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Courageous Conversations Address from the Campus President

I would like to take you all back in time a little more than two years to when I arrived at the campus and no one really knew what I was about or how things would be after my arrival. Well, I hope that I have not let down those of you who were looking for the campus to move to the next level (whatever that means). To keep us moving, I will be holding a series of "Courageous Conversations" in a similar format to the Visioning Sessions and my candidate "Open Forum." The expectation is that these Friday conversations will be opportunities for us to keep thinking big and looking for ways to do things better. These conversations will get at our core values, not as employees, but as people. We will answer tough questions that get at what we are about; what brought us together here at HCC's Ybor City Campus; what makes us want to come to work each day; what makes us want to pull out our hair; and other soul-searching questions.

But, you might be asking why do all of this. The reason is so that we can make a positive difference in the lives of our students and each other. The reason is so that when you retire, you will know that you did something truly meaningful. The reason is so that others will be better people because of you.

How will we make changes? From these conversations, we will form some campus-based groups to get work done. One group will be in charge of collecting, prioritizing, and implementing campus plans (such as the Visioning Plan and Unit Plans). A second group will be in charge of discovering, sharing, and integrating effective teaching and learning strategies in our classes. Both groups will be in size from 10-15 members with representatives from the various units and classifications at the campus. Both groups will be co-chaired by the Academic Assistant to the Campus President, so that there is a direct connection for support from me. The Campus Advisory Council will still function to work on issues that come up as it has done over the years. The Campus Council will serve as my leadership team to handle operational issues. These new groups will fill in the gaps. Not everyone can be on one of these groups, but everyone's voice will be heard and every idea will be considered as we continue our journey together through our courageous conversations. Regardless of your level of involvement, I hope everyone will continue to innovate in their own areas so that new ideas can be tested and keep the tried-and-true ideas strong and alive.

Dr. Shawn H. Robinson, Ybor City Campus President (January 5, 2010)

Courageous Conversations Meeting Agenda and Campus Council Framework

Dear Ybor City Campus Community: As I promised at the beginning of the term, we are now ready to hold our first of a series of "Courageous Conversations" at the campus.

Notes for our conversations are available :

The agenda for the first meeting  held on January 29th from 1:30pm to 3:30pm in YPST 314 was as follows:

1. Overview of the Purpose
2. Questions to lead the conversations

a. Ask, ponder, and answer the tough questions that relate to who we are, why we are here, what we are proud of, what we are not proud of, and how we can make a difference in the lives of our students.
3. Description of the conversation process
a. Review Visioning lists
b. Gather additional input and information from attendees
c. Group ideas and people together around common themes
4. Framework for the new campus council structure
a. Campus Council (Campus President's Leadership Team) - Focus on campus operations
i. Generally meets bi-weekly
ii. Membership includes direct reports to campus president in addition to student activities and public safety representation.

b. Campus Advisory Council - Focus on campus issues and communication with the campus administration
i. Generally meets monthly
ii. Membership includes faculty, staff, and students.

c. Campus Learning Council - Focus on improving student learning at the campus
i. Will meet as the committee determines (probably monthly)
ii. Will have subcommittees that include Council members and others from the campus
iii. Will focus on replicating successful practices; eliminating unsuccessful practices; developing ways to increase student learning, student retention, and student completion rates; and evaluating the success of campus learning strategies.
iv. Membership will include faculty, staff, administrators, students (10 - 15 members maximum)
v. To be co-chaired by the Academic Assistant to the Campus President and a faculty member

d. Campus Planning Council - Focus on gathering and planning the implementation of campus unit plans and visioning items
i. Will meet as the committee determines (probably monthly)
ii. Will have subcommittees that include Council members and others from the campus
iii. Will focus on collecting suggestions for campus and departmental plans; prioritizing the implementation of plans; seeking resources to implement plans; and evaluating the success of the plans.
iv. Membership will include faculty, staff, administrators, students (10 - 15 members maximum)
v. To be co-chaired by the Academic Assistant to the Campus President and a dean

e. Campus President's Community Forum - Focus on connecting the greater Ybor City community to our campus
i. Will meet once in the Summer (June) and once in the Spring (January)
ii. Will have solely advisory and informational responsibilities
iii. Will serve as a venue for an open dialogue between campus administration and the community-at-large
iv. There will be no set membership or chair
v. Open invitations will be sent to the community groups such as: Ybor City Development Corporation, Ybor City Chamber of Commerce, local Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs, and other groups that would be helpful to invite
vi. Members will not have any official duties or responsibilities outside of the actual meetings
vii. Meetings will be convened by the Campus President and the Academic Assistant to the Campus President

5. Small group work
a. Separate into areas of interest to begin the development of by-laws and procedures for each new group (Learning, Planning, Community).
b. Develop membership selection processes and collect names of interested volunteers
c. Gather ideas or items that the groups should address in their initial charges
d. Set meeting dates and times