President Hart discusses challenges

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Dr. Kathy Hart began her tenure as the new president/superintendent of San Joaquin Delta College in early September.

Hart comes into this job with enthusiasm and knowledge of the district. She’s been with the district since 1994.

While Hart has been here she has gained trust, credibility and a relationship with the faculty and staff.

When asked about what Delta needs to work on Hart discussed the accreditation, budget and shared governance and communication.

“The accreditation in 2013-14 is our seven year comprehensive evaluation, unlike the last accreditation which looked at specific areas,” said Hart. “To have a good outcome we need to continue to improve our strategic plan and show that our Student Learning Outcomes and Assessments (SLOAs) are working.”

Hart is looking into all expenditures and revenues to avoid having to dig too deep into our reserves.

“We are not in debt,” said Hart. “Spending a majority of the reserve and not cutting back on expenses would put us (the district) in a precarious spot, giving up our financial security.”

Not only is Hart focusing on the accreditation and the budget she is working to better the college communication.

Shared governance allows for all groups, from administrators to students, to have a voice in district matters.

Hart’s focusing on the external communication for the community while Michael Kerns, vice president of student services, is focusing on the internal communication efforts.

“We are streamlining the communication systems on and off campus to get differing perspectives on our issues. We are also trying to involve students in the district, not just the regular voices heard but new voices as well,” said Hart.

Crime is also a concern for Hart.

According to Hart the way the campus is built is not conducive to safety, but the District Police are working to add more signs, advising students to travel in pairs and adding more surveillance systems.

“We (the district) are looking at what has and has not worked, to increase campus safety,” said Hart. “Student Service Officers are more present on campus and Campus Police Officers are patrolling the exterior perimeter, all in efforts to keep the campus community safe.”

At the end of the day Hart said she is working to make Delta College better.

Her previous knowledge of the district’s inner workings and its faculty and staff help her do so.

“I believe in team work and collaboration, which is very important for the district,” said Hart.