One-third rule takes effect as new chancellor takes over

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Flores explains how he plans to engage with students, employees and the community.

By Lionel Ramos

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

As Dr. Michael Flores becomes the new chancellor Oct. 1, a leadership truism called “the one-third rule” will take effect.

The rule is explained in simple terms by Sylvia De Leon, coordinator for public administration.

“One-third of the people you lead won’t like it, the next one-third will, the last one-third will remain neutral,” De Leon said during a brief phone interview Sept. 20.

“I am in the one-third neutral,” she explained as she made clear a change in leadership at any level abides by the rule.

The chancellor’s primary task is to implement the policies adopted by the elected Alamo Colleges board of trustees.

“It is important to respect an individual’s leadership style,” she continued, “No one will ever please everyone.”

The change in chancellor is bound to have an impact on everyone involved in the district, she said.

“With every new leader, the direct impact is on staff, but philosophy and goals will impact everyone,” she explained.

Flores explained in an email, after failed attempts to reach him by phone, why it is important for students, their families and faculty and staff of the district to be informed about changes in leadership like this one:

“The chancellor provides leadership and strategic vision for the organization. The vision and plans are enhanced when there is engagement and dialogue between students, faculty, the communities we serve and the leadership of the organization.”

He also explained how he planned to stimulate that engagement.

“I plan to continue to engage with the students and the Alamo Colleges family both face-to-face and through new opportunities, both online, on video, a new website presence and in person, “he said.

De Leon noticed Flores connecting with the community.

“Dr. Flores is reaching out to all the campuses,” she said.

And though she did admit that many employees will naturally be “cautious” because of the change, she was quick to reassure, “Dr. Flores is highly qualified to understand the nuances of being a new leader.”

According to his biography on the district website, Flores has been working in the district 19 years.

Previously, he was president of Palo Alto College and filled all three vice president positions there.

He was selected in March after yearlong search for the successor of Dr. Bruce Leslie, who has been chancellor since 2006 and is retiring effective Oct. 1.

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