This is another post from Dr. Wright L. Lassiter, Jr., the Chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District. We are honored to learn from his experience and leadership knowledge through these posts. Check back monthly for his posts!
From: Chancellor’s Weekend Memo # 336
What follows is a working document from the Team that addresses: Definition of collaboration; Why should we collaborate? In order to collaborate, we must; We want to be good collaborators for what benefit? Your attention is drawn to the following points on these elements.
Collaboration is a partnership based on trust, good communication, using the strength of all. Collaboration is a planning method with well-defined outcomes and written documentation; it is process driven. In the DCCCD, collaboration is designed to build a culture of shared learning, with a focus on a future that is the good of all.
Why should we collaborate?
• To save money, operate more efficiently, and optimize our results.
• To be the recognized leader in higher education. When DCCCD looks good, we all look good.
• To spend our competitive energies on our competitors, not each other.
• We agree that it is good for students.
In order to collaborate, we must:
• be assured that no college succeeds at the expense of another;
• trust each other enough to make the best decision for the whole at the occasional expense of the individual;
• not let fear of centralization and loss of power override what is best for the majority of students;
• be willing to speak openly and honestly about our positions, and be willing to hear the positions of others;
• not choose a decision because it is the easy one;
• have someone in a leadership role who is willing to facilitate the group to win-win;
• ensure that the individual SACSCOC accreditation of each college is supported through any and all collaborations.
These are the benefits to be derived from collaboration, as crafted by the Leadership Team:
• To develop financial efficiencies
• To be the “best”
• To improve our District
• To be more cost effective and efficient
• To be recognized as a leader in higher education with student success
• To avoid duplication of effort
• To play to our strengths
• To make the most of our resources, including money
• To ensure that our public voice representing the DCCCD and its colleges is consistent
• The world is big — we are one county
• Competition is growing
• To be more successful with students as a result of shared learning
• To improve performance
• To maximize institutional effectiveness
• To improve student success for the sake of students
• To actually achieve strategic goals
• To achieve better results and efficiencies
• Better student outcomes.
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