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Chancellor's Update

Raul RodriguezDear Colleagues,

It's hard to believe we are already beginning the fourth week of the semester - the time goes by so quickly! I hope that you find the information included in this issue of Chancellor's Update of interest.

Thin Blue Line Flag Raising Ceremony - TODAY

The RSSCD Board of Trustees is hosting a commemorative flag raising ceremony at the Santa Ana College Orange County Sheriff's Regional Training Academy immediately preceding the Board of Trustees meeting which will also be held at this location. This very special event will take place TODAY, September 12 at 3:30 p.m. The ceremony provides the Board an opportunity to honor local law enforcement officers here in Orange County and those throughout the U.S.

The thin blue line is a symbol used by law enforcement that originated in the United Kingdom and has now spread to the U.S. and Canada. The purpose is to honor fallen law enforcement officers and to represent the relationship of law enforcement in the community as the protectors of civilians from crime. In the past months, we have all become more and more aware about how dangerous the job of law enforcement is. Every day, these brave men and women literally put their lives on the line for each of us.

In recognition of their valor and sacrifice, the RSCCD Board of Trustees decided that they wanted to hold this special ceremony at the Orange County Sheriff's Regional Training Academy, an instructional facility of Santa Ana College. It should be an exciting afternoon featuring 50 recruits in the current training class, plus our special guest speaker Sheriff-Coroner Sandra Hutchens.

This event will also give us a moment to reflect upon 9/11. Fifteen years ago, nearly 3,000 people were killed in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in the plane crash near Shanksville, PA. Among them were 400 firefighters and police officers. We will each observe the memory of those losses in our own personal way. This commemorative flag raising ceremony is a fitting observation.

Construction Update

In recent weeks and months, there is no doubt that the RSCCD Facility Planning, District Construction and Support Services Department has been juggling a myriad of projects. Let me share information about two of them:

Measure Q - Santa Ana College

If you have visited SAC recently you can view the progress of the Central Plant Infrastructure project. Currently, the chilled water lines are being installed; the pipes and back fill chilled water lines are being insulated; excavation for the chilled water and gas lines is occurring; concrete masonry is being installed for the electrical building, as well as other necessary steps in a very complicated project. This project, now 20-30% completed, marks a new milestone in energy efficiency at SAC. Once in service, the new system will reduce the campus peak electrical demand by shifting to off-peak periods. The estimated savings in costs for energy, gas and maintenance/operations is estimated in excess of $9 million over a 20-year period. I appreciate your patience with this project, which no doubt has been disruptive. Nevertheless, I hope you can share my enthusiasm about the long-term benefits to the college and the students we serve.

Substantial work is also being accomplished for the new 59,638-square-foot Johnson Center. Teams of Facility Planning, District Construction and Support Services personnel, consultants, and faculty of staff continue to meet to collaborate on the schematic phase of this project. At this point, the footprint of the facility is set and plans are being developed to determine how different functions that will be housed in this facility will fit together. In essence, it's like putting together a complicated jigsaw puzzle. We know the borders, but need to work out how all the pieces fit together and flow. We are grateful to all of the building's residents who have moved to the Village until construction is completed on the new center which is expected during fall 2020.

Benefit Plans Open Enrollment

Recently, you learned that the open enrollment period will run from October 17 to October 28, 2016. Changes made at that time will become effective on January 1, 2017.

Everywhere you hear that health costs are skyrocketing. The good news is that there was a modest 3% to 3.5% rate increase to our medical and dental plans. However, the district will absorb these additional costs so that rates for benefited employees will remain unchanged from last year. We are pleased to be able to continue to offset these costs.

So please remember the open enrollment dates if you need to change medical or dental plans, add or drop dependents, add or cancel voluntary plans such as vision coverage, make changes to supplemental life insurance, or enroll in dependent day care or health care reimbursement plans.

For more information, please contact Risk Management at (714) 480-7567.


I will continue to regularly share important district initiatives as well as programs, proposals, accomplishments, and issues that are relevant to you all. If there are topics that you would like to learn more about, please let me know. Feel free to contact me at (714) 480-7450 or at rodriguez_raul@rsccd.edu.

All the best,

Raul Rodriguez signature


The Chancellor's Update is an e-newsletter distributed by the Rancho Santiago Community College District Chancellor's Office to inform district employees. If you have a question, comment or would like to provide feedback, please send us an email.