From the Executive Director

Executive Director

All during the year in the North Pole Santa's little elves build toys, so that all the boys and girls can open them on Christmas day. These little elves work hard all year long because they know that Santa has toys to deliver to all the children of the world. But did you know that as a local senate leader you have your own North Pole in Sacramento? All year long the Senate works hard to provide local senates with the resources you need to do your job as a faculty leader on your campus. Just as Santa has his reindeers that pull his sled, we have our Executive Committee that pulls our organization through all climates and weather. Led by our red-nosed reindeer, President Clark, who through her leadership has built an impressive team that is able to fly in snowstorms. These members work hard all year long through their leadership on our 12 standing committees and a number of advisory and task forces. You can now read about their goals and accomplishments on our Senate website under "Standing Committees" and in our new and improved resolution database.

As with Santa and his reindeers, there is a Santa's workshop where the elves create all the magical toys for the boys and girls. In the Senate, we also have a magical workshop. It is located in Sacramento at 428 J Street, Suite 430. The Senate Office has worked all year long to provide you with the tools to be effective as senate leaders. For example, this year we have created a listserv where you can ask your colleagues about important issues on your campus. Many of you have already begun to use this resource and found it a valuable source of information. Additionally, there are a number of new resources on our website. We have now begun to develop the Senate's Legislative Page. This page, in conjunction with urgent alerts generated by the President and the Legislative and Governmental Relations Committee Chair, contains important information on what's happening in the legislative arenas. If you haven't checked it out lately, make sure you do so soon because we have also posted talking points for you and your senate to use when discussing key issues such as the budget.

Likewise, if you were not able to attend the past session, make sure you check the archive of session breakout presentations to keep current on the important issues. Soon you will be able to search the long list of senate publications and have instant access to senate events activities through online calendar. Look for these and other exciting additions to our website this winter. But wait, that's not all.

How do you think elves learn how to build toys? I'm not sure because no one ever talks about it, but I would guess that Santa holds workshops for all new and seasoned elves. So do we! This is hardly news to some of the seasoned leaders, but what is new is that we are posting the dates and registration forms on our website earlier each year, so that you can begin to plan and search for funds to attend these highly informative events. We have also been a real Scrooge with our money, so that we can offer more scholarships for faculty to attend all of our events during these financially hard times. In the past, we only offered a few scholarships for the Faculty Leadership Institute. This year, however, we will offer scholarships for each of our events, including fall and spring session. Be sure to apply now because the scholarships are first come first serve.

Once all the toys are delivered to all the boys and girls, Santa heads back to the North Pole with his reindeers, but the work is not done. He and his helpers begin to plan for next year's deliveries. As the world changes, so do the wants and needs of our children. The same is true for the climate in California. We don't know what to expect under our new Governor or how the Legislature will react. However, you should trust that the Senate is canvassing the climate and watching the trends, so that you will be informed on how to preserve our community colleges, responding to those who are naughty and nice.

Happy Holidays.