ACC board reviews first draft of academic master plan

On May 6, the Austin Community College board of trustees reviewed the first draft of the academic master plan, which identifies 44 college needs.

Those needs include expanding study abroad education, developing of programs for high school students to start college early and creating a hospitality and culinary center.

Board President Jeffrey Richards and trustee Nan McRaven expressed concern that the academic master plan is not as detailed as they would like at this point in the process. The board is still considering a Nov. 5 bond election.

"I am surprised that I did not see more detail in this document," Richards said. "Unfortunately the conversation tonight has not convinced me that we have efficient detail to inform the budget and bond committee for the specificity that they will need."

McRaven agreed.

"This is not what I expected," she said. "A list of 44 items that we could be, should be, might already be doing, actually does not sound to me like a vetted academic master plan."

Solis said details for the plan will come at a later date when Phases II and III of the plan are implemented in May through October.

ACC President Richard Rhodes stressed the importance of allowing public feedback during the development of the plan to gain voter support and to let them be a part of the dream for ACC's future.

"It's is a living document," he said. "This is something that will never be finished."

Interim Provost Enrique Solis said the presentation was meant to highlight some of the findings thus far in creating the plan. The purpose of the academic master plan is to address the college's goals and initiatives and to assess its progress.

"We wanted to let creativity flow," Solis said. "We wanted folks to think without blinders, without any parameters regarding budgetary restrictions, to just say, 'What do we want to do over the next three years and beyond?"

The draft is the product of several meetings, discussions and studies with various organizations, including campus advisory committees, the Texas Workforce Commission and the Austin Chamber of Commerce in the past seven months.

A more solidified version of the plan is expected to be completed by Oct. 31. For more information about ACC's Academic Master Plan, visit the website.


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