Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chancellor focuses on communication, collaboration with new cabinet

Chancelor Cabinet

With an eye toward stronger communication and collaboration, Chancellor Mark James this week sat down with the newly restructured Chancellor’s Cabinet.

The new cabinet, which James says will be better geared toward tackling some of the tough issues facing MCC, includes the chancellor, vice chancellors, campus presidents, staff association president and president-elect, faculty senate president and president elect and the administration association president and president elect.

“It is my hope that each of you, and the groups you represent, will be brought into the fold much quicker to tackle the issues facing MCC,” James told the cabinet at its inaugural meeting on Monday.

Setting the tone immediately, James asked the cabinet to review the Chronicle of Higher Education’s survey results in the recent Great Colleges to Work for survey. Survey respondents gave MCC strong marks in areas such as compensation, benefits and facilities. However, respondents of the survey were less than pleased in areas of collaboration; faculty, staff and administration relations; and communication.

“These are the challenges we are facing,” James said to cabinet members highlighting areas of improvement. “I want your input on these issues. I want you to help makes us better as a college.”

Chancelors Cabinet James

The cabinet also heard a report from Vice Chancellor Paul Long who attended the governor’s summit on higher education. James also provided an update on the on-going efforts to expand programming into Cass County. Already, he said the college is working with Honeywell to provide specific training programs to employees there.

James also said MCC is moving forward with plans to open an education office in Belton that would offer for-credit classes during the spring semester 2012.

Although the cabinet is now smaller, members said the new format offers them a new opportunity to discuss issues and use the time as a work session.

“This restructuring will give us a better forum to explain those issues as they come at us,” Business and Technology President Debbie Goodall said.

James said he is still committed to meeting with individual campuses in his usual question-and-answer sessions. He also said he plans to continue meeting with the Staff Association executives and Faculty Senate executives to continue to foster strong communication.

UPDATE: An update from the Chronicle survey will be posted separately tomorrow with links to the full results.

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