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Merritt College President’s Report – September 13, 2023

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Merritt College Safety Day

On Thursday, September 7 Merritt held its inaugural Safety Day. The event provided faculty, classified staff members, and administrators with the opportunity to share their concerns and suggestions related to public safety. One issue that was raised pertained to the challenge of securing the parking lots (where most incidents occur) vis-à-vis the desire for Marina officers to be more present in the buildings on campus. Director of Public Safety Tim Thomas pledged to work with Merritt College to strike the appropriate balance on that. Employees were able to obtain updated identification badges as well (the District printed and provided a total of 52 IDs, so thanks to Amy Marshall for helping to get that done).

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Merritt is also pleased to share that under the direction of Mildred Oliver (Administration of Justice faculty) and Margaret Dixon (retired Administration of Justice faculty), the college was able to recruit more than a dozen students to participate in our Safety Aide Program. Merritt College is planning several public safety events and training in the weeks to come; hopefully, the success of Safety Day is a harbinger of things to come!


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Merritt College Student Enrollment

Here is a snapshot of the Merritt College enrollment picture: The resident FTES is still the second highest in the District, and has remained above 1300 since Fall 2021. This fall semester Merritt is offering 422 sections, and 74% of them have an enrollment of more than twenty students. As of the census, Merritt has attained 80.5% of the enrollment target but expects that figure to grow given the number of late-start classes that have not yet started. It also bears mention that Merritt is within the FTEF allocation for the fall term, which bodes well for the college in terms of the internal, and institutional fiscal management goals.


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Merritt College Landscape Horticulture and Environmental Management/Technology Programs

Some very exciting things are happening with Merritt’s Landscape Horticulture and Environmental Management/Technology programs. In the case of the latter, the Urban Agroecology program was recently featured in Edible East Bay, a magazine that celebrates the food culture of San Francisco. The article highlighted the outstanding work that faculty member/coordinator Elizabeth Boegel has done to train students in the areas of sustaining farming and food systems, creating school and community gardens, and providing food access in underserved communities. The piece also showcased the efforts of Jenifer Azulay, a Merritt College student who volunteers her time in the community to promote clean energy initiatives, sharing food, and learning DIY skills.


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Merritt College Horticulture Complex Groundbreaking Ceremony

On Wednesday, September 6th, Merritt held the Horticulture Complex Groundbreaking Ceremony. The project is the consummation of what faculty, staff members, administrators, and students believed was possible for this institution. That belief was that Merritt College could build a complex befitting the amazing program that it has established, as well as position Merritt’s Landscape Horticulture department as a leader in this field for years to come. This project ensures that the programs will do that and be that. So, thanks go out to the Alameda County voters—who in their wisdom understood the importance of passing a bond measure that made all of this possible. Merritt would like to recognize some key individuals for whom this project has been a labor of love: Molly Sealund, Nia Hill, Stu Winchester, Chris Grampp, and Laura Forlin.  The Merritt community thanks you for working in the field long enough to cultivate it!



This article is taken from the President’s Report, written by Dr. David M. Johnson, Merritt College President, that was presented to the PCCD Board of Trustees during their regular meeting on Tuesday, September 12, 2023. To view it as a PDF, click here.

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