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Julianna Barnes new VP at Cuyamaca College

Posted on: Nov 2, 2010 1:00:00 AM

Contact: Della Elliott

Julianna Barnes new VP at Cuyamaca College

Former San Diego City College dean will head student services 

EL CAJON – Julianna Barnes, who began her new job Monday as vice president of student services at Cuyamaca College, is not the sort to take things lying down.

A black belt in karate, she relishes going to the mat to stake a position when challenged.

With California in the throes of a financial crisis of historic proportions, Barnes said it’s easy to dwell on slashed budgets, staff shortages and drastically reduced course offerings plaguing community colleges throughout the state. But that doesn’t help students, she said.

“During bad budgetary times, it is easy to focus on what we do not have,” said Barnes, who was a dean at San Diego City College until she came to Cuyamaca.  “However, our students count on us to focus on what we do have, and to build upon that. Reframing how we deliver service and instruction is particularly critical when budgets are tight. This is possible through focused, intentional efforts that include employing effective practices both in and out of the classroom.

“Our public demands it, our state needs it, and our students deserve it.”

 One  cost-cutting measure she cited that ultimately improved services occurred when the  counseling office at San Diego City College changed its operation to include more group sessions for first-time students, promoting the use of  a new online orientation and reserving limited counseling appointments for students closer to transferring to a university or graduation. The pilot program proved successful enough that the practice has since become permanent.

As vice president of student services at Cuyamaca College,  Barnes oversees a half-dozen administrators and is responsible for nearly two dozen services and functions, including admission and records, assessment services, athletics, financial aid and scholarships, the university transfer center, student affairs, health and wellness services, high school and community outreach, and more.

Barnes comes to Cuyamaca College after 11 years as a community college administrator, most recently as dean of student development and matriculation at San Diego City College, where she started in 2007. Prior to that, she worked from 1999 to 2007 as dean of student affairs and matriculation at San Diego Miramar College. For the decade before that, she worked in a variety of student affairs programs at the University of California, San Diego.

Her introduction to community colleges came during her early years at UCSD when Barnes worked in admissions and outreach and helped community college transfer students make the transition to the university.

“I had always been enlightened by the community colleges’ mission to provide open access to all,” she said. “As such, I felt a calling to serve in the community colleges.”

Robert Garber, interim president at Cuyamaca College, called Barnes a key addition to Cuyamaca College and said he is confident her experience and expertise in the area of student services will benefit the college and students, in particular.

“Julianna’s boundless energy and her commitment to student success are a winning combination for the college,” he said. “Her creative approaches to problem-solving and her ability to motivate others are also strengths that will pay off enormously for the college.”

A native San Diegan, Barnes received her doctorate in educational leadership with a community college specialization from San Diego State University; her master’s in education with an emphasis in multicultural counseling, also from SDSU and her bachelor’s in sociology with a minor in teacher education from UCSD.

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