El Camino College presidential finalist David Doré shares plans to ensure student resources and opportunities

Presidential candidate for El Camino Community College, David Doré plans to work with social service agencies and community-based organizations to ensure resources are being provided to students.

The presidential candidate forum was held via Zoom on Wednesday, April 28. Vice President at PPL inc., the company aiding the hiring process, Lisa Sugimoto asked questions that were submitted by the audience prior to the forum.

The Union compiled three of the questions and answers from the forum.

Q. Why do you want to be the president of El Camino College and if selected what will be your top two priorities in the first year?

Doré: “In terms of two priorities, I think they very much aligned with what is going on nationally right now. We have suffered through a pandemic that has had devastating effects particularly on communities of color.

“I think the work that has been done around diversity, equity and inclusion would be a top priority for me to ensure that this work continues and to ensure that the college strives to become truly an anti-racist college.

“The second priority would really be to ensure a safe experience in a post-pandemic world for students. There [are] a lot of changes that are happening in higher education and I think the pandemic is impacting community colleges on a lot of levels.”

Q. How will you identify, secure, nurture and grow the best industry partnerships to advance employment opportunities for our students?

Doré: “I think that will be one of the strongest elements that I can bring because I’ve spent a most good chunk of my career building [business and industry partnerships]. In that relationship, it really is about alignment and it really is about alignment across the entire college so that every program is really aligned to best practices in the industry.

“I want to give some examples of some of the work that I’ve been involved in at Pima Community College. We launched, as part of our education and facilities master plan in 2015, what came out of that was the launching of a number of centers of excellence. And the centers of excellence are specifically, strategically aligned to the key growth sectors of southern Arizona.

“What we’ve done is strategically established our centers, we have six centers, and we’ve established them with the alignment with these key growth sectors. And before we began, really any development and planning of the centers, we held a number of summits. And these were attended very well by the key industry leaders in each of these sectors.

“We not only held these summits with industries, but we held them with our students. We held them with our students, faculty and with our staff. And from those summits, we have shaped the centers and we move forward with the planning and in many of these, it’s been an investment of extensive facilities improvements and so forth.

Q. What do you intend on doing within your first year as superintendent and president, if you were appointed? And what about within the next five years?

Doré: “I think for the first year, I want to emphasize again, it really will be focused on this transition to a post COVID world and what that looks like for our students, what that looks like in terms of the delivery of services. [We’re] going to be providing services and providing multiple delivery methods of education, of instruction and [of] student services.

“As I already mentioned before, the college is doing and engaged in, I think very important work around diversity, equity and inclusion. And this is a pivotal moment in our nation, right? That we must address this deep-rooted structural racism and inequity that really pervades our society.

“I think the year would be important to work not just within the college, but to work with the broader community because addressing structural equity requires intentionality about working across that entire ecosystem. Working with business and industry, and working with the government and working with our social agencies and so forth.

“Those are going to be, I think, really important focuses of my first year. In terms of the five years, [one] very important aspect is the Chancellor’s vision for success. I think that is a goal that is very concrete. That will be critical to my leadership is to ensure that we are actually increasing our transfers, we’re increasing these post-secondary credentials.

“I think this is an issue that would be very important to me over the next five years, is to ensure alignment with business and industry. So that our programs are in fact aligned so that our students, not only are persisting and completing, but that our students are being successful and being offered living wage jobs, high skill [and] high wage jobs.

“There are some significant challenges ahead in terms of the budget, in terms of looking at now new pot, new pipelines of students that we will need to address. Enrollment is not just about attracting students, but enrollment is about completing students and having a value proposition for students in the South Bay. My goal would be to ensure that every resident of the South Bay, every resident has access to higher education.”

Editors note April 29. : Addition of a quote to clarify the answer.