President’s Update: April 28, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

You continue to inspire me with the many ways you are helping our students and each other navigate this unfamiliar terrain. Thank you. You are making a difference. See the latest issue of Inside SFCC, which describes some of the outstanding outreach that has been implemented to further engage our students.

Please welcome Luis Olivas, our new Director of Human Resources. He is excited to help serve everyone here at SFCC and further the college’s mission of empowering students and strengthening the community. This is Luis’ first role in higher education. Past experience has included tech startups, tribal casinos, large insurance brokerages, heavy manufacturing, and consulting. Originally from Albuquerque, Luis received a B.A. in Sociology and an MBA, both from UNM. His interests include hiking the length of the Rio Grande, promoting primary and secondary educational equity, and spending time outside.

We had an excellent accreditation visit with the Higher Learning Commission Peer Review Team in February. Once again, I want to thank all those who participated. We anticipate that the next step of approval at the HLC will be in early May. Once that is finalized, we will receive a copy of the report and recommendations.

Community colleges historically tend to see a surge in enrollment during times of economic uncertainty. However, the circumstances around covid-19 seem to be driving college enrollment downward nationwide. As SFCC continues to steady itself in response to covid-19 and an adjustment to an online learning environment, the college has begun to release a variety of public campaigns to remind the community and prospective students that a community college education is still within their reach during this time, and that they will receive the support they need to be successful. Enrollment numbers show that dual credit students continue to make up an important piece of our credit enrollment.

In addition to traditional advertising methods, SFCC is reaching out to prospective students using a variety of channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Google, YouTube, SnapChat, and Spotify. Our marketing and recruitment team is exploring opportunities and challenges associated with expanding our online learning recruitment efforts into broader regional and national markets. Many of these messages are specifically targeted to reach populations not yet with degrees, or who are most likely to attend community college. We are also exploring ways to reach prospective students who may have put their plans for a four-year college or university on hold. The Marketing and Public Relations Department’s Monday newsletter, Campus Weekly, continues to serve as the best vehicle for sharing your news. Submit your information through the MPR Job Request.

Continuing Education has launched a new online registration system featuring summer class offerings. Now students can register for noncredit classes anywhere, anytime. Continuing Education will offer online personal enrichment classes along with online professional development classes on UGotClass and Ed2Go. To use your EEBs for Continuing Education classes, complete the EEB form before you register, then contact Continuing Education at or 505-428-1676. Their team will help you and your dependents complete registration.

Construction is progressing rapidly on the Automotive Technologies Center. All steel has been erected and the building will soon be fully enclosed. Though the project may experience some delays due to covid-19, it remains well within budget and on track to receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.

As expected, the April Governing Board meeting focused on the budget. We are required to submit a budget based on the Legislature’s House Bill 2 appropriation that was approved earlier this year when funds were plentiful. However, due to the coronavirus and diminished oil and gas revenues, we know that appropriation will likely be cut 10 to 25 percent during a special session in June. The Financial Services Office is working hard to prepare scenarios so that we are better equipped to address the financial situation once the Legislature approves a revised budget.

Your mental health is important. I encourage employees who may be struggling in these unprecedented times to access SFCC’s free, private counseling. Contact the Employee Assistance Program at ComPsych Guidance Resources at 866-676-3367. SFCC’s covid-19 site and our Facebook page SFCC – In This Together are also helpful.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay connected. SFCC – In This Together.



Becky Rowley, Ph.D.