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Math Department, Mission College, Santa Clara, California

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Ian Walton

This page was created on 5/31/11 as a mirror of Ian's Mission College biography page when he retired from the college.  It will continue to be updated with new activities and information.

Last Updated 6/20/13


Picture of Ian,1994  Picture of Ian,1999  Picture of Ian,2003

Picture of Ian,2004      Ian on Scottish mountain     Ian in Skye, 2011
Ian in 1994 at Mission College   |   Ian in 1999   |   Ian in 2003 in  Utah

Ian in 2004 in Alaska's Prince William Sound    |    Ian in 2005 calling the Senate from a mountaintop in Scotland   |   Ian in 2011 in Skye, Scotland

Ian retired from Mission College at the end of May 2011, after 33 years teaching.

You can contact him by email or calling him at home.

Activities since Retirement in June 2011

In June 2013 Ian was elected as one of five public commissioners on the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC).  His three year term of office begins in July.

In June 2013, Ian ended a one year term as a director for the Academic Senate Foundation for California Community Colleges

In Spring 2013, Ian was scheduled to teach Math CG - Math for Associate Degree Students starting on Wednesday, February 20 and continuing M, W 12:40 - 2:30pm in MT-07.   The class was cancelled due to low enrollment. Go here for Math CG class materials.

Ian has been making music with former Academic Senate colleague Hoke Simpson by exchanging audio files to France.  Ian also plays most weeks at the Open Mic at the Ugly Mug in Soquel.

Ian visited Saddleback College in April 2013 on a project for College Brain Trust.

Ian visited Coastline College in March 2013 with an accreditation site visiting team for ACCJC.

In Spring 2013, Ian and Susan made their usual trips to Salt Lake City, UT, Anchorage, AK and Ashland OR.

In October 2012, Ian travelled to Leeward Community College on Oahu with an accreditation site visiting team for ACCJC.

In September 2012, Ian and Susan returned to Atlantic Canada with a trip from St Johns, Newfoundland, via Gros Morne park and Labrador, ferry to Cape Breton, and the Celtic Colors Music Festival to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

In Summer 2012, Ian and Susan made their usual trip to the United Kingdom with activities including Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford and the 45th anniversary festival of Fairport Convention at Cropredy in Oxfordshire.

In Spring 2012, Ian travelled to Guam Community College with an accreditation site visiting team for ACCJC.

In Fall 2011/Spring 2012 the 48 algebra modules that Ian created in 1984, 85 and 86 became available for free student and instructor use.  They cover all the content normally found in elementary and intermediate algebra. 

Screen capture of graphic The first 17 lessons have been updated to an exciting new graphics format by Mission College Instructional Design using Basic Skills Initiative funds. They are available on Youtube at the following playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL245C823D8A070722 

Screen capture of video The remaining lessons (18 through 48)  have been captured in the original video format and are available on Youtube at the following playlist:  
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL791EDECCE8417FA5

Here is a complete list of lesson titles.

Ian travelled in summer 2011 with a general vacation to Scotland in August, followed by a trip to France to play music with former Senate colleague Hoke Simpson.  He returned to Scotland in September for a forty year reunion of the members of the 1971 St Andrews University Greenland Expedition at the Scottish Mountaineering Club's Raeburn Hut.  The trip also included many hill ascents in very wet weather.

In 2011 work related activities have included several projects for the RP Group including finalist site visits to Miami Dade and Mississippi Gulf Coast for the first ever Aspen Prize for Community Colleges. He also travelled to Washington DC for anAchieve/ACE project related to GED testing and common core mathematics requirements and to the remarkable deep Springs College on an accreditation site visit for ACCJC.  In spring 2012 he expects to travel to Guam for the Accrediting Commission.


Activities prior to retirement from Mission College in June 2011


Haywarwd Award Ceremony 2011  Ian with Chancellor Jack Scott & Senate President Jane Patton, March 2011

In March 2011 Ian received the California Community College Board of Governors Hayward Award for Excellence in Education.  Read the press release here. 

Ian resumed a partial teaching load in Fall 2007 following his service with the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges.  His favorite class is Math for Liberal Arts (Math G) - designed to teach mathematical reasoning and critical thinking to math-anxious students, using research projects, papers and presentations.  See a sample of student work here.

In May 2010, Ian received the Mission College Faculty Recognition Award for Publications and Presentations in recognition of his numerous papers, articles and conference presentations made for the Academic Senate in the past ten years.

In November, 2007 Ian was awarded the John Vasconcellos Faculty Advocate of the Year Award from the Faculty Association for California Community Colleges (FACCC) in recognition of his statewide work as Academic Senate President.
Ian at FACCC conference 2007
Ian at the 2007 FACCC Conference

Ian served as President of the statewide Academic Senate for California Community Colleges from July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2007.  During his term, systemwide associate degree graduation competencies in Math and English were raised, and the system Basic Skills Initiative was created, with Ian, Pam Deegan (CIO) and Robin Richards (CSSO) providing the initial impetus.
Robin, Ian and Pam
BSI Co-conspirators Robin Richards, Ian and Pam Deegan

As past president, he served as chair of the Senate's Noncredit Ad Hoc Committee in 2008-09  and  as chair of their Educational Policies Committee in 2007-08.

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Former Office Location: Main Building N2-403

Former Office Phone and Voicemail: (408) 855-5323

Current Email: ianwvmedu@redshift.com 

Ian began working as a full-time math instructor at Mission College in 1978, following a year of part-time teaching at University of California, Santa Cruz and at Monterey Peninsula College.  At that time Mission College was located at the interim site on Monroe St., Santa Clara.

Mission Academic Senate LogoIan was Mission College College Academic Senate President from 1990 to 1994 and again from 1997-98. (M.C. Senate web page.)

State Academic Senate LogoIn 2007 he completed a two year term as President of the state level Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC), after serving as Vice President for two years and Treasurer for three years.

Picture of Ian and Hoke Simpson   | Picture of Ian and Kate Clark

               Picture of Ian with successor presidents Mark Lieu and Jane Patton in 2010
Ian with ASCCC Past President Hoke Simpson (02-03)     |     Ian with ASCCC Past President Kate Clark (04-05)
Ian with successor ASCCC Presidents Mark Wade Lieu (08-09) and Jane Patton (10-11), also of Mission College, taken in April 2010

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Ian has a B.S. in Pure Mathematics from the University of St. Andrews which he attended from 1969 until 1973. St. Andrews University was founded in 1410 as the first university in Scotland. One of his favorite web pages is a Math History Archive, created by two of his former professors at St. Andrews, at St. Andrews Math History. Ian was President of the St. Andrews University Mountaineering Club and a member of the 1971 university climbing expedition to South Greenland.

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In 1973 he received a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the University of California at Santa Cruz. He received a Masters degree in Mathematics in 1975 and a Ph.D. in 1977 for research in Differential Equations.  For three years he supervised an undergraduate dormitory at Crown College and considers this the best training he received for his later career as a senate president.

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At Mission College, Ian was chair of the math department/division for many years and President of the Mission College Academic Senate from 1990 to 1994 and 1997-98.

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He is also a former budget analyst, newsletter editor, negotiator and webmaster for the faculty union, ACE.


After being local senate president he taught a regular load for three years and was then involved in a Title III project to investigate new methods of delivery for our algebra curriculum. This resulted in the use of new technology mediated learning software produced by local startup company Academic Systems of Mountain View.  Ian was a contract scriptwriter for the Academic Systems material.

For more information on Academic Systems (now Plato) and mediated learning, check out their Academic Net Website

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In Fall 1996 Ian began to work for the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges by serving on their statewide Educational Policies Committee . In Fall 97 he was elected to the fifteen member Executive Committee of the State Academic Senate as representative for Area B (the San Francisco bay region). From 98 to 01 he was chair of the Academic Senate Technology Committee and helped to publish a series of position papers on technology in education. In 01 - 02 he was chair of the Senate's Occupational Education Committee and in 02 - 03 he chaired the Local Senates Committee.

In April 2002 he was re-elected for a third term as Treasurer, one of the five officers of the Academic Senate. He also chaired the Senate's Budget Committee and served as liaison to many of the Chancellor's Office technology and workforce advisory committees, and to the Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates (ICAS) of the three higher education systems in California. He is also a Senate appointee to the mathematics editorial review board of the MERLOT project.

In May 2003 he was elected as Vice President and served two years while also chairing the Educational Policies Committee.

He served as President of the Academic Senate for 2005 - 2007. Issues of particular interest included revising the math and English competency requirements for an associate degree and the resultant systemwide Basic Skills Initiative.  He also assisted Executive Director Julie Adams in the creation of the new Student Senate for California Community Colleges (SSCCC).

Ian speaking at the 2006 Vocational Institute     Ian in the Senate's Sacramento office
Ian speaking at the ASCCC Vocational Institute 2006    |     Ian in the ASCCC Sacramento Office

As past president he has continued with committee work for the Academic Senate, chairing their Educational Policies Committee in 07 - 08 and their Noncredit Committee in 08 - 09.  In 09 - 10 Ian worked on several grant projects supported by the Hewlett Foundation, The Academic Senate and the Research & Planning Group.  In 10-11 Ian joined the Achieve group in Washington DC to advise on a rewrite of the GED math test, and visited Deep Springs College as one of an accreditation visiting team. 

To find a selection of adopted Senate position papers and Rostrum articles that include Ian's work, go to the ASCCC website.

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Paw Logo  Awards

In 1988 Ian received the Mission College Faculty Member of the Year Award - selected by Mission College students.

In 1990 he received the Mission College Award for Excellence in Teaching.

In May 1996 he was selected by the Santa Clara Valley Mathematics Association as their college level Outstanding Mathematics Teacher of the year.

In Fall 1997 he received a "Courageous Leadership" Award from the Community College League of California.

In 1993 he received the Mission College Award for  Publishing Excellence.

In 1997 and 2002 he received the Mission College Award for Service to the Community.

In August 2005, he was named Teacher of the Week by the San Jose Mercury NewsIn September 2006 he received the California Community College Excellence in Technology Leadership Award in a ceremony at the September Board of Governors meeting in Sacramento.


Ian at Technology Awards
Ian in Sacramento with Chancellor Drummond, BoG Member Carolyn Russell, Larry Toy, Patrick Perry and BoG President George Caplan

In December 2006 he received a special award from the California Mathematics Council, Community Colleges in recognition of his work on implementing higher graduation competencies in mathematics and English.

In November 2007 he was awarded the 2007 John Vasconcellos Faculty Advocate of the Year Award from the Faculty Association for California Community Colleges (FACCC).

In May 2010, he received the Mission College Faculty Recognition Award for Publications and Presentations in recognition of his numerous papers, articles and conference presentations made for the Academic Senate in the past ten years.

In March 2011, he received the Hayward Award for Excellence in Education at the CC Board of Governors meeting in Sacramento.


Paw Logo  Other Presentations
In April 2002 he presented at the American Association of Community Colleges annual convention in Seattle, along with his former dissertation advisor Ed Landesman of U.C. Santa Cruz. He made a similar presentation in November 2001at the League for Innovation conference in Minneapolis and in April 2001 at the Technology in Education Conference in Ontario, CA They have also made similar presentations at the the Community College League for Innovation Conference in Phoenix, in November 96, at the California, Mathematics Council in Monterey in December 96, at the State Academic Senate in San Francisco in April 97, and at the Eighth National Conference on Teaching and Learning, Jacksonville, Florida, and at the Technology in Education Conference, San Jose, and again at the same conference in Santa Clara in April 1998. His Academic Senate work involved numerous breakout and keynote presentations at conferences throughout California.

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Ian lives near the beach in Santa Cruz and in his spare time he likes to sing and play Celtic folksongs with a Santa Cruz Guitar company guitar.

Ian playing at Eco Fair 2011   Ian at Mission College Eco Fair Spring 2011

      In May 96, he played the "BraveHeart" selection of Scottish battle songs in the center space at Mission College and in May 97 performed a selection of songs for the college's Earth Day celebrations and in April 2001 for the college's Ethnic Day activities.  He has performed for the college's annual Eco Fair in spring 2009 - 13.


Paw Logo   He also writes articles on his outdoor and teaching activities, including:

'The Maids have all gone from Glen Brittle' an article about a reunion climb in the Cuillin of Skye, published in 1997 by the leading annual British climbing publication, the Scottish Mountaineering Club Journal,

'Land of Desert and Ice' an article about a backpack trip to arctic Canada's Ellesmere Island, published in 1995 by the Austrian Alpine Club Newsletter,

'Teaching in the Wilderness' an article on the similar personalities encountered in the classroom and while leading wilderness trips, published by the CA State Academic Senate in the 1993 edition of Forum magazine,

'The Stories Students Tell' an article consisting of quotations from students in Mission College's Math G - Math for Liberal Arts class, published by the CA State Academic Senate in the 1998 edition of Forum magazine.

For additional outdoor and educational artciles click here

Paw Logo  Outdoor Activities

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In winter he likes to snow ski and in summer he hikes and leads sea kayak trips for the Sierra Club National Outings program to Alaska's Glacier Bay, Prince William Sound, Kenai Fjords and Misty Fjords. He has also explored in Greenland and Ellesmere Island in arctic Canada.

In summer 04 he guided a nine day Sierra Club trip called "Kayak the Glaciers - Prince William Sound".

For pictures go to 2004 Kayak Pictures

Click for more general information on Sierra Club Outings.

Photo of Ian paddling below Tiger Glacier, Prince William Sound Click for a larger picture of Ian paddling below Tiger Glacier, Prince William Sound.

Follow this link to see more photographs of sea kayak trips to Prince William Sound.

Follow this link to see some photographs of climbing in Scotland.

Follow this link to see some photographs of the 1971 University of St Andrews Expedition to South Greenland.


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Paw Logo  Recent Classes

Spring 2010 Ian taught Math for Liberal Arts Students.

Fall 2009 Ian taught  Math for Liberal Arts Students.

Spring 2009 Ian taught  Math for Liberal Arts Students.

Fall 2008 Ian taught  Math for Liberal Arts Students.

Spring 2008  Ian taught Finite Math.

Fall 2007 Ian taught Finite Math.

2004 - 2007  -  Ian was on 100% reassigned time to the Academic Senate and was not teaching .

Spring 04 classes included Math for Liberal Arts Students.

Fall 03 classes included Math for Liberal Arts Students.

Spring 03 classes included Math for Liberal Arts Students.

Fall 02 classes included Math for Liberal Arts Students.

Spring 02 classes included Math for Liberal Arts Students.

Fall 01 classes included Math for Liberal Arts Students.

Spring 01 classes included Math for Liberal Arts Students.

Fall 00 classes included Math for Liberal Arts Students and an online version of Intermediate Algebra, using Academic Systems software.

Spring 00 classes included Math for Liberal Arts Students.

Fall 99 classes included Math for Liberal Arts Students and Intermediate Algebra using Academic Systems software.

Spring 99 classes included Math for Liberal Arts Students.

Fall 98 classes included Math for Liberal Arts Students and Intermediate Algebra using Academic Systems software.

Spring 98 classes included Math for Liberal Arts Students.

Fall 97 classes included Elementary Algebra using Academic Systems software, and Math for Liberal Arts Students.

Spring 97 classes included Elementary Algebra using Academic Systems software, Algebra Review, Statistics and Math for Liberal Arts Students.

Fall 96 classes included Elementary Algebra using Academic Systems software, Statistics and Math for Liberal Arts Students.

Spring 96 classes included Statistics, Business Calculus and Math for Liberal Arts Students.

Fall 95 classes included Intermediate Algebra, Trigonometry, Business Calculus and Math for Liberal Arts Students.

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