Chancellor tackles budget and more at CRC convocation


The newly appointed Los Rios Community College District chancellor Brian King, Ph.D., delivered his first formal presentation of 2013, starting off the Cosumnes River College convocation on Jan. 18.

“I knew this was the place that I hoped to be for the rest of my career,” King said to an auditorium full of administrators, teachers and staff members.

From Missouri to Santa Cruz and finally the Los Rios district, King brings over 20 years of teaching and administrative experience to his role as chancellor and is working on a salary lower than his predecessor’s, Brice Harris, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Standing behind the podium, King congratulated CRC on its commitment to diversity, new facilities and the Hawks baseball team for winning the state championship.

Throughout the course of King’s 15 minute presentation he emphasized the act of storytelling and how it can help CRC and student success. King shared several of his own funnier family anecdotes and told the auditorium that, “It will be interesting as the months and weeks go by to hear your stories and learn what is happening here at CRC.”

David Weinshilboum, a professor of the CRC English department, agreed with King’s message about the power of storytelling.

“I was pleased to hear our new chancellor emphasize the importance of storytelling. As someone with a background in both journalism and creative writing, I agree wholeheartedly with Chancellor King’s belief that storytelling helps people connect,” said Weinshilboum.

King also asked the room for the “story that has overshadowed all others since 2008”; and the answer was unanimous, money and the budget.

“That [the budget] wasn’t anyone’s fault,” King said. “As resources declined we were having to make difficult decisions on this campus, throughout the district and throughout the state”.

While Proposition 30 has passed, King discouraged the notion that the budget-woes of the California Community College system were over and done with.

“The passage of prop 30 really was a watershed event, but it doesn’t really end hunger and sadness or any challenges of the foreseeable future,” said King.

Along with the constant budget dialogue, some of the issues King mentioned were the “increased focus on measuring and improving student outcomes” and the increased attention on distance education.

“I want to warn you about the myth that we can do more with less if we do things online,” said King. “We want to make sure that it’s not a Trojan horse to take funding away from our community colleges.”

In one of his funnier moment’s King likened an up-close humpback whale encounter at sea to state-wide educational policy change, providing a photo to boot.

“Sometimes the closer you get to those big problems, the more overwhelming they are,” said King to a laughing auditorium.

The newly appointed chancellor also stressed the continued focus on student success and applauded the collaborative effort of the administrators, teachers and staff members in the auditorium.

In his closing statement King encouraged an open dialogue and exchange of stories between his office and CRC, along with the cultivation of hope and education both inside and out of the classroom.

Heather Hutcheson, another professor from the English department, agreed with the uplifting note upon which King ended his presentation.

“Celebrating the positives will surely help us in this period,” said Hutcheson. “ I am sure that positive stories will remind us of all of the great things we each do.”