Friday Letter, 10-16-15

Let’s start off with the most exciting news of the week! I entered a competition with Top Pot donuts to have them make a donut with our school colors.  Low and behold, I won!!  During one week in November, the Redmond branch will feature our donut and proudly display a Cascadia banner.  As well, I will get donuts to deliver at Cascadia.  I’m planning to do a “walk-around” on Friday, October 30 to show off my Halloween costume AND deliver a Cascadia donut to those employees I come across.  I only get 36 donuts for campus, so you may only be able to have a ¼ donut…but who needs the calories anyway, right?  Yay for us.  We now have a donut in our honor.

Onto other news…the Navigators met for the first time this year on Monday. It was good to have all of the representatives around the table.  We began discussions on some of the feedback we received last spring (e.g., the Faculty Leadership survey and the College Employee Satisfaction Survey).  As well, we talked about several of the upcoming topics that will be important for campus, including safety officers, the Foundation, and Tent City.  These items ultimately will be discussed by the Trustees, but the Navigators will act in an advisory capacity as we develop information on these topics.  I’d like to encourage you to connect with your Navigator each time the monthly email reminder comes out.

I spent some time with the Founding Faculty this week learning about the differences between the Cascadia of 2000 and the Cascadia of 2015. My goal was to determine how I can help steer the college to become the Cascadia of 2030.  While we all are a part of that journey, the historical perspective on governance and college values is important.  Their suggestions about the role of administration, Faculty Assembly, and college effectiveness will be considered as we continue making decisions about future paths.  The meeting was so engaging that I want to start replicating the opportunity with other small groups of employees over the next few quarters.  Look out for an invitation!

Speaking of small groups, the Classified Assembly and I had our quarterly Ted Talk last week. The topic was about “duality” and helped us have a great conversation about standing up for our personal values while also supporting pluralism/duality.  Thanks to all of the classified staff who attended the meeting and participated.  I get a lot of joy out of those meetings.

Last night was spent with yet another small group, but not ones with whom we often interact. The Masons Lodge set up a scholarship endowment with us and Mark Collins and I (along with two Foundation Board members) attended a dinner where that gift was received.  The Masons are very invested in the community and youth welfare.  We’re happy to be the stewards of their money and hope that it helps additional students to succeed at Cascadia.

Our next Day for Inquiry and Assembly (DIA) is on Tuesday October 27 from 9am-4pm. As a reminder, this is a non-instructional day. Doors open at 8:30am and light refreshments will be available at that time. The program begins promptly at 9am and your participation through 4pm is expected. The topic of the day is diversity and inclusion and will be guided by Caprice Hollins and Ilsa Govan of Cultures Connecting. They look forward to engaging you in learning and also several interactive and experiential activities. A one-hour lunch break will begin sometime around Noon or 12:30pm; we will be providing subway sandwiches, chips, and fruit for lunch! Coffee will be available all day but if you want another beverage, please bring a couple dollars for the vending machine or your own. You have each received an Outlook invitation from Samantha Brown that will show on your calendar. Your RSVP by October 21 is key to ensuring enough coffee, food, chairs, and materials for all. If you do not see your invitation, email Samantha ( and she will send it to you. I look forward to seeing you there and to joining you on this important journey of intercultural competence development.

Have a great weekend.

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