Increased transparency will be achieved in variety of ways, includtihng public listening sessions

PALM DESERT — Laura Hope began her duties as Superintendent/President of College of the Desert on July 1 and by month’s end, she rolled out a plan aimed at increasing transparency.

In her first few weeks on the job, Hope has already begun meeting with key community leaders who have a vested interest in College of the Desert. She is also planning a listening tour, recognizing that engagement between the college and its surrounding communities is crucial to understanding diverse needs, establishing inclusivity and fostering a positive environment on and off campus.

“To effectively support students on their educational journey to create a brighter future, we need to understand their needs and establish a nexus with what we offer,” said Hope. “We are your community and your college, and working together we will ensure individual triumph and through them a thriving Coachella Valley.”

Hope has scheduled visits to all College of the Desert campuses. These visits provide opportunities to interact directly with students, faculty, staff and others interested in higher education. Regular meetings with full-time and adjunct faculty leadership are in development, along with sessions to address organizations across the desert. Engaging with multiple groups and organizations will help Hope to understand diverse ideas.

“The Coachella Valley has clearly demonstrated how passionate it is about education,” Hope said. “My goal is to hear these various voices and bring us together to reach our common goal of providing students with an exceptional education.”

Listening sessions will be scheduled in the coming weeks. It’s all part of the broader effort to increase transparency.

In June, the Desert Community College District Board of Trustees voted 5-0 to offer Hope, who was then Associate Superintendent of Instruction and Institutional Effectiveness at Chaffey Community College District, the position of Interim Superintendent/President of College of the Desert.

Her annual salary is $355,000 and shall be payable in 12 equal installments. Payment shall be prorated for service of less than a full fiscal year. You may read her full employment contract here.

Hope began serving in her new role on July 1, following the resignation of the controversial Martha Garcia.

Nothing prohibits Hope for applying for the permanent Superintendent/President position.

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