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Transition Updates Newsletter

July 2016

We welcome Dr. Maureen O’Conner to Palo Alto University.  She moved to Palo Alto from New York at the end of June.  She and her husband are in the process of getting acquainted with the Silicon Valley area.

 

During the month of July, Dr. O’Connor is primarily meeting with President Allen Calvin and a number of individuals to whom he will introduce her.  She is taking advantage of this month of overlap with President Calvin in order to gain from his experiences with PAU before he retires on July 31. 

 

Our Chief Executive Assistant, Rhonda Hayes, is busy scheduling meetings for Dr. O’Connor with our trustees, staff, and our partners at Community Colleges for our Undergraduate programs and at Stanford University for our Psy.D. Program. 

 

On August 1st, Dr. Maureen O’Conner officially will become PAU’s third President.  During August she will meet with faculty, staff and trustees to get to know the PAU Community.  In September and October, she will welcome our new students and meet with our current students and alumni. 

 

Dr. O’Connor is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead.  Next month she will provide some of her initial thoughts about becoming President of PAU in our August Transition Update.

 

Please save the day for the Presidential Investiture ceremony, which will take place on Saturday October 29thfrom 10am to 11:30am.  Please watch for more details.  

 

June 2016

This Transition Update newsletter is part of our effort to keep the PAU Community informed about various aspects of the Presidential Transition and to create open communications as part of the Transition Team’s efforts.  This month we would like to share with you a summary of the Presidential Transition Survey Results. 

We had 178 responses (number / percentage of maximum number of responses):

  • Faculty (48 / 39%)
  • Staff/Administration (34 / 46%)
  • Students (96 / 10%)

Question 1: Points of Pride

Many respondents noted a strong sense of community at PAU among students, staff, administration, and faculty. Faculty, staff, and administration also demonstrate a strong focus on students, and are committed to student success. The survey results indicated that PAU community members are committed to and engaged in the university’s mission.

Diversity: One of the most common comments spoke of PAU’s strong focus on diversity and social justice.

Faculty: PAU faculty was recognized for their quality, strength, knowledge, and high caliber.

Students: There was a great deal of pride in the students at PAU. Diversity of backgrounds and experience was recognized as a strength of PAU.

Staff and Administration: Were noted as friendly, collegial, and supportive to students.

Academic Programs: The strength of all the academic programs was evident in the survey results.

Clinical Training: Was frequently cited as being very strong.

 Question 2: Points of Progress

Faculty and Staff: Development of Faculty Senate, the Staff Council, and shared governance, and emphasis on developing the faculty handbook. “Town and Gown” events were also stressed as an important contribution.

Students: Incredible growth in recruitment efforts for outstanding students. Students have been increasingly involved in decision making. Also growth in the programs offered to students.

Institutional Trends: Increased collaboration across faculty, staff, administration, and students with an emphasis on communication and transparency. Increased effort to be culturally sensitive.

Clinical Training: Progress in clinical training was found in various facets, including internships, The Gronowski Center, clinics, and practicum.

Space:  While many noted the ideal location and beauty of the main campus, a point of progress was noted in the continued work on addressing space needs.

 Question 3: Improvement Opportunities

Institution: A clearly identified area of improvement was the issues of space and how it was handled. A centralized university campus facility is needed as well as student lounge areas.

Communication and Leadership: Need for clearer communication and transparency from the institution’s leaders. Leadership to have clear goals and accountability to achieve the shared vision. More focus on student life.

Finances: Management of the budget and finances of the institution was an important area of improvement. A need for a development office, an increased endowment, and more fellowship and scholarship dollars for students.

Faculty and Staff: A culture of support for faculty and staff was mentioned as an area of need. Have a lower student-faculty ratio and smaller class sizes to allow faculty more time to support and mentor students.

Programs: A need for increased visibility and stronger reputation for PAU academic programs within research and academic communities. More focus is needed on developing and strengthening the current programs.

Students: The primary issues identified for students were focused on student resources, such as a writing center, counseling and mentoring for students, and access to more library resources; more consistent and better classes.

 Question 4: Planning for the Future

Innovation: Become a leader of technology-based intervention and developing partnerships with local corporations and industries to offer integrated primary behavioral health care training.

Collaborations and Partnerships: Collaborating with community partners, such as schools, universities, community colleges, the tech industry, Silicon Valley Partners, and other local resources was suggested.

Program Improvements: Evaluate senior faculty and performance standards. A focus on clinical research that deals with "real-world" issues and with diverse populations. Research opportunities should be incorporated into the clinic that are not only beneficial for clinical research training, but could bring in extramural funding for faculty and students.

Future Growth: There is opportunity for future growth within the master’s counseling program, and the undergraduate programs.

New Programs: Programs that have a broader application of Behavioral Sciences to the "Valley's Business." Programs related to topics that are essential for the well-being of employees.

Communications and Advancement: Need for a comprehensive approach to media relations, web communications, social media, marketing and branding that are more strongly united and synergistic. Showcase the excellent work of faculty and alumni.

Administration and Infrastructure: Evaluate administrative positions and the qualifications and productivity of high-level staff. Establish policies, processes, and procedures for employees.

Student Support: Included increased scholarship and research opportunities, housing support, support and outreach for minority populations, online student services and support, online learning communities, and networks for alumni.

 Question 5: Partnerships

PAUis encouraged to develop local partnerships with individuals and major corporations. Engage with alumni and their employers. Partner with the hundreds of local mental health agencies in the bay area for student partnerships or to provide workshops and CEU’s to employees.

 Question 6: Advice or Insight

Welcome: There was a great deal of excitement to have new leadership.

Communication: Should be better, regular and consistent. There needs to be more transparency and accountability.

Facilities: One large campus to accommodate all programs will lead to a more unified student body.

Finances: There needs to be better financial oversight and budget transparency.

Consultants: There is a perceived over-reliance on consultants when we may be able to use resources we already have in ourPAU community members.

Conclusion

 Overall, the respondents to the survey indicated positive feelings about the quality of the faculty and the educational programs and processes at PAU.  Prominent themes included a continued emphasis on building connection across constituencies, strengthening PAU’s national identity, addressing space needs, continuing innovation, expanding partnerships, and promoting transparent communication.  The positive comments about Dr. O’Connor assuming the presidency suggest that the members of the PAU community are poised and ready for new leadership and a continued positive direction for PAU.  The foundation for this promising trajectory, of course, has been established by the three decades of service and leadership by current President, Dr. Calvin.

Again, the Transition Team would like to thank everyone who completed the survey to provide Dr. Maureen O’Connor, the incoming President, with information she may find useful during her transition to PAU.

 

May 2016

This Transition Update newsletter is part of our effort to keep the PAU Community informed about various aspects of the Presidential Transition and to create open communications as part of the Transition Team’s efforts.  Our Team includes leaders of the PAU faculty and administration, Student Council Members, and Trustees.

During the week of April 26, our new President, Dr. Maureen O’Connor, visited the Palo Alto area and she was very pleased that she found a home in Palo Alto.  She looks forward to moving here at the end of June when she has completed her current position with City University of New York.  During the week, she had a chance to meet with a number of staff, faculty, and students council representatives and she truly appreciated all the meetings.

Dr. Maureen O’Connor would like to thank everyone for the support that you have given her and welcoming her to PAU!

Transition Activities Transition:

  • The Transition Team distributed a survey to faculty, staff and students to solicit input to provide to Dr. O’Connor.  We appreciate the many thoughtful responses.  They will provide Dr. O’Connor excellent insights about PAU’s culture and directions. We had 178 responses (number / percentage of responses):
  • Faculty (48 / 39%)
  • Staff/Administration (34 / 46%)
  • Students (96 / 10%)
  • May 13th, Reception for Dr. and Mrs. Calvin for Faculty, Staff and Students at 4:30pm at the Garden Court Hotel, Palo Alto Faculty, Staff and Students and a guest are cordially invited to attend this farewell event to celebrate Dr. Calvin's retirement and honor him for his tremendous work at Palo Alto University. 
  • June 24th, Board and Advisory Council sendoff for Dr. Allen Calvin.
  • July 1st, Dr. Maureen O’Connor will arrive at PAU, overlapping for 1 month with Dr. Allen Calvin as he retires as President at the end of July. 
  • July, August, September, Dr. O’Connor will have a series of meetings with members of all of PAU’s constituencies.
  • August 1st, Dr. Maureen O’Connor will become President of PAU.
  • October 29th, that morning there will be an official investiture ceremony for Dr. O’Connor.
  • We welcome Jennifer Mason, Assistant Director of our Gronowski Center, to the Transition Team.  She will represent our clinic during the transition. 

Presidential Transition Team Members:

  • Dan Kostenbauder, (Trustee, Chair of the Transition Team)
  • Joyce Chu (Faculty Senate Chair)
  • Liz Hilt (Presidential Council Representative)
  • Scott Hines (Staff Council Chair-elect)
  • Brandon Hoeflein (PhD Student Council President)
  • Jamie Kent (Psy.D. Faculty Representative)
  • Iris Korol (Trustee)
  • Margaret Lamar (Masters' Programs Faculty Representative)
  • Paul Marcille (Undergraduate Programs Faculty Representative)
  • Erin Margolis (PsyD Student Council Co-President)
  • Jennifer Mason (Gronowski Center)
  • Ricardo Muñoz (Ph.D. Faculty Representative)
  • Ray Shelley (Undergraduate Student Council President)
  • Helena Ting (VP of Community Development)
  • Melissa Van Wagenen (Masters' Program Student Council Co-President)
  • Liesl Violante (Staff Council Chair)
  • Jorge Wong (Trustee and Alumnus)

 

April 2016

We are very excited to welcome Dr. Maureen O’Connor to be our new President, starting on August 1st.  Our Board of Trustees created a Transition Team to help ensure a smooth and successful transition from the leadership of our President since 1984, Dr. Allen Calvin.  

The Transition Team includes leaders of the PAU faculty and administration, Student Council Members, and Trustees.  As part of the transition effort, our Team will publish a Transition Updates newsletter to keep the PAU Community informed about various aspects of the transition and to create open communications. 

Our new president, Dr. Maureen O’Connor, is completing her current position with City University of New York.   Although she is looking forward to becoming part of the PAU community, Dr. O’Connor will have limited contact with PAU until she joins us on July 1stdue to her commitments at her current position.    

Initial Activities of the Transition Team

In addition to publishing the Transition Updates newsletter, the Transition Team is developing a timeline for various transitional activities and also meetings that will allow everyone in the PAU community to have the opportunity to meet with our new President at the earliest practical time.  The first draft of the timeline will be published next month.

The Transition Team has circulated a questionnaire that will allow members of the community an early opportunity to provide some thoughts and ideas for consideration by our new President, Maureen O’Connor. 

The objectives of the Transition Team are:

  • Assist incoming President to become familiar with PAU, its culture, contacts, relationships and partners, and the greater community;
  • Facilitate identification of priorities and insights from PAU community, including identification of key decisions that need to be made and when;
  • Set up a schedule for incoming President to meet with members of PAU community;
  • Prepare a resource list for new President;
  • Organize send-off celebrations for President Calvin;
  • Provide any internal documents requested by new President. 

Presidential Transition Team Members:

  • Dan Kostenbauder, (Trustee, Chair of the Transition Team)
  • Joyce Chu (Faculty Senate Chair)
  • Liz Hilt (Presidential Council Representative)
  • Scott Hines (Staff Council Chair-elect)
  • Brandon Hoeflein (PhD Student Council President)
  • Jamie Kent (Psy.D. Faculty Representative)
  • Iris Korol (Trustee)
  • Margaret Lamar (Masters' Programs Faculty Representative)
  • Paul Marcille (Undergraduate Programs Faculty Representative)
  • Erin Margolis (PsyD Student Council Co-President)
  • Ricardo Muñoz (Ph.D. Faculty Representative)
  • Ray Shelley (Undergraduate Student Council President)
  • Helena Ting (VP of Community Development)
  • Melissa Van Wagenen (Masters' Program Student Council Co-President)
  • Liesl Violante (Staff Council Chair)
  • Jorge Wong (Trustee and Alumnus)
 
 
 

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