Newly appointed to a state oversight committee, College of the Canyons Chancellor Dianne Van Hook will soon have the chance to influence how the state meets the needs of its 2.1 million community college students.
Assemblywoman Christy Smith joined Van Hook, college leaders and residents of the community at Smith’s alma mater Monday for a brief swearing-in ceremony that would complete Van Hook’s appointment to the Community College Student Success Funding Formula Oversight Committee.
The committee is tasked with reviewing the implementation of a new state funding formula in accordance to Assembly Bill 1809, which states a legislative intent to adopt a formula that encourages access for underrepresented students, allows additional support for low-income students and rewards colleges’ progress on improving student success, among others.
COC Chancellor Dianne Van Hook
“I was very involved in the analysis of the funding formula, along with many college staff (members).”
Following a nomination from Smith and an appointment from Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Van Hook became one of 12 people in the state who were selected to serve on the committee.
“Her depths of knowledge, understanding of the unique mission of community colleges and real-time administration over current funding challenges position her to be a powerful advocate for the community college students in our district and the state,” Smith said of Van Hook — who has previously mentioned that she is no stranger to California’s educational funding formula, especially once one considers her experience as a chancellor.
When she first assumed her position as head of COC in 1987, Van Hook immediately went to work attempting to change the colleges’ funding formula after she realized that it was not in the college’s favor.
“We were serving 23 percent more students than we were getting paid for, and the college was doing that for about three years,” Van Hook previously said as she mentioned the importance of the state funding formula.
When she learned of her appointment to the committee, Van Hook said, she swiftly began digging up old files and information from the last three decades, which she and her fellow 11 committee members will use to ensure that the state’s formula allows for increased equity so all of the state’s 114 community colleges can benefit, no matter where they may be.
“I was very involved in the analysis of the funding formula, along with many college staff (members),” Van Hook said during her swearing-in ceremony, adding that she looks forward to taking a seat at the table and helping place context around the formula to see how it can be improved.
“It’s an honor indeed,” Van Hook said. “I’ll do my very best.”