Campus Center Building

President's Office

President's 12345 Message from Kristina Whalen

Welcome to week 1 of the Fall Quarter


September 26, 2023

(1) Welcome to week 1 of the Fall Quarter. 

The footpaths and parking lots are, the fullest they have been for nearly five years, due in large part to the increase in enrollment, hovering around a 9% gain over last Fall, and many more students taking in-person classes. Please join me this Wednesday, September 27, from noon to 1 pm in the Library Quad for the Welcome Rally and ASFC Inauguration. Let’s show up for our student leaders! 

(2) AANAPISI Week.  

Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education (APAHE) president Rowena Tomanang has invited Foothill College to participate in AANAPISI Week (September 25 – October 01, 2023). This week celebrates Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI), which were established by Congress on September 27, 2007, to improve the availability and quality of postsecondary education programs to support low-income, first generation Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) students. ANNAPISI Week is the perfect platform to celebrate Foothill’s acceptance into the AANHPI Student Achievement Program! Both De Anza and Foothill were one of 7 new colleges welcomed to the California Community College Foundation sponsored and funded program. Be on the lookout for communication from Dr. Ajani Byrd on next steps.

(3) Pool Heating System Heats Up.

Over the summer, community members took a keen interest in the year-long deliberations over the pool refurbishment project at Foothill College, necessitated by crumbling pipes that resulted in massive water leaks and our pool being shut down.  After lengthy deliberation and a verification of findings, staff recommended replacing the archaic boiler system with a more efficient system, plumbing the project for conversion to heat pumps down the road, and converting the domestic water supply to a heat pump system. The new boiler system would provide a 47% reduction in GHG emissions over the previous system and allows us to resume instruction sooner. The plan also proposed phasing in full electrification of the pool heating system when the technology is more maintainable and fully proven to support an Olympic size pool. Moreover, consultants noted that waiting to add the pool to the larger electrification loop of the campus would be less costly overall. Going to a full electrified heating system now would increase the renovation costs by $16 million dollars.  With some time and advancement in heat pump technology and the larger system in place, we expect those costs to decrease significantly. The proposed boiler system would then move to a backup system that boosts temperatures on frigid days and warms the pool during frequent power outages. The money spent would not be wasted.

The heat system advocated by community groups (and some employees) would require us to install over 20 heat pumps, build sound attenuation walls, and trench to a platform away from instructional areas impacted by the noise of 20 heat pumps.  At this time, the Board paused movement on the pool project until a full electrification study is complete in December. I have high hopes that with more information and conversation, we can reach an agreement that perserves the continuity of instruction and makes real progress on sustainability goals, placing Foothill - De Anza as a sustainability leader among Community Colleges.

Both Chancellor Lambert and I supported the gas/electric hybrid recommendation because it serves two student populations. First, the student population currently attending Foothill College that has seen physical education classes disrupted and athletic competitions paused. With infrastructure in place for a conversion to a heat pump system once the larger campus loop system is in place, Foothill - DeAnza is also planning for the welfare of future students impacted by climate change. 

(4) More Magic Being Built.

Thanks to all those that surfaced the magic of Foothill on Opening Day. We still have much work to do! We have our very own Wicked Witch - the cost of living in this area. In the beginning of the Wizard of Oz, a house landed on top of that foe!  Subsidized housing is one high impact solution to this acute problem. Over the summer, and in a community with many educational partnerships, groundbreaking on housing units for the District occurred at 231 Grant Ave. Foothill De-Anza is slated to get 12 units, which will be available at below-market rates. This could not have happened without strong District, Board, and elected leadership. Let’s also honor the continued leadership of Eric Reed and the Affordable Housing Taskforce. Please send your positive energy to the partnerships being explored that may provide more affordable opportunities near Foothill, including those to students. I certainly hope that many of you and many of our students will be saying, “there is no place like home” if affordable housing becomes a reality.

(5) Spoofed email.

An email purporting to be written by me went out to close to 500 FHDA inboxes on Sunday. ETS’s phishing detection software caught the vast majority of the emails, but some landed. The email, from an gmail address, said  “Thank you for being a fantastic teacher. May I have a word with you??” This type of phishing scam tries to lure a back and forth that usually ends with the employee being asked to buy something, often gift cards. Thanks to all those that reached out to report the scam. 
P.S. You really are fantastic. 

Yours in service,