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The Dallas County Community College District board of trustees reached a consensus on what the new “One College” structure will be called. Two names were presented during their Feb. 4 work session: Dallas County College and Dallas College.
They chose the latter.
Some of the trustees said they wished they had more exciting names to choose from after Patty Arellano Tolotta, DCCCD chief marketing officer, and Justin Lonon, executive vice chancellor, presented the two choices. However, Dallas County College and Dallas College were the two winning choices in a survey of over 700 DCCCD students, alumni, staff and faculty.
“Thank you for bringing us boring names,” board chair Diana Flores said.
Some trustees were concerned the new names were not inclusive enough. “I really don’t like either one of the names, but I’m only one person,” Flores said. “Dallas College is not inclusive of Dallas County.”
Arellano Tolotta said she understands the concerns about inclusivity and the college would always be inclusive when talking about who they serve, whatever the name is. But, the decision ultimately came down to branding and name recognition.
“If we want to market our college outside of our city limits, having ‘County’ in there, I think, makes it less appealing to folks because we are known as a city,” Arellano Tolotta said. “We’re globally known as Dallas. … ‘Dallas’ as a term is used very broadly, whether you live in Lancaster or Mesquite.”
Trustee Philip Ritter said he liked the simplicity of Dallas College and the recognition the name would bring.
“I think it’s kind of pointless to think about the name right now when they haven’t even figured out the full details first,” Julie Olivares, Brookhaven Student Government Association secretary, said.
The latest decision moves the district one step closer to being singly accredited through the Commission on Colleges of SACS, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Currently, each of the seven DCCCD colleges is separately accredited, which has prevented several hundred students from getting their associate degrees.
This is because of the association’s 25% rule, which requires students to get a quarter of their college credits from a single institution to graduate and earn a degree there.
Among the latest announcements about the move toward One College is a tentative plan to redesign the district’s academic program structure, Chancellor Joe May said in a districtwide email Jan. 24. The redesign would use a “schools” approach built on the district’s existing Guided Pathways Programs, he said.
The seven schools would be called: School of Creative Arts, Entertainment and Design, School of Manufacturing and Industrial Technologies, School of Law and Public Service, School of Education, School of Business, Hospitality and Trade, School of Nursing and Health Sciences, and School of Engineering and Technology.
Carlos Martinez, DCCCD Faculty Association president, said in a press release Jan. 31, “By adopting this approach, faculty within and across disciplines will achieve synergies that not only make us more effective in our day-to-day instructional roles, but also in planning curricula that are uniform districtwide – ultimately to the benefit of our students.”
Liliana Menjivar Cruz, Brookhaven SGA public relations officer, said she feared that if different schools were headquartered at different campuses, advising resources could be fragmented. “Advisers aren’t only going to have to know what’s available here at Brookhaven, or at Richland,” she said. “They’re going to have to know what’s available at all seven schools, and be really well known with the information of each school.”
The restructuring will bring five new administrative positions to the district: a provost, vice provosts for each of the new schools, a vice chancellor of student success, a vice chancellor of workforce and advancement, and an executive vice chancellor of operations, according to the Jan. 24email.
The provost will act as the primary academic lead for the college, oversee vice provosts and report to May. The vice provosts for each school will be academic leaders overseeing instruction, faculty and pathways.
The vice chancellor of student success will support students and oversee enrollment, admissions, advising, financial aid and job placement. The vice chancellor of workforce and advancement will handle partnerships with employers, donors and alumni, while working with the vice provosts and college presidents to make sure the college is meeting the needs of the Dallas County job market. The executive vice chancellor of operations will make sure everything is running efficiently overall and report to the chancellor.
College presidents will continue to report to May as well.
“With this undertaking, we’re laying the groundwork for DCCCD for the next 50 years,” May said in the Jan. 31 press release. “Together, we will continue to transform lives and communities in Dallas County as we embark on this next chapter in the district’s history.”