National community college leaders are telling campuses nationwide that California community colleges’ response to the recent wildfires is an example of best practices.
“I think people are beginning to realize that these are natural, go-to institutions in times of crisis,” said Noah Brown, CEO of the Association of Community College Trustees.
His group published a newsletter this month that described how administrators, faculty and staff at Napa Valley College, Santa Rosa Junior College, Ventura College and other campuses sprang into action during the fires and worked with the surrounding communities to help in the recovery effort.
“People look at higher ed as the ivory tower. What happened at these colleges: the deans were sweeping the floor. Staff, faculty, and administrators were boxing up things. They were doing everything and anything,” said Norma Goldstein, a director at the association who wrote the newsletter about the colleges.
As California officials warn that fires may become more frequent and natural disasters and emergencies such as shootings affect communities nationwide, the review of California colleges’ disaster readiness is a good readiness template, college officials said, for other campuses to follow.