Paving the way to a new president

Skyline College is under construction in more ways than one. Not only is the campus receiving a new look, but a new college president as well.Shirley Kelly is the current interim college president replacing former Skyline College President Dr. Frances White until the San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) can decide on a permanent candidate.”I look forward to being of much assistance to Skyline as far as construction, student learning outcomes, and to keep an eye on the budget,” Kelly said. “I am also looking forward in helping prepare for Skyline’s 35th anniversary in the spring.”Former president White announced her leaving Skyline College in April to take the position of Superintendent/President at the College of Marin. When White officially left in July, Kelly temporarily took over as president.For the past four years, Kelly, who has a doctorate in education, has held the position of college president at College of San Mateo (CSM). Her experience before her presidency at CSM includes working at City College of San Francisco doing various administration jobs, teaching chemistry, and serving as vice president at CSM for eight years. During her presidency at CSM, which she still holds, she has accomplished strategic planning, which is planning the future direction the college will take, deciding what the goals of the college will be, and meeting those goals. She has also improved internal and external communications, which includes an online newspaper called the Internal on the CSM website, updating the college community of campus issues and news. And she has taken a major part in starting new academic programs at CSM such as a computer forensic program and middle college high school.Due to her experience as a college president and knowledge of facility planning, Kelly was asked by the district’s chancellor to take the Skyline Presidential position until it is filled, which they hope will be at the end of October. Kelly is focusing much of her energy on the student learning outcomes. This will be an ongoing process over the next few years and will hopefully be a way to show the community and taxpayers what students here at Skyline College are learning, linking specific items with the course outlines given to the professors. She is also contributing in facility planning, which is the construction on campus, making sure the remodeling and retrofitting are going as planned.For the time being, Kelly is working with the administration, faculty and staff on moving forward with the facility planning and becoming more familiar with the campus goals and issues. “I want to learn more about the college,” Kelly said. “I want to use my experience to help move the college forward as planned.”There are currently 25 applicants for the now closed position. Each qualified applicant will go through a screening process including many interviews until the district narrows it down to qualified finalists.At that point, those finalists will be brought in for an open forum at the end of September to answer questions from an open floor.”I encourage both students and faculty to attend,” Kelly said. “This will give them an opportunity to get to know the candidates and where they stand on college issues–for example, the budget.”