State Fair Community College

5P6 Communicating the mission

How do your leaders communicate a shared mission, vision, values and high performance expectations regarding institutional directions and opportunities, learning, continuous improvement, ethics and equity, social responsibilities, and community service and involvement?
College leaders use electronic and in-person communication systems to convey institutional direction, strategic focus, vision, mission and values. Communication is constantly evolving between departments, administrators, students, and community stakeholders. Communication begins with weekly ELT meetings. Key points discussed in these meetings are shared with functional units and departments through the vice presidents and members of the ELT. The president shares key issues discussed in weekly ELT meetings in the President’s Pen on mySTAR, the college portal.
Convocations are held prior to the start of the fall and spring semesters. The president, ELT and the board of trustees are present to introduce new employees; set the thematic goal for the semester/year; update the college on relevant issues; recognize and acknowledge employees for their contributions to the success of students; and outline significant objectives for the semester/year. In addition, functional units schedule joint meetings during the semester to discuss issues and solutions that cut across units and departments.
The communication plan, created in response to the results of CQSs, includes information systems using broadcast voice mail, mySTAR, the directory of internal documents posted on the Web and the portal, college forums, college focus groups, the Kitchen Cabinet (informal monthly luncheons with the president) and the president’s annual report (mailed to the home of employees over the summer months). The plan is used to communicate and articulate important college issues, set direction, discuss performance expectations and opportunities, define and encourage quality customer service, and recognize community service and involvement in support of SFCC’s commitment to learning college philosophies.
In an effort to ensure that every employee at SFCC has the opportunity to bring ideas and issues of concern to the attention of the SFCC administration, the presidents of the faculty, professional and classified staff associations serve as communication liaisons between staff and the president of the college.

In addition to the venues included in the communication plan, the ELT initiated on-ground and online “listening post” opportunities in fall 2007. These informal campus dialogue sessions provide another venue for strengthening the college’s focus on the college’s mission, vision and values. The first session uncovered a multitude of suggestions including one from the supervisor of the maintenance staff who felt it was important that computer labs be open and available on Sunday afternoons rather than on Saturdays. He had observed and listened to students who had shared their frustrations about the fact that those services were not available when they needed them. Consequently, a computer lab was created in the library with expanded hours on Sunday afternoons.

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