President Presents Annual State of the College Highlighting Priorities for Next Five Years

On September 26th, Saddleback College President Dr. Tod A. Burnett hosted his fifth Annual State of the College address at a community breakfast attended by an audience of more than 100 elected officials, business and industry representatives, and other community leaders. This year’s report, entitled “The Next Five Years,” focused on maximizing student success, enrollment management, economic and workforce development, employee success, and strategic planning.

The audience included Diane Harkey, Assemblymember for the 73rd District, Rhonda Reardon, Mayor of Mission Viejo, Gary Capta, Laguna Niguel City Council, Trish Kelley, Mission Viejo City Council, Dave Leckness, Mission Viejo City Council, Dr. Jim Wright, South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees, Joe Farley, Superintendent of Capistrano Unified School District, and Dixie Bullock, former president of Saddleback College.

Assemblymember Harkey, a Saddleback College alumna, stated, “I want to thank Saddleback College, it was only because the community college system was available that I was able to continue on with school. I was one of those kids who did not want to go to college but decided to go back when I was 23 then finished off my degree in economics at UCI.”

“Saddleback College has really undergone an amazing transformation over the last five years,” Dr. Burnett said. “In 2018 our college will turn 50 and I am confident that we will not only be celebrating our golden anniversary but also the tremendous accomplishments of our students, employees, and community. I believe Saddleback College will be the state’s leading community college for student success and I believe it will be the first choice of our community and beyond.”

Dr. Burnett presented his top 10 projects for the 2013-14 academic year, which are as follows: 1) Create a college-wide enrollment management plan;  2) Establish an economic and workforce development plan; 3) Establish a student success committee; 4) Develop a new six-year strategic plan; 5) Provide faculty emergency training; 6) Implement the High School Partnership Program; 7) Develop plans for the Center for Innovation in Healthcare Education; 8) Enhance part-time faculty support; 9) Implement the 20-year facilities plan; and 10) Conduct a college-wide business analyses.

Jim Leach, President of the Saddleback College Foundation spoke to the mission and accomplishments of the foundation, such as increasing annual scholarship dollars awarded over the last five years from $198,650 in 2009 to $509,790 in 2013 (157 percent increase), which expanded the number of students receiving support from 180 to 326  (81 percent increase). “The money we raise from the community goes to help change the lives of young people providing them with educational opportunities they may not otherwise have,” Leach said.

The breakfast featured remarks from engineering student Bahman Sabahi, Associated Student Government President for Saddleback College and a violin solo from Saddleback College music student Natalie Cervantes.

The president’s Annual State of the College provides an overview of the past academic year and a preview of the coming year’s opportunities and challenges for Saddleback College. A full copy of the report can be found on the college website or click here to download a PDF of the full report.