APRIL 13, 2004
An executive session and strategic conversation of the Maricopa County Community College District Governing Board were scheduled to be held at 5:30 p.m. at the District Support Services Center in Tempe, Arizona, pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.02, notice having been duly given.
Linda Rosenthal, President
Don Campbell, Secretary
Ed Contreras, Member (Exec Session Only)
Nancy Stein, Member
Scott Crowley, Member
John Neibling for Art DeCabooter
Jean Ann Abel for Phil Randolph
The Governing Board met in executive session beginning at 5:30 p.m., notice having
been previously given. The executive session recessed at 6:25 p.m. The strategic
conversation convened at 6:35 p.m.
President Linda Rosenthal welcomed everyone present to Part 2 of a Strategic Conversation intended to examine the culture of the Maricopa Community College District. She stated that this evening the key characteristic of Inclusiveness/Diversity would be explored as it pertained to the Maricopa culture. Mrs. Rosenthal commented that the objectives this evening would be to examine if we were doing a good job of living with each other, understanding and respecting each other, and discuss what things can or should be changed as employees or students. She then turned the meeting over to Laura Helminski, Rio Salado Faculty Chair, as the lead facilitator.
Ms. Helminski also welcomed everyone in attendance and introduced members of the planning team which included Maria Harper-Marinick, Donna Schober, and Teresa Toney. Ms. Helminski called attention to the evening's ground rules which consisted of:
- No Rank in the Room
- Everyone Participates; No One Dominates
- Everyone Respects Those Who are Participating (New)
- Have Fun
Ms. Helminski explained that last month's conversation and the one this evening were based on discussing a template of six questions, including the following:
- What is meant by Organizational Culture?
- Why is it important to share a common understanding of our culture?
- How do vision, mission, and value equal culture?
- What are MCCCD's culture characteristics?
- What is evidence of culture characteristics?
- What are strategies to increase the culture characteristics?
Participants were told that the goal would be to examine Maricopa's culture towards increasing understanding of one characteristic of the culture - Inclusiveness/Diversity to enable working together more efficiently to accomplish the mission and helping students accomplish their goals. Homework given at the last conversation had consisted of answering three questions:
1. Defining Inclusiveness/Diversity
2. Evidence of this key characteristic and what has been observed.
3. Strategies to increase this key characteristic.
Ms. Helminski made reference to the Chancellor's comments that strategic conversations were helping us define our culture and whether it should change or not. She also commented that our culture must be built around a collective vision. Making reference to the book by Jim Collins, "Good to Great," Ms. Helminski spoke about having the right people in the right seat within an organization for the good of the organization and the individuals.
Activity #1: The term Diversity was defined as "the environment created within MCCCD that demonstrates equity and mutual respect of that person. The term Inclusiveness was then discussed. Comments pertaining to Inclusiveness were:
- All encompassing
- Bringing everyone together
- Open door
- Involvement of everyone
- Working as a team
- Taking advantage of everyone's talents
Activity #2: After agreeing to use the term "bringing everyone together" as a way to define Inclusiveness, participants were asked to write down evidences of high/medium/low levels of this within the Maricopa Community College System. Responses were posted on the wall and discussed.
Activity #3: Participants were asked to divide up according to the dot (red or green) on their nametags. Questions discussed in the individual groups were:
1. What could be evidence of an ideal educational environment that is inclusive and diverse? And, what is the gap, if any, between the ideal and the evidence we have collected in our homework or in what we experience at MCCCD?
2. Using the processes in the "enhancing our culture" cycle, how can we increase the key characteristic of inclusiveness/diversity in MCCD's culture? Please discuss specific strategies (agreeing, hiring, training, communicating, evaluating, rewarding).
Activity #4: Groups came back together and offered the following comments resulting from their discussions:
- If vision/mission/values = culture, this may not be understood by the whole organization
- Need to reduce physical barriers and effectively communicate vision/mission/values
- Look at low factors and work on those
- Have a common definition of inclusiveness
- Rewards at how we value inclusiveness
- Define and then reward
- Reminder to take information to Diversity Advisory Council
- Find a better way to communicate to rest of district
- Is there some dilemma in speaking of inclusiveness and a person not being on the right bus?
- Who is hired to start with? Do we stress who we are and who we want to be? Discuss what kind of rules there are within the organization and make sure right people are hired.
- Set up banner messages on computer to remind employees.
Participants were thanked for their attendance. Planning committee will be responsible for completing report on the results of the two conversations.
The meeting concluded at 8:10 p.m.
Dr. Donald R. Campbell
Governing Board Secretary