Vision and Values Committee Sets Goals to Improve College

by Ken Sandoval

Since September, a committee within the faculty senate has been meeting to discuss an upcoming summit and survey that will be available to all students. The committee, known as the Vision and Values Committee, is led by Professor Philip McGrath, the curriculum chair of the Culinary Arts department. The committee is made up of representatives from all areas of the college, and McGrath says the unofficial goal is “to improve the culture of the college, to make people understand these values we should live by.”

Officially, the goal of this committee is to create a vision statement, which a rough draft of the survey defines as “a statement of the future that the educational institution aspires to achieve,” and a list of values, defined by the survey as “underlying principles [which] guide the institution’s day to day procedures.” The committee thus far has a proposed vision statement and an initial list of values.

“It’s almost finalized,” said McGrath.

Though things are not set in stone yet, according to McGrath things are moving along.

The working statement currently says that “Westchester Community College is a diverse, dynamic educational institution where each student is guided on a path of personal success, intellectual growth, and community engagement.” The most up to date list of proposed values includes values and concepts such as accountability, civic engagement, and diversity.

A survey which is set to be released between March 2 and March 5, will be sent out to every single member of the college, including the satellite centers. There’s even work being done by McGrath to try to get the survey to open on every computer on campus whenever anyone logs in, to fully ensure that everyone has a chance to participate in the survey.

“This thing is not valuable unless we have participation,” said McGrath. “For better or worse, all colleges and universities are, in a way, a business.”

According to McGrath, the students are the clients in this case. He says the faculty senate “feels that the vision statement is important going forward,” and that it’s not simply for current members of the college, but also for any prospective members. According to McGrath, having a codified set of values could potentially “attract students and faculty.”

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