January 24, 2012
To the Pacific Oaks Learning Community:
It is with great excitement that I write to you to announce my arrival to Pasadena and the campus of Pacific Oaks. I visited the college over the weekend and met with students and faculty in their classes, a wonderful experience. With each passing day, I become more impressed with this institution’s strong heritage, its mission of social justice, and the eagerness of the Trustees, faculty, alumni, and students, to position the college and children’s school toward a prosperous future.
It is with pride in what we intend to achieve and gratitude to each of you that I accepted the presidency. It was a decision made after significant consultation with my family as this community will be our home for years to come. We all look forward to forming fond memories of our time here and I already feel a deep affection for all that that Pacific Oaks stands for and has accomplished.
Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School is strong today because of your work and passion for its cause. I am committed to standing with you and the broader community to carry on this work, to give Pacific Oaks the future it deserves, ensure its sustainability, serve its students and alumni, and advance its mission.
John Dewey once stated about communication that it is the means in which we come to possess the things we have in common; and that what we need to have in common in order to form a community is what Dewey called the “aims, beliefs, aspirations, knowledge—a common understanding—like-mindedness as the sociologists say.” He said, “such things cannot be passed physically from one to another, like bricks; they cannot be shared as persons would share a pie by dividing it into physical pieces. The communication which ensures participation in a common understanding is one which secures similar emotional and intellectual dispositions—like ways of responding to expectations and requirements.” I am a student of Dewey’s philosophy, share his views on communication, and commit to being an accessible, responsive, and fair partner in how we carry on the legacy of his noble institution where we learn, teach, and work.
I look forward to our ongoing dialogue and discourse to excel Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School toward a bright future.
Ezat Parnia, Ph.D.
Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School
Letter from Board Chair Dorothy Farris Announcing Dr. Ezat Parnia as new President of Pacific Oaks.