President Search 2022
College Profile: The Opportunity
Foothill is seeking a president to continue advancing access and academic success for all students, with particular attention to supporting historically underserved and underrepresented groups. As it seeks to increase enrollment, the college is currently building on three strengths: digital education, including online learning and exploratory uses of virtual and augmented reality; experiential learning at all levels, from extensive apprenticeships and internships to service learning and study abroad; and institutional transformation that fully embraces diversity, equity and inclusion at its core.
Foothill offers 191 programs – 82 associate degree programs, 108 certificate programs and a bachelor’s degree program in dental hygiene, and half its degrees are also available online. The certificate programs include 98 credit certificates and 10 noncredit certificates.
Leader in Excellence and Innovation
Foothill has a long-standing national reputation not only for teaching excellence and innovation, but for leadership in educational technology. In 1996 it became the first community college in California to offer online courses for credit using its own open source platform. Today, it offers over 40 fully online associate degree programs and approximately 300 online course sections. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 50% of the college’s enrollment was already online as part of Foothill’s commitment to multiple modality options for students.
Foothill College is nationally recognized for excellent academic programs, including its bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene, innovative apprenticeship partnerships and career programs that are lauded for earning graduates a comfortable living wage upon completion.
Foothill consistently ranks among the top transfer institutions in the state. Roughly 900 to 1,000 Foothill students transfer annually to the University of California and California State University systems, and about 400 students a year transfer to private and out-of-state institutions including MIT, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, Cornell University and Georgetown University. In 2021, the college awarded 1,236 associate degrees, 1,063 certificates and 73 bachelor’s degrees.
Welcoming Learning Environment
Foothill’s Strategic Vision for Equity unites the college in providing a learning environment that is welcoming, supportive and accessible to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to experience success in achieving their academic goals. All major planning efforts address student equity, including program review, resource allocation, accreditation and strategic and educational master planning.
As a part of its equity commitment to reimagine the institution structurally, culturally and individually, and to create a college where student success is not predictable by race, Foothill has taken note of the established relationship between diversity and student success. Today, 44% of the tenured and tenure-track faculty, 67% of the classified staff, five out of eight President’s Cabinet members and six out of 10 deans are people of color.
Signature College Programs
Foothill has several signature programs that reflect its location in Silicon Valley. Its successful Campus Abroad Program is being re-established as Global Experiential Learning, an interdisciplinary program that will include study abroad and field studies in multiple countries and across the United States.
Foothill also hosts a robust Middle College and operates an extensive dual enrollment program with nearly 20 local high schools, offering specialized courses to high school students who would otherwise not have access to such curriculum.
The Foothill College Science Learning Institute (SLI) is an innovative instructional model that draws on educational research and best practices to support successful teaching and learning of STEM-related content. The SLI was founded in an environment of collaboration and innovation, allowing dedicated faculty members to teach, inspire and transform how STEM subjects are taught and learned. A key objective is to bring more students into STEM from historically underrepresented groups. In addition to increasing university transfer rates, the institute prepares students for work in fields such as biomedical devices, rapid prototyping, nanotechnology and renewable energy systems. The SLI has been strengthened by partnerships with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Skills for College Completion, the Carnegie Foundation’s Statway project, the National Science Foundation’s STEMway and nanotechnology projects, and award-winning campus programs such as Math My Way, which has markedly improved student success in mathematics.
The Krause Center for Innovation (KCI) at Foothill College is a regional center that empowers Silicon Valley educators and students to use technology in the classroom to increase student success. Since it opened in 2000, the center has trained more than 25,000 local elementary, middle and high school teachers from throughout the Bay Area and Southern California. The KCI’s goal is to spread its transformative learning practices throughout California.
Foothill is one of 15 colleges in California chosen by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors to offer a baccalaureate degree as part of a pilot program authorized by the California Legislature. The pilot was created to address regional workforce needs and give local students an opportunity to continue their education at an affordable cost close to home. The college expanded its highly regarded dental hygiene program to include courses leading to a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene and graduated its first dental hygiene baccalaureate class in 2018. Based on the statewide program’s success, the Legislature made the pilot program permanent and authorized its expansion in 2022. Foothill has since applied for authority to offer a second bachelor’s degree, in respiratory care.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Celebrating diversity in an inclusive campus atmosphere is a college goal. Whatever a student’s academic path, Foothill offers a warm, family-like atmosphere with individual attention, varied extracurricular activities and an appreciation for diversity. The college is a guest on ancestral and traditional land of the First People of the region, the present-day Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area. Faculty members integrate a multicultural perspective into the curricula of all disciplines and emphasize that critical thinking requires a pluralistic view. Foothill has been home to students from more than 100 countries since its founding and has a long tradition of international student enrollment. Foothill’s International Student Program Office provides a full range of services for students from around the world.
Reflecting the diverse environment of Silicon Valley and California, the college sponsors cultural celebrations throughout the academic year including Native American Heritage Month, Women’s History Month, Black History Month, Jewish Heritage Month, Latino Heritage Month, Asian Pacific Islander Month, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Month.
Many historically underserved students take part in the college’s popular Pass the Torch program, which pairs students who excel in English, ESL and math in study teams with students who want support in these core classes. This unique community learning program has increased matriculation, retention and transfer of underrepresented students at Foothill College over the past 20 years. State-supported programs such as the Puente Project and Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) also help Foothill College students reach their educational goals.
Foothill College has cultivated a reputation as a veteran-friendly campus and educates a growing population of students who have served in the military, many in Iraq and Afghanistan. The college’s Veterans Resource Center (VRC) offers specialized programs and services in a comfortable environment that encourages educational progress and adaptation of military skills to civilian life. With support from the Foothill-De Anza Foundation, the college has formed a close working partnership with the Rotary Club of Los Altos, resulting in personal and financial support for student veterans and VRC programs.
Many students with disabilities pursue their education at Foothill, and the college commits significant staff and resources to serve this important part of the student community. Foothill’s successful Tools for Transition and Work program, operated through the Disability Resource Center, provides focused instruction that gives students with disabilities the opportunity to develop specific job skills or pursue higher education through a flexible open-entry, open-exit pathway.
For students seeking to develop their athletic abilities along with their academic ambitions, Foothill College offers 12 intercollegiate athletic programs for women and men. A roster of more than 80 campus clubs gives students the opportunity to pursue a wide range of academic, social, cultural, political, recreational, community and global interests.
The Foothill-De Anza district is a founding member of the League for Innovation in the Community College and has continuously maintained its position as a member of the Board of Directors, one of only two California districts on the board.
Foothill-De Anza enjoys strong support from a community that values and respects quality education. In 1999 and 2006, voters approved district bond measures that generated approximately $750 million for new construction, modernization and other capital improvements, including new technology, resulting in significant upgrades to the campuses. In 2020, voters approved an $898 million general obligation bond measure for the college district, the largest bond measure in Santa Clara County history.
Both college presidents serve on the Chancellor’s Cabinet, a team of executive leaders that provides guidance to the chancellor on the operation and management of the district. The presidents also are members of the Chancellor’s Advisory Council, the primary districtwide participatory governance leadership group that advises the chancellor on institutional planning, budgeting and the governance policies and procedures of the district.
The current district chancellor is retiring in September 2023, and the next Foothill College president will have an opportunity to participate in the selection of the next chancellor. Along with the next chancellor and recently hired De Anza College president, Foothill’s next president will be part of a new leadership team that will engage in reimagining what the district can and should be in the future. These circumstances present a unique opportunity to work with the district’s outstanding faculty, staff, administrators and students to build a more student centered and equity minded district.
The college presidents work closely with the Foothill-De Anza Foundation to friend-raise and fund-raise for college priorities, and Foothill has a foundation-based Commission whose members promote the college in the community and engage in special projects. The foundation is among the largest nonprofit auxiliary organizations among California community colleges and has $50 million in assets. Support for the foundation comes from a community Board of Directors whose members are well connected throughout the Silicon Valley. Both college presidents serve as voting members of the board.
Foothill-De Anza was selected in a competitive process in 2013 by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to lead a statewide Online Education Initiative (OEI) to increase transfer and degree completion among California community college students. Following a remarkably successful OEI launch, the district continues to manage what is known now as the California Virtual Campus-Online Education Initiative (CVC-OEI). The state-funded collaborative offers access to quality online courses and robust support services for students, faculty members and classified professionals across the state. Foothill College is an active participant in the CVC-OEI program, bringing its extensive online experience to the collaboration as one of 24 pilot colleges offering online courses through a common course management system.
Foothill’s fall 2021 enrollment of 13,837 students, combined with De Anza’s enrollment of 17,104 students, make Foothill-De Anza one of the largest districts in the 73-district California Community Colleges system.
Foothill College President Search Questions
Contact Dorene Novotny for additional information, nominations or confidential inquiries.