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Q&A with Dr. Kathleen Rose: Gavilan hires from within, taps executive vice president to lead college

Trustees unanimously select Dr. Kathleen Rose

Published in the June 22 – July 5, 2016 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Staff Report

Dr. Kathleen Rose

Dr. Kathleen Rose

The Gavilan Community College Board of Trustees voted unanimously at its June 14 meeting to hire Dr. Kathleen Rose as the new superintendent/president.

The appointment includes a two-year contract with a compensation of $239,000 in the first year. She will replace Steven Kinsella who will leave the position June 30. She has been serving for the past seven years as the executive vice president and chief instruction officer at Gavilan. Morgan Hill Life asked Rose about her new leadership position for the college.

One of your focuses as president of Gavilan is to build the community college’s brand through the district and change its image as a “sleepy campus.” How do you intend to communicate this to the public?

Gavilan has served the communities of Morgan Hill, Gilroy and Hollister for almost 100 years, in a very proud and consistent manner. Our instructional programs are solid, our communities know who we are and have a basic knowledge of the types of services and programs we offer. But we need to do much more than be predictable and consistent. We need to talk about the innovative teaching practices our faculty are bringing to the classroom, the exciting trends in career technical education that we are launching, and the incredible outreach happening in adult education and noncredit pathway opportunities. Plus we need to let our students tell their success stories. We need to welcome the community back on campus by offering events and open forums, and highlight our athletic programs and comprehensive student services. Our focus going forward will be to build on our previous successes and reinvigorate our brand in a positive, exciting direction.

In your public forum talk on May 16, you discussed the potential opportunities of Gavilan working more with business partners and the local Chambers of Commerce on the off-campus sites. How might you implement this?

It is critical to the growth of the college and our communities that we collaborate with the local business partners and with the local Chambers of Commerce. As the new president, I need to listen to the workforce needs of the community and then work to offer more integrated training opportunities at the college, from multiple access points: adult education, contract education, community education, noncredit, career technical education, credit and transfer. We have much to offer in distance education, workplace specific training, soft-skills training and specialized workshops that can answer immediate industry needs. Obviously, we are interested in expanding our scope to where the training needs are, which is why we are continuing to offer expanded community education offerings including phlebotomy technician, grant writing, training for K-12 teachers and veterinary assistant. We will continue to be open and receptive to ideas from the communities we serve, and I will be an active participant in the local community chambers so that I can gather ideas to bring back to the college for consideration in the future.

The Coyote Valley campus will be opening for classes in the fall. Why is this an important component of Gavilan’s growth?

In late fall/early spring we will see the start of public safety classes in Coyote Valley which is part of our partnership with our regional consortium, and then a broader offering of general education and transfer coursework in spring 2017. For the residents of the growing, northern part of our district this will make classes leading to certificates and transfer degrees more accessible. Over time we will develop the transfer, career and industry programs in that location that best meet the needs of the community.

Adult education and career training education are other areas that Gavilan has started to have a conversation with the community about. What potential is there for this?
This is a tremendous area for growth. Currently in Santa Clara and San Benito counties we have a large adult and noncredit program in more than 16 locations. Our consortium with our K-12 partners is strong and is gaining momentum as plans develop to address the needs of adult ESL and basic skills learners. In the career technical education area, our membership in the Bay Area Regional Consortium for the California Community Colleges will continue to provide Gavilan with many opportunities to explore industry-driven partnerships with our high schools.

Gavilan is now a South Valley institution in a transformational juncture. How do you hope to build a foundation for its growth over the next five to 10 years?

Almost everyone in our district has some type of Gavilan College connection. Whether they have taken classes here, or have worked here, or have family members who have attended classes or graduated, or participated in our athletics program, or watched a friend graduate, or sent their kids to Science Alive, or take Community Education or a noncredit class, Gavilan College has touched the lives of almost everyone in this community. That is one of the reasons why I am so excited to be the president.

So many people patronize businesses owned by Gavilan graduates, are protected by Gavilan-trained law enforcement, or cared for by Gavilan-trained nurses. In just a few years we will be celebrating an incredible milestone….the 100th anniversary of the founding of San Benito Junior College, which grew into Gavilan College. As a community we can look back on the gifts of the first 100 years and chart our course for the century to come.