Well-liked administrator named acting president/superintendent earlier this month
Dr. Kathleen Hart has had many leadership titles over her tenure at Delta College, from assistant division chairperson for communication skills to vice president for instructional services.
And now, she’s acting president/superintendent.
With the recent board of trustees action removing Dr. Jeff Marsee from the position, Hart is now at the helm of the community college district.
“Large complex organizations, like Delta College, go on despite upsets in the administration,” said Hart.
As the college looks to move forward, Hart is taking the reigns and helping the college through the process.
Within days of taking office Hart had sent out an email ceasing all plans of reorganization, which Marsee had started.
Hart also met with the executive team, to ensure business would go as normal.
Hart has a bachelor’s degree in English from Purdue University, a masters in English and Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from Bowling Green University. She also has a Ph.D. in Higher Education from University of Michigan.
In August 1994, Hart was hired as the Assistant Division Chairperson for Communication Skills.
In that position she was tasked with scheduling classes for English, speech, English as a Second Language, basic skills, math and the Migrant Transition Program, as well as following up on the reading writing assessments of the students in these programs.
“I remember when Dr. Hart first came in as Assistant Division Chairperson, she was well liked, and still is today,” said English instructor Jim McBride.
As she now is the acting president, she has outlined the goals that the campus came up with.
The four goals are: developing action steps to acheive the acreditation recomendation, putting together a collective group of students faculty and staff to work on the recommendations, reporting quarterly to shared governance committees, and acheiving the recommendation.
“Each goal has been given a champion, or manager, that will be in charge of developing a set of action steps,” said Hart.
These champions will also come up with ways to measure the success of the goal. The process will also be monitored with quarterly reports made.
Hart not only wants faculty, staff and administration help with the process, she would like to get the students involved as well.
“I would like to see more of [the everyday student] get involved their voice is not getting heard, we have just the same voices being heard,” said Hart.
Hart is planning to talk with the Associated Student Body Government to get more student involvement.
This is one step in fixing the communication issues on campus which Hart has noted has been an issue at Delta College for a while now.
“It’s difficult and also ironic that with as many different communication tools that we have and as instantly we can communicate that is has become increasingly difficult to do so,” said Hart.
The campus faculty, staff and administration have a campus-wide email system to communicate.
The system allows for multiple ways of communication, via email, instant message and even placement on another’s calendar for meetings.
The campus can also reach the students through their student email.
“Every student has and email, we know that, but if the student does not check the email we cannot communicate with them,” said Hart, “maybe we should go back to the old ways of communication, like making phone calls.”
Overall, Hart wants the campus to come together as a unit and solve the problems by better communication, following proper procedures and stronger planning, she said.