Julie Swan Hatoff
Vice President Instruction, MiraCosta College
Chief Instructional Officers usually have one strong suit. It might be an extraordinary interrelationship with faculty and staff, including clear communication skills, open and receptive leadership style, high regard for all members of the college as contributors to students’ education, and active commitment to a diverse organization. Or a CIO might be particularly dedicated to a rigorous curriculum meeting the needs of students as contributors to the workforce and the community. Or an instructional administrator might have a vision for the institution’s physical campus the teaching environment, the academic workplace, the intellectual, cultural, and aesthetic setting for student development.
Occasionally a CIO may have more than one passion. It is rare that one would have all three. In 1983 Julie became MiraCosta’s Vice President of Instruction. Those of us who made up her team of instructional deans the past two decades have been inspired by her nonhierarchal leadership style, her belief in systems and continuous quality improvement, and her profound interest in the most current teaching and learning research.
Julie annually leads faculty and administrators to read and discuss books by the nation’s leading educators and implement more effective teaching strategies. She continuously supports faculty participation in conferences, teaching academies, and visits to other innovative colleges. The college curriculum has been strengthened dramatically under Julie’s leadership. MiraCosta’s Academic Policies and Procedures Committee took up her challenge to put all courses into a Web Curriculum Management System in one year, insuring that critical thinking, writing across the curriculum, and applied learning are integrated into every course.
Julie’s commitment to students has always extended beyond the classroom. In her role as Vice President of Instruction, she initiated Study Abroad, Service Learning, Student Internships, Honors Scholar, and Enrichment Seminar programs. One of Julie’s ongoing campaigns has been to create a comfortable environment for students. Because of her involvement, with each new building came outdoor spaces for students to gather.
From the time Julie came to MiraCosta, she dreamt of a new library in the heart of the campus. With skeptics predicting that funding would not be granted, Julie pursued her dream and in 2002, due to her determination, the MiraCosta Information Hub was constructed, standing in the center of the campus, just where Julie had pictured it. At the same time, Julie facilitated a new Children’s Center. In recognition, faculty and staff and commissioned a work of art and donated hundreds of children’s books in her name.
This is the dynamic microcosm of Julie Hatoff. Beyond MiraCosta College, she has contributed to other colleges, statewide organizations, and national projects. She has served on ten accreditation teams. She created the North County Higher Education Alliance. She served as president of the California Chief Instructional Officers association, served on the National Workforce Development Team, and served as president of National Council of Instructional Administrators.
The Carter Doran Leadership Award criteria provide the blueprint for the ideal Chief Instructional Officer. Julie Swan Hatoff has followed that blueprint all of her career.