Friday Letter, 3-18-16

As promised, a letter filled with updates:

The Trustees meeting was last night. They continued their review of the Tent City proposal, were updated on the work of the Space Task Force, had an emergency preparedness update, were informed about the progress of International Programs, and concluded with a budget update.

  • The decision on Tent City will be made in May. Please know that there are many factors influencing this decision, including cost, our relationship with UW, other competing initiatives as well as our passion for using this opportunity.
  • The Space Task Force members are in the process of visiting Assemblies to share their results on how to create more space. We expect our student population to grow by 17% in the next 5 years and our employee number to grow by 33%. That means accommodating a lot of people.
  • We continue to train and become more prepared for emergencies. We are on track with UW in getting ready for the “Cascadia Rising” 3-day event in June, or Emergency Operations Center is ready to go, and we are in discussions with Bothell PD about assigning an officer to campus for visibility and connectivity to the police department.
  • The Budget Council has started their work. We have a number of one-time initiatives that we are mandated to pay for (like ctcLink and employee steps and legislative court cases). We think we have enough left-over from this year to cover all of that. The forecast for our operating budget for next year is about at “break-even”, but that doesn’t include any new initiatives or positions. We hope to gain a little capacity in the next few months so we can add resources to campus. Make sure to look at the my.cascadia Budget Council site and stay in touch with your Budget Council representative.
  • Thanks to Dr. Mari for her presentation on International Programs. Looks like we’re strong and the team is doing a great job.

Other news of interest:

  • The Governor’s Summit on Race and Equity will be held on campus on Friday, April 15. We were informed this week that this is an invite-only event and there will not be room to accommodate classes or employees. I have been allowed 4 guests. One of those will be a student, one a staff member, one a faculty member, and one a Trustee. Sorry that this couldn’t be open to all to attend.
  • I am in the process of searching for a new Trustee to replace Trustee Mendoza. He will conclude his term in October and we are already in the process of vetting candidates. Each process involves a 1:1 meeting with me plus a separate meeting with me and the Board Chair.
  • You’ll find here (Basic Ed) an update on our Basic Skills / Adult Programs. Thanks to Lyn Eisenhour for putting this together. It’s a quick read and I hope you’ll take a chance to become more familiar with this area of the college.
  • I was invited to lunch last week with the UW Regents and ended up sitting at a table with 2 UWB Deans, a UWB Faculty member, and Ana Mari Cauce (the President of UW). We had a great conversation and I continue to be thrilled by her outlook on “access to UW” and their relationship with the community colleges. This has opened some doors between UWB and Cascadia and we’ll keep you informed as those opportunities mature.
  • I’ve had my “Leadership” TED talk with the exempt staff and the classified staff. I’m excited about the conversations this has started. I look forward to this presentation at Faculty Assembly next quarter and encourage all faculty to attend.
  • Don’t forget that I am continuing to amass perspectives on Reserved Parking. My questions: Why do we have/desire it? How does it benefit Students, the Institution, and Employees? Are there other ways to meet those desires besides Reserved Parking? Please forward me your thoughts.

Finally, I received these messages via email recently and want to give a shout-out to the Kodiak Korner. I am thankful about the quality employees we have at Cascadia:

  • I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the hard work and focus of Anna Stufano and Gordon Dutrisac while attending the NACADA Administrators’ Institute in Mesa, AZ February 18th-20th.  As the facilitator for their small working group, I was impressed with their knowledge and dedication to the students they serve, as well as their desire to enhance the advising program at Cascadia College.  They were valued members of the group who added much to the discussion and provided carefully thought-out recommendations to their group members as they worked on their action plan for your campus.  Their involvement with the Institute not only will be of great benefit to your institution and advising program but was a tremendous asset to the Institute itself.  

Dr. Chrissy L. Davis Jones, Faculty, NACADA Administrators’ Institute

  • To whom it may concern:  I was just on the phone with one Arlene Hruby, and I just wanted to say how excellent your staff at Cascadia is.  I have attended two other local community colleges (During high school) and I have attended a year at Biola University down in Los Angeles.  I am more than happy to let you know that the quality of staff here at Cascadia far surpasses that of any other institution of higher learning that I have attended.  Thank you for all the great help and support!

Lawrence David Bushnell Jr.

Have a great weekend.

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