Leslie calls variety of initiatives multiple approaches in concert.
By Kyle R. Cotton
Silver buckshot is the chancellor’s answer to those who are suffering from ‘initiative fatigue.’
Chancellor Bruce Leslie, in opening the strategic retreat Feb. 8 at Tri-Point Center, said like buckshot flying at a target, all the district initiatives lead to the same goal: student success.
Leslie addressed the sense of ‘initiative fatigue’ found in the recent Aspen Institute draft report.
Leslie said this wasn’t just an Alamo Colleges problem, but a national problem.
He echoed a quote from his friend and president of El Paso Community College, Dr. William Serrata, who spoke in April at the 95th annual American Association of Community College convention in San Antonio.
“You know we would all like to find the silver bullet; we would all like to find that one thing that will work perfectly for every student. There is no such thing, but there is silver buckshot,” Leslie said.
Leslie said he loves that quote because as someone who shoots skeet as a hobby, he immediately understood the spread-out yet focused nature of buckshot.
“There are multiple things we have to focus on. There can’t just be one thing,” Leslie said.
He pointed to the Alamo Colleges’ strategy map on everyone’s table: “These are the buckshot.”
The Alamo Colleges’ strategy map includes stakeholder imperatives from Texas and San Antonio, Alamo Way policies, six key strategic priorities and strategies, measures of success and target goals.
“These are not separate, different initiatives. This is not yet another initiative. This is not ‘here goes Bruce again’,” Leslie said. “This is the board, the PVC (presidents and vice chancellors), the community, the universities, everybody talking with each other asking: how do we go deeper, and how do we go broader? How do we reach every student and how do we go deep enough so that the effect on that student is both profound and makes a difference in his or her life?”
Leslie closed his introduction to the stakeholders, “It is a travesty for people not to be able to finish their degree or get their certificate, particularly when they leave here with debt or leave halfway through their university experience because they ran out of Pell because they had too many hours.”
“These are not multiple different things, these are all one thing that we are working so hard for to make students succeed, but it takes silver buckshot for that to happen,” Leslie said.
Access the map at www.alamo.edu/uploadedImages/District/About_Us/Chancellor/strategic_plan/AC-Strategy-Map.jpg.