Message from the Chair
It is with great pleasure that I offer this greeting on behalf of the Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders, an organization representing and serving academic leaders in the WICHE region. The Alliance is an outstanding organization, which facilitates communication and collaboration among these leaders, who daily face a multitude of opportunities and challenges.
One of the primary benefits I value as a member of the Alliance is direct communication with colleagues from more than 16 states who are always willing to respond to a request for information through the listserv. It is common for a member to pose a question on the listserv to members of the Alliance, and in minutes, members will respond by offering sound advice from their own experience, citing state or national policies or providing contact information for a content expert. These experiences always leave me feeling grateful to be connected to a large network of professionals who really understand the mission and business of community colleges.
It often feels like meeting the mission of community colleges includes being “all things to all people”. Finding the balance between meeting the workforce needs of the communities we serve, preparing students for successful transfer to four-year institutions, and ensuring that students have every opportunity possible to be successful in higher education can be daunting work. The Alliance members work collaboratively to find solutions to some of the challenges in each of these arenas.
The Alliance website provides links to some of our major initiatives, like the Interstate Passport and the Academic Leaders Toolkit. The website is also linked with the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, which provides resources and information on almost all aspects of higher education. If you are reading this greeting, I hope that you are a current member and are making plans now to attend the annual meeting next spring in Seattle. If you are not a member, I hope that you consider joining the Alliance. I believe this professional organization will make a difference in your work life; it has made a difference in mine.