Personal Reflection - Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Personal Reflection

September 18, 2014

Dear IMSA Family,

As I complete my first official week as President of IMSA, I want to inform you of some ways that I intend to create channels of communication with faculty and staff. This “Personal Reflection” is designed to allow me to share my thinking and reflections with you and may evolve to include updates and announcements from the President’s Office. From time to time, I will also solicit your input as a way to foster two-way communication, and will most likely distribute these messages more broadly to our IMSA community. This is in an effort to inform and engage them as they are part of our broader IMSA family.

While this is my first official week at IMSA, I have already spent 15 days on campus. I’ve participated in and observed faculty meetings, visited classrooms, dropped by the powder puff game (seniors rule!), visited with food services personnel in the cafeteria, and led my first Board of Trustees meeting. At the Board meeting, I presented my Listening and Learning Plan (http://bit.ly/imsalistening). I informed the Trustees that I will have completed one-on-one meetings with 10 of the 11 Board of Trustee members as of the end of next week, met with approximately 20 staff and faculty leaders, held many informal conversations with students, and contacted over 15 elected officials and several state government officials including the Executive Directors for the Board of Higher Education and of the Capital Development Board. On Monday, my first official day, I also held a conference call with Chris Koch, the IL State Board of Education Superintendent and a member of his senior staff.

So, I’m off to a running start. I’m learning a lot and asking many questions. I’ve been impressed with the commitment students, faculty, and staff have to IMSA and their desire for strong leadership and direction. And, I look forward to the many great things we shall create, accomplish and become together.

As many of you know, I have established office hours for faculty, set up an all-staff & faculty meeting, and am establishing times to meet with students and parent leaders. I continue to hold one-on-one meetings with folks here at IMSA, as well as leaders in our larger community.

Finally, effective September 15, I’ve made a few changes to the organization of the Academy’s leadership as follows (new organization chart is attached):

Following her interim role as President for the Academy, Cathy Veal will serve as the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Policy, reporting directly to me. Marketing and Innovation will continue to report to Cathy in this role. She will also be working with me to assess and revise as necessary the status of our policies and assist me with our important legislative work.

Paul Milano, Executive Director of Development, will report directly to me. As President, I am responsible for the advancement of the Academy and need to have this direct reporting relationship for optimal results.

Adrienne Coleman, Multicultural Education Specialist, will report directly to me. At the Board of Trustees meeting, I indicated to the Board that we cannot have excellence without equity, nor equity without excellence. I want to provide leadership for the Board approved Diversity Plan, and having Dr. Coleman report to me will help move this initiative forward.

This is all for now. Have a great Friday and weekend.

Respectfully,
Jose M. Torres