President’s Friday Letter, 2-20-15

This has been an exciting week for me.

It has been two years since we presented candidates to the Board of Trustees for tenure.  This week, three of our candidates presented their work to the Board and spent time with them on Wednesday.  This moment is exciting for two reasons.

First, the faculty union and I have worked hard to iron out kinks in our process.  From how the Board meets the candidates, to the style and presentation of the portfolio, to the timing of the process…we have gotten better at how we prepare and present our candidates.  We have also gotten better at how we prepare our Trustees.  Thank you to David Shapiro and all of our chairs over the last few years…you have helped make this process smooth.

Second, the candidates themselves are impressive.  Our process allows for flexibility and three of our candidates (Nano, Natasa, and Chris) presented their work this week.  Their portfolios were amazing because of the dedication they had to learning and development over the last few years.  They did well with the Board.  Gail will present her material in April & May and I look forward to that process as well.  We all continue to learn how to make this process better and this year was no exception.  Professional Technical faculty face some additional challenges as they prepare for tenure and I think we have finally recognized this.  I look forward to seeing how we can improve the process for those faculty.

This week was also exciting because we are approaching the adoption of a model about how we want to develop the campus’s Intercultural Competency.  The Pluralism and Social Justice Committee has worked most of the year to develop a training model that will allow for sustained learning.  Frankly, I am tired of “drive-by” workshops on diversity and other important topics.  Instead, we are proposing a system by which each individual on campus can be challenged to learn more about themselves and the various interacting cultures of campus.  This model has had input from faculty, the executive team, and various committees.  I will roll out the model to the assemblies this month and am excited to hear your feedback.  We have a commitment to promoting the success of all students and, as President, I have decided that we all must work collaboratively to improve our intercultural competency.

Other highlights of the week:  our Advisory Council which is helping to develop a new Foundation model met for the first time.  Their input will lead us to a Business Plan for the “New Foundation” that will be presented to the Trustees this summer.  Also, I host a “Leadership Academy” this afternoon for a cohort of employees from Everett Community College. They are visiting for 90 minutes to hear about our model of shared governance and leadership on campus.

Fun stuff!  Have a great weekend.

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