Board of Trustees Reflect on Laura Hope’s First 90 Days at COD

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The first 90 days of Laura Hope’s interim presidency at College of the Desert (COD) have been nothing short of transformative. As the Board of Trustees, we have watched with pride as Hope has taken on the challenges of her new role with a remarkable level of energy, expertise and compassion.

Hope’s focus on constructive learning has been evident in her determination to connect with community leaders and organizations, promoting inclusivity across campus. Her goal is to expand accessibility by creating more opportunities for students of diverse backgrounds to participate in campus activities.

After just two months on the job, Hope began a listening tour, visiting various campuses to establish a robust campus culture. This is just another example of her commitment to building strong partnerships that benefit both COD and the broader community. We are pleased to report that each session has been a resounding success, with attendees expressing their appreciation for the opportunity to share their experiences and ideas.

“That’s the most important thing beyond the subject matters that we teach. We teach people belief,” said Interim Superintendent President Hope to NBC’s Thalia Hayden, “We teach people to believe in themselves and to believe that they are entitled to those dreams and that they can achieve them. Because it’s really easy for all of us to hit a roadblock and count ourselves out of a future that we really do deserve and that we can have.”

Hope’s leadership has also been critical to the successful start of the fall semester. Her support of various programs and the listening tour join her efforts to secure grants for COD students who volunteer at least 450 hours at FIND Food Bank, ensuring that our students have the resources they need to succeed. We are proud to report that over the last year, both COD food banks distributed 198,000 pounds of food, to guarantee no student goes to bed hungry.

Hope’s first 90 days at the helm have been nothing short of exceptional. It is worth noting that her hard work and dedication have resulted in a positive trend in enrollment rates, which is a clear indication of her success. We are grateful for her leadership, her passion, and her unwavering commitment to our students, faculty, staff and community. The Board is confident that under President Hope’s leadership, COD will continue to thrive and serve as a beacon of hope and opportunity for all who seek to learn and grow.


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