ACC Chancellor Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart held his first Virtual Employee Town Hall of the summer semester on Friday, June 7. More than 850 employees joined the discussion on Zoom.

This month’s town hall focused on audit updates, the college’s Theory of Change process, and opportunities for employees to reconnect and refresh this summer. 

Below are highlights from the discussion, with links to read more about some of the topics.

Theory of Change Design Process

The college’s Theory of Change website is now live. Dr. Samantha Croft, one of the tri-chairs of the Theory of Change Steering Committee, provided an update on the Theory of Change process. 

Dr. Croft said that the Design Team co-chairs have been selected and were announced last month in the FacStaff InfoHub.

The committee and the co-chairs are now deep in the process of Design Team selection. Notifications to the selected nominees will go out by or before June 28 and will be announced at the July 12 Virtual Employee Town Hall. 

The steering committee is also working on other opportunities for nominees who aren’t selected for a specific Design Team—tentatively called the Theory of Change Institute—which will launch in the fall.

She encouraged employees with questions to use the “Connect” button found at the bottom of the Theory of Change website.

Updates on Audits

External auditing firm McConnell Jones has completed the internal audit of the Security, Safety, and Operations departments. The findings focus on areas that need improvement regarding processes, structures, and efficiencies. Read more here.

July Reset

The Chancellor asks employees to reset where they can over the summer. He proclaimed the first week of July as No Meeting Week. He said that this may look different for everyone but the intention is for employees to reconnect with each other, get organized, and get some things off their plates. 

Russell also announced that every Friday in July will be No Email Fridays. His goal is to help employees who are “drowning in emails” that make them feel burdened over the weekend. He is asking employees to step away and recharge where they can. 

These opportunities will look different for everyone and employees are expected to use their judgment. “This is about how we honor and support each other. I’m not asking you to ignore students or classes, I’m asking you to use your common sense and figure out how to reconnect and recenter,” he said.

Rumor Busting

Q: Why was BRASS updated from Black to Bold in the spelled-out acronym?
A: That is in response to Senate Bill 17 and Student Affairs leadership will communicate that change.

Q: Are there plans to remodel the Eastview Campus?
A: Eastview Campus is one of the 2022 Bond Projects currently moving forward. Learn more HERE.

Q: Will there be an audit of IT operations and policies?
A: Ultimately all operations will be audited as part of the process. However, it will take years to get around to all functions. Later this year we will develop a multiyear audit plan and all operations will be prioritized in terms of timing in that plan. That audit plan will be shared on the college’s new internal audit informational web page..

Q: Any update on Southeast Travis (SET) and the health science building coming at the Hays Campus (HYS)?
A: We have paused our work on SET and HYS while we take a good look at what our students and our communities need. A cabinet work group is focused on building a recommended decision process for when and how we make decisions related to bonds.

Q: We do not currently allow students or employees to have their preferred name printed on their ID badges. This is unfair for our transgender students and employees who have changed their preferred name as part of their transition. 
A: We are about to implement a new student ID system. We should make sure this functionality is included in that implementation. I will mention this to the group working on the project. As for employees, I will ask why this isn’t happening.

Q: Operations & Safety involve making campuses accessible. There are accessibility issues that haven’t been fixed in 10 years (doors not opening, doors not having accessibility options to move throughout the college).
A: We have a firm doing a complete Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) audit of all facilities right now. We expect that report, with recommendations, to be completed in early fall. There are representatives from Facilities, Student Accessibility Services, and Safety working with the consultant on that analysis.

Q: Do we have an update on the employee benefit for tuition for dependents?
A: More information here and to come. 

View the recording and the entire Q&A transcript on the Virtual Employee Town Hall web page.