Friday Letter, 11-6-15

I spent the early part of the week in Bellingham at the monthly President’s meeting. Those tend to be exhausting.  Here’s a quick glimpse of how those go:

We meet first for an “academy”. This is 3+ hours of time where we discuss a special topic.  The topic this time around was “Should the CTC system have the authority to teach BS and BA degrees?”  We discussed this at length and formed a task force to research the idea.  I am now Vice Chair of the task force.  Bellevue College is already independently pursuing this authority from the legislature.

We then move into committee meetings. I chair the Capital Committee.  My job is to oversee the state-wide process for selecting new building projects and assuring all of our minor works money is spent.  Cascadia’s project (CC-4) will be among those competing for 3 new building slots.  A total of 10 colleges can compete in this round.

I then move onto the Executive Committee. Since I am chair of Capital, it means I’m a part of Exec and I “get” to go to another meeting.  We then decide on which issues we will handle as a small group or bring to the whole group the next day.

The first day caps off with dinner and speaker. Our dinner this week included Rep Chris Reykdal, who spoke to us about how the House views community colleges.  Basically, there is no money and we have to fight for our share of the pie.

That’s the first day…about 8am to 8pm. The next day is spent at the Business Meeting.  We convene at 8am and adjourn around noon. This week each committee gave a report; there were updates about ctcLink, our legislative agenda, budget, and other areas.  This can tend to be the most tedious part of the two days.

As president, my job is not contained to just campus management and local community affairs. It includes this system-steering responsibility that helps me keep perspective on things outside of Cascadia.  Some of the other presidents were teasing me a bit calling Cascadia a “utopia”.  We have DIAs and Cavolines (things they would like to do), interest-based bargaining that works really well on our campus (it doesn’t on theirs), we don’t have to directly supervise Residence Halls, Athletics, Custodial Services, or Facilities (things which can be challenges), our enrollment is up (theirs is not), and to top it all off…

We have a cornucopia!

Have a great weekend.

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