Re: Request for Info on Alternative Organizational Structures

Tobin Quereau (
Tue, 13 Dec 1994 08:52:34 -0600 (CST)

I'm also interested, Jim, in transforming the community college
institution into a "learning" as well as a teaching institution. While
Austin Community College is not small--26,000 credit students at this
point--I think we face some of the same constraints in facilitating such
a shift. First of all, the very regulatory and political conditions under
which we work tend to restrict us more to
conventional--accredited--structures. We are funded and evaluated under
the established order which is clearly _not_ of the learning organization
ilk! So I wouldn't expect much change in those structures very rapidly.

However, there is hope for us in some other directions I believe. At ACC
we are initiating a series of six "future search" conferences this
semester which will bring together groups of about 64 key people from
within and outside of our institution to create our collective shared
vision of who and what we want to be twenty years from now.

Since the process is built on contributions from people from across the
whole institution--including outside stakeholders--and is designed to
outline our "preferred" future, our hope is that we will be able to
break free of some of our most basic assumptions and expectations to
discover what new possibilities--or learnings--are out there.

As community colleges we at least have less departmental and disciplinary
turf to negotiate than "world class" universities have. Maybe we can be
part of the path of "learning" for them as well.

As we get through the next stage of our process, I'll keep the list
posted on the outcomes and learnings that we create.

Tobin Quereau
Coordinator, Staff and Organizational Learning
Austin Community College
5930 Middle Fiskville Rd.
Austin, Texas 78752

On Sun, 11 Dec 1994, Jim Foote wrote:

> I am interested in any examples of innovative organizational
> structures that have been proposed for small (2,000 student)
> comprehensive community colleges. Traditionally program and/or
> departments are discipline focused (such as Nursing, Office
> Administration, Early Childhood Education, etc.). Has anyone out
> there seen any creative alternative groupings or organizational
> realignments designed to foster a learning or TQM organization?
> It is hard to break out of the traditional disciplinary view -
> which does seem to have some positive characteristics.
> Furthermore, Im more interested in practical examples rather
> untried theoretical models, however, any feedback would be greatly
> appreciated.
> *******************************************************************
> Jim Foote
> Dean, Academic and Career Programs Phone: (403) 791-4812
> Keyano College FAX: (403) 791-4841
> 8115 Franklin Avenue
> Fort McMurray, Alberta, CANADA
> T9H 2H7
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