accounting, needs time to process all requests before undertaking fiscal closing.  All purchase requisitions must be processed, paid and closed by June 30th.  It takes about 10 to 12 days for the District to recover and begin taking expenditure requests again so from a grants stand point and all things being equal, you will not be able to make an expenditure request from the deadline in May until approximately July 11th or so.

There are a few exceptions to this, but I highly recommend planning strategicly and efficiently to coordinate and  conduct grant activities to a close for the next cycle of funding or next phase of your project which ever the case may be. 

Its a great time to review your work plan and begin to assess where you are on your project map. Request a BANNER report, if you need to by emailing your grants accountant.  Remember, if you are on the Ocean Campus, you can have the report printed to "pedro" the printer in the Vice Chancellor's Office Cloud 308 and pick it up.

If you need assistance or have questions, you can always reach out and email me and

Lets Collaborate!

 

February 21, 2008

I had a great time off, not so much celebrating Presidents, but discovering that relaxation gives us time to think and reflect. 

Since returning from the holiday weekend, I have had several meetings and phone conversations about communication among the campus community or lack of communication, I should say.  Taking time to email or phone to ask questions or pass on information is not only good practice, it provides some sort of contact with colleagues.  We can sit at a computer for hours on end and work away preparing for project activities and neglect our neighbors who are very interested in what's happening.

I hope that those who are managing projects, will consult with other project managers so that we can share information and resources.  Also, communication takes very little time and may ultimately save time in the long run by shortening your search for answers.

Lets not only collaborate.....Lets communicate!

 

February 11, 2008

Good News!

Progress is being made on a form to properly and uniformly record release time.  Thanks to Terry Hall in the Office of Instruction, we may have a form very similar to the faculty assignment form.  Completion will be simple, familiar, and much more accurate than not having any consistant across the college policy and procedure.  You know what that's like......

This is significant for grants, as I have been trying to get movement on this front for years. I think pestering pays off after a long while.

I hope that project coordinators and programs will send their website URLs so that I can start a "Collaborators Connection" page.  I visited the Health Care Interpreter's website..  Websites are great ways to learn what colleagues are doing and for grant funded projects, your support can make all the difference in helping one another muster the energy it takes to direct a project. 

So let's collaborate!

 

 

February 5, 2008

Happy Election Day!

Happy Fat Tuesday!

And we are well into the Spring semester of 2008.  I am happy to say that I have been meeting with Project Coordinators, and they remain optimistic about conducting their grant projects by adjusting their attitude and moving forward. 

In order to move forward, find out where you are by requesting a full BANNER report from the Business Office/Grants Accounting.  There may be some inaccuracies with regard to expenditures and costs. Address any problems before its too late or your funds may be inexplicably exhausted....and you're wondering what the hey happened.  If you need some assistance or don't know who to call at the Business Office, give me an emaill and I will point you in the right direction.  If you are on the Ocean Campus, have your grant accountant print your BANNER report to "pedro", which is the networked printer located in the Vice Chancellor's Office, Cloud 308.  You can pick it up there and have the report in hand faster. 

May your accounts be balanced and the force be with you....

Lets Collaborate!

January 31, 2008

Dear CCSF Grants Community:

It can't be easy these days when you are waiting to get started on your project. Might I suggest that you make sure that you have the three essentials before getting frustrated....1- your award letter/notification is in hand; 2- your budget has been finalized; and 3-your project has an FIO or board resolution.

If you have all of those items, then Houston we have lift-off. As we take off into project space, as the pilot, you are sitting back and waiting to begin your orbit ...aka waiting for a fund number...this is not supposed to take that long so while waiting check your instruments, take the time to plan and get organized.  As you begin to orbit (or receive your fund number), you will be prepared for astoriods and meteoroids that threaten the project. 

Several project directors have recommended keeping a journal of your project for several reasons.  When there is a delay, you know the date that a form or contract or request was made; and made again; and you can also note project activities both small and large which comes in handy when writing project reports. The mission was successful and you are prepared for landing.

Keep that seatbelt fastened until you come to a full stop!

Lets Collaborate

January 29, 2008

Dear CCSF Grants Community:

I am busily uploading links and info for easier navigation and access to information.  I hope that you are finding the website useful. With that said, I am still updating the comprehensive all important yet frustrating ever-changing Grants Manual.  Policies and procedures can be fleeting...LOL

Anyway, If you encounter a slowing in the processing of forms, signatures, or responses to your needs........please email me.  Some issues need to be addressed immediately, if not sooner when money is involved. 

Happy budgeting.

Lets Collaborate

January 23, 2008

Dear CCSF Community:

Its been great hearing how much you like the website.  Your emails have really boastered my confidence in providing grant management support through this website.  I uploaded a resource page today.  I would like to include websites that you have found helpful and would like to share. Please include a little info about the website too.

Thanks.

Lets Collaborate

 

 

January 21, 2008

Dear Grant Managers: 

Thank you for the positive responses to the new website.  I wanted to start off this blog by acknowledging and recommending that you use a little of your supply budget to purchase the software I used to develop this site, "Contribute".  The TLC's Carol Reitan and ITS' Joe Jah have provided great support to relieve all fears of giving it a try. The software is available at the CCSF Bookstore and cost approximately $79.  A smart investment for your grant project.

You can develop and update your project information regularly, save grant funds by not hiring a web designer, articulate project information worldwide, and create dialog around the important work of your project, 

Thank you all for the work that you do.  I hope that together we can make it easier to manage.

Signed,

Lets Collaborate