In the NEWS!October 12, 2023 - PRESS RELEASE: Palo Verde Community College District Interim Superintendent/President's Office
Palo Verde Community College District
Interim Superintendent/President's Office
Dear Communities Served by the Palo Verde Community College District:
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to attend my first Palo Verde Community College District Board of Trustees meeting as your Interim Superintendent/President. It is indeed an honor and privilege to be entrusted with this important role and I pledge my 100% commitment to fulfilling this responsibility with honesty, integrity, and a laser focus on what is best for the students and communities our college serves.
As it was my first opportunity to address the Board and the community as your Interim Superintendent/President, I took the opportunity to prepare my written thoughts as to what I have observed thus far and what I believe we collectively need to do to improve. I've been asked to share these thoughts more broadly with the college and the community at-large.
- Interim Superintendent/President's Report to the Board of Trustees, 10.10.2023
- Today is day 13 of my tenure as your Interim Superintendent/President not including extensive weekend work. Collectively, it has been and continues to be an intense time of listening, learning, and reacting. It is an honor and pleasure to be entrusted with this role. There is much to do, but it's going well.
- I am engaging in many one-on-one conversations with college administrators and managers, shared governance and union leadership, staff, and faculty and will continue to do so. There are significant and legitimate concerns that require extensive study and understanding leading to resolution and improvement in support of our students and the programs Palo Verde College provides. In truth, this college is divided. The division stems from a lack of collegiality, collaboration and leadership. With the help of the Academic Senate, our CTA and CSEA colleagues, faculty, staff and others, the urgent need to improve campus climate will be achieved.
- As I speak to many people, I recognize the deep-seated frustration and in some instances anger, many are feeling. Our PVC family is hurting, and we must return to a culture of hope, grace, and laser-focused service. A culture that nurtures our students and the communities served. A culture focused on student success and meeting the students and communities where they are -- not where we think they are.
- It's a joy to be at Palo Verde College. I see myself as a servant leader, collaborator, and relationship builder. Everything in life is based on relationships. My job is to assemble the best team that I can and then do the blocking and tackling so they can excel. So they can be the best versions of themselves, in support of our students.
- Our goal is to help students advance in their lives. To climb the economic and social mobility ladder as the world continues to struggle with equity, social justice, racial tensions, and prejudice. Education changes lives for generations to come. Education lifts people out of illiteracy and poverty not only for themselves, but for generations to come.
- Community colleges light the way. Palo Verde College lights the way.
- Education is the single greatest determiner of social and economic mobility. Access to quality education brings economic and social mobility to our students and moves them to levels not seen before. We are in the business of changing lives. There is nothing better.
- I have spoken at length to our college leaders regarding things I have heard and witnessed and requested a different approach, an open mind, and a recognition that it is time to turn the corner and move forward. That means we will collectively make a series of easy to difficult decisions. We will focus on what is best for our students and the communities we serve with commitment and purpose. Already, we are seeing progress as we slowly develop trust and mutual respect.
- I am pleased to report we have added a highly experienced, student and faculty focused, interim Vice President of Instruction and Student Services to our team. We have also added a highly skilled institutional research and planning professional. We will continue to move aggressively to bring in the new perspectives and expertise required to take PVC into its future - a future full of promise and hope - a future that adjusts to the change that is inevitable yet necessary to serve our students.
At our November meeting, I will ask Interim Vice President, Instruction and Student Services Dr. Terri Long and our professional expert in the areas of institutional research and planning, Nga Pham, to attend so you may meet them and welcome them to the Palo Verde family. One or both will undoubtedly have some things to share with the Board as well.
- We are addressing the major challenges that exist and will continue to do so until the day the next Superintendent/President is seated. My goal is simply to help move this college forward. To hand over a college that is more collegial and collaborative, functioning better, and dealing with its challenges head-on in a healthy and responsible way.
- As I meet, listen, and engage in fact-finding and research, I am aware of the decade-long issues that have challenged this college and community and learn more every day. Much was left unresolved or in some cases ignored, resulting in the urgent issues impacting our students, faculty, and staff today. I have and will continue to share these observations and my thoughts with the Board and college community. I will make it clear that change is needed and that the changes must occur partially under my watch and then under the college's next Superintendent/President.
- Some of the conversations experienced have not been easy. Communication styles are being learned and the conversations are frank and difficult given the strain some of our faculty and administration continue to experience. However, our goals are the same. Do the best we can for our students.
- My hope and pledge are that the work we do will improve this college and position it well for the uncertain future that lies ahead as the needs of our students and the communities we serve evolve. It is my fervent wish â€“ and I pledge to work hard to make this wish a reality - that we stand shoulder to shoulder working towards this goal.
As James Carvill, President Clinton's colorful but very effective campaign strategist once said in his quest to help Clinton get elected, "it's the economy, stupid". A simple phrase that communicated clearly and contributed mightily to the unseating of incumbent President George H.W. Bush.
In our case, I would substitute the word leadership. It truly is about leadership as we face the future head-on. I look forward to working with all campus leaders - students, faculty, staff, managers, administrators, and the Board -- to be the leaders we need to be at this critical juncture to help move this college forward.
Together, we make miracles happen every day. We change lives for the better every day. Whether it's a first chance or the 10th chance, we meet students where they are and help them to succeed so that they may help and serve others. I like to call this God's work and I can't think of a better calling to have. We change the lives of our students and their families for generations to come, every day.
Education is the single greatest determiner of economic and social mobility. Education lifts all boats and returns people safely to harbor. Education leads to gainful employment in support of students and their families. That's what we do. We are all educators. It is an absolute pleasure and honor to work shoulder-to-shoulder with you to provide the very best education and support we can for our students.
With sincere thanks to all....onward and forward!
Dr. Bob Miller
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
"Palo Verde Community College Welcomes Three New Administrators"
October 13, 2023 - The Palo Verde Community College District (PVCCD) is pleased to announce changes to the Palo Verde College leadership team, reflecting our continued commitment to innovation, community growth and development, and academic excellence. Welcoming our new administrators, we look forward to a revitalized era of educational achievement and an enhanced student experience, both in and outside the classroom. These dynamic leaders along with the exceptional faculty and support staff, bring decades of experience and vision. Working with faculty and staff, they will help guide Palo Verde College into the future, leaving a footprint of excellence in all avenues of academics and operations.
The PVCCD Board of Trustees voted to approve the employment of Dr. Robert B. Miller as Interim Superintendent/President effective September 12, 2023. Dr. Terri Long, Interim Assistant Superintendent/Vice President, Instruction and Student Services, and Ms. Nga Pham, Professional Expert, Institutional Planning and Research, were approved for employment by the Board on October 10, 2023.
"The Board of Trustees is delighted to have added these three seasoned academic professionals to help lead the college into the future in support of student and community success" said Board President Stella Camargo-Styers.
Robert B. Miller, DPA
A life-long community college educator, joining as Interim Superintendent/President, Dr. Miller comes to PVC with decades of experience in roles ranging from faculty member to Dean, Vice President of Development and Marketing, Vice President of Educational Services, Assistant Superintendent/Senior Vice President Business and College Services, Superintendent/President, and Vice Chancellor, Finance and Resource Development. Dr. Miller has held positions at Pasadena City College (PCC), the University of LaVerne, INTELECOM, a distance learning consortium operated by 45 southern California community colleges, and the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) serving over 240,000 students through nine Los Angeles based community colleges. Dr. Miller has extensive experience working with several community college district Boards of Trustees and looks forward to supporting the Palo Verde Community College District Board. Dr. Miller is a champion of student success and believes that education is the single greatest determiner of economic and social mobility.
Terri S. Long, Ed.D
Stepping into the role of Interim Assistant Superintendent/Vice President, Instruction and Student Services, Dr. Long is a distinguished academic and faculty leader with a background in teaching, educational services, budget development and management, curriculum design and planning, enrollment management, and collective bargaining. Dr. Long has served as Vice President, Instruction at Long Beach City College and San Bernardino Valley College, has been a faculty member for over 25 years, and was Dean of Educational Services at Mt. San Antonio College. Working closely with community groups, education entities, and business and industry, her work has ensured integration and enhanced student experiences through innovative programs. Combining theory and practice with years of faculty and educational leadership experience, Dr. Long is a heralded addition to the PVC administration and team.
Nga Pham, Professional Expert, Institutional Planning and Research brings with her a wealth of experience in Research, Planning, and Data Analysis as well as contributing to transformative higher education initiatives, collaboration, and partnerships needed for communication and usage of data for effective decision making. Having worked as the Executive Director Research, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness, Rancho Santiago CCD (RSCCD), Director of Research (RSCCD), Research Coordinator (RSCCD), Research Specialist and Coordinator of Community Relations, Ms. Pham establishes relationships with a variety of audiences and has been successful making community partnerships and outreach a priority. Through research, review, analysis, interpretation, and reporting of a variety of data, Ms. Pham reviews college effectiveness, planning, accreditation, and decision-making. She establishes key partnerships that benefit the colleges she serves and the surrounding community. Ms. Pham looks forward to deepening the connection between Palo Verde College and its local community.
Board President Stella Camargo-Styers, shared, "We are elated to welcome these three talented professionals to our team. Their combined expertise will undoubtedly enhance our college's commitment to excellence, innovation, and community partnership."
As PVC embarks on this new chapter, the addition of these three administrators symbolizes its unwavering dedication to excellence, innovation, and growth. Their individual and collective expertise will undeniably drive the college forward, enriching the academic experience for students and strengthening community ties. The entire PVC family is enthusiastic about the vision and leadership they bring, confident that together, the college's future is brighter than ever.
For further information, please contact:
Executive Assistant to the Superintendent/President and Board of Trustees
Palo Verde College Mission
Palo Verde College provides opportunities for personal and professional growth to a unique community of learners in an academic environment committed to student success, diversity, equity, and inclusion by supporting student achievement of basic skills, certificate, degree, university transfer, and career goals.