Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

A ‘thank you’ to PCC community for unprecedented coronavirus response

Message by PCC President Mark Mitsui.

Dear Friends,

As we move to remote operations, I wanted to take a moment to send a note of appreciation for all of the tremendous work and effort happening across the college to meet this unprecedented moment in time. In particular, I have noticed that, as we all work together to stop the spread of this new virus, something else is spreading. It is a resurgent sense of collaboration, creativity in providing instruction, student services and operations, as well as a determination to bridge our new social distance in innovative ways. It is a sense that we will get through this together.

Thanks to the amazing work of Faculty, Classified and Confidential staff, Academic Professionals, Managers, Administrators, IT and Online Education, and our Casual employees, a vast majority of course sections will be offered remotely or online during spring term. Also, over the past week almost all student services have been moved to a remote format, while teams of folks from Student Affairs, the PCC Foundation, and Workforce Development are working diligently with state agencies, donors, and community partners to maintain access for our students to important resources. Across Oregon’s largest higher education institution, from campuses to centers, to all departments across our college, I see inspiring examples of dedication to our mission, our students, and the communities we serve.Mitsui portrait

To continue to meet our mission in these times, it is important to communicate frequently and accurately. You may already feel overwhelmed by the many college messages and updates that have come to you over the past week or so. Despite this, we sincerely believe that one of the many ways that we can stay connected in community is to communicate across multiple platforms, throughout the time that we work online and remotely.

Here is a list of the kinds of messages to look for and who will send them (most of these messages will be to targeted audiences, not the entire college):

  • Inside PCC will also have daily updates and options for queries and observations (anonymous or otherwise). Even though it’s about “internal” news and information, Inside PCC can be accessed from your remote location. All staff news and announcements will be re-posted here, too. You’ll receive emails from the Inside PCC team when there are other additions (e.g. the “Woke at Work” blog).
  • Please be on the lookout for updates from our Chief Diversity Officer, Tricia Brand, and the Office of Equity and Inclusion regarding Title IX and other compliance issues, including updates regarding online and virtual opportunities for engagement with justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion topics.
  • Executive Vice President Sylvia Kelley will be posting updates and information from the following areas: Manager-related communications in partnership with Human Relations; PCC collaborative communication opportunities as they are developed; any college-wide projects that are currently in process (e.g. Strategic Planning and college reorganization; Marketing, Public Relations and Community Engagement actions; Planning and Capital Construction projects; Grants, and Foundation fundraising efforts. NOTE: Information to managers about recruitments and HR paperwork has already been posted. Please continue to check the soon-to-be-posted FAQs for updates.
  • Vice President for Finance and Administration Eric Blumenthal will be sending information and updates regarding operational issues (Public Safety, Auxiliary Services, Financial Services/Payroll, and Facilities Management Services: messages related to our move to remote operations and the responses within administration – Financial Services (with emphasis on Payroll, Student Accounts, and Purchasing procedures); Public Safety (emphasis on persons deemed critical with a need to access campuses at certain periods of time); Auxiliary Services (with an emphasis on remote bookstore operations) and FMS (emphasis on mail distribution and service during facility closure).
  • Vice President for Academic Affairs, Katy Ho, will provide updates on matters related to instruction—specifically information that faculty and staff need to know. She will also coordinate with the interim Vice President for Student Affairs’ office in regards to the intersection of instruction and what students needs to know.
  • Interim Vice President for Student Affairs, Heather Lang, will provide updates and coordinate resource information to and for students. She and her team will be sending out periodic emails to all students and will work closely with the college communications team to be sure the Coronavirus Student Resources page is kept up to date and relevant with service and resource information for students. Heather’s team will coordinate with the Office of Academic Affairs regarding intersections between instruction and student services and support.
  • Kate Kinder and the Pathways to Opportunity team, recognizing the increased needs facing many of our students and their families, will be prioritizing ways to continue to provide holistic support and help navigating community resources and benefits. As an example, our STEP team will continue to offer coaching virtually and have identified ways that new and ongoing students can access this support and crucial gap-funding for tuition, fees, books, and transportation.
  • Our PCC COVID 19 Resources page—with the option for asking specific questions—will be constantly updated and available.
  • Official “All College Staff” updates related to COVID-19 and other public and community relations information will come from PCC Public Relations and Community Engagement.
  • Campus Presidents and their Community Relations Managers will continue to provide campus-specific information and updates.
  • Institutional Technology: Chief Information Officer Michael Northover and his team will be sending several updates and information over these next few weeks. Please review the Technology Guidelines on the COVID-19 website and the instructions in the PCC Telecommuting Center before contacting the IT Service Desk.

In these next weeks, as we all adjust to this “new normal,” please take extra care of yourselves and those you love. And thank you again for the myriad ways in which you have helped the college meet this unprecedented moment.

Warm regards,

Mark