Over summer, Delta College hired Dr. Omid Pourzanjani to replace Dr. Kathy Hart as President/Superintendent.
Pourzanjani is a product of the California Community College system and has worked for higher education for many years.
Hart is still assisting on campus with transferring community partnerships, and the transition has been “seamless,” according to Pourzanjani.
Pourzanjani said he hopes to create an environment where students feel invited to stay on campus after classes, and to work on simplifying processes that are required for students to transfer.
“We need some more places that are pleasant for students to hang out, what I call sticky places. Whatever it takes, I don’t know. It’s really up to the students as to what they feel they need,whether it’s a ping pong table or an Xbox,” Pourzanjani said.” “What is it that makes someone hang out here?”
The campus is seeing innovation in many areas. The ball was rolling for many projects before Pourzanjani’s arrival, MyDelta being the biggest change.
Pourzanjani has inherited the problems of low enrollment as well as gaps in departments missing faculty, following a large SERP initiative.
The search for new hires to replace those who retired in Spring 2018 is an opportunity to ensure equity for the new president/superintendent.
“[The] best we can do is help everyone as much as we can, try to keep things calm,” Pourzanjani said of all the changes affecting Delta this semester.
Before Pourzanjani’s installment, faculty had an ongoing issues with contracts not being solidified for the upcoming semester. Faculty raised the issue during in-service days a week before school started, heckling Pourzanjani during their first public encounter with him in an open forum.
“I do think it was unfortunate for faculty to feel that that was the right forum to do that … I can’t say I enjoyed the behavior, but I’d say I understand it. And I think my hope is that we can build stronger relationships and trust between us — if I say, you know, here’s how much money we have here so much money we have for raises or whatever — that they were on the same page with these things,” said Pourzanjani.
He asks that students remain positive as the school tackles all issues with MyDelta, and take advantage of the resources available to streamline the process of enrollment.
“I would like students to remember to step back from the situation. And have confidence that this is truly, not because I’m saying it, but because it’s one of the best colleges. Might be one of the best colleges in the nation. One of the factors that was reviewed in that ranking is the salaries our students get when they graduate. And that’s critical in terms of economic mobility. That’s one of our major drives,” Pourzanjani said.