Feeling anxious, proud, happy, and sad, I am writing the last letter to you as Mt. SAC President. My years of leading and serving the Mt. SAC family have been the best years of my career, and I will miss all of you and the great, collective skill, passion, and commitment you give to students. When we hear and say that Mt. SAC is a special place, the college of champions, I often think that we take that acknowledgement for granted, not realizing what, exactly, sets Mt. SAC apart from so many other colleges. As someone who visits many community colleges and talks regularly with many college presidents and chancellors, I believe I have a good sense of what sets Mt. SAC apart – you.
Beginning with the Board of Trustees, who give Mt. SAC vision, stability, and endless leadership and support, and including all faculty, staff, and managers, the Mt. SAC family is truly a cohesive, mutually supportive team that is focused on students and the college mission. The list of accomplishments and accolades, both for students and employees, grows longer each year, and I have to attribute a lot of that success to the climate and chemistry that exists at Mt. SAC. We have wonderfully talented, dedicated faculty, staff, and administrators here who are able to flourish professionally because of the supportive climate and chemistry. I have met many talented professionals from many other colleges who do not feel encouraged to exceed, innovate, or even work hard because, beginning with the local Board of Trustees, climate and chemistry are stifling, if not toxic. The opposite is true at Mt. SAC and has been true for many years. I hope that all of you recognize the magic that you have created at Mt. SAC, never letting go of the climate and chemistry that has produced the college of champions.
The significant fiscal challenges we have faced over the past four years have not deterred you from guiding students to new heights of success, and, although the fiscal challenges have not abated, I am confident that you will continue to work together in determining the right course of action that maintains excellence, both for students and for employees. If I have one regret in terms of leaving the college is that I was not able see us through the fiscal crisis, but I am certain that President Bill Scroggins will continue the good, collaborative work that has kept us afloat and focused so far. I will miss Mt. SAC, but to say that is to say that I will miss all of you. I thank you for the support and confidence you have given to me over the years, and I wish you well in the years to come.
John S. Nixon, Ph.D.