Friday Letter, 4-22-16

Let’s talk about money. Let’s talk about the earth.

Money first. I’d like to encourage you to take a look at the Budget Action Plans on my.cascadia.  We have 20 requests for one-time funding, totaling about $740,000.  We have 27 requests for increases to the yearly operating budget, totaling about $940,000.  The Budget Council has listened to the proposals and will be prioritizing them next week.  We should also have a clear idea next week of just how much money we have to spend.

One thing I know for sure…we do not have enough money in either category to fund all the items. As always, we will try to get as far down the lists as possible.  Several types of filters are being used this year to help make those decisions.  Here they are:

One of the considerations we’ll be making as the final prioritization gets decided is a balance between day-to-day operational needs and long-term planning & vision.

As well, we need to be thinking about the “mandatory” requirements first, “enrollment” driving initiatives second, and “student success” initiatives third. Without good enrollment and retention, we won’t have the revenues to keep us going.

And finally, as many of you commonly know: Students First, Institutional Sustainability Second, and Employees Third.

Having so many filters makes the matrix complex. We’ll do our best and I appreciate all the feedback and Budget Council work to date.

We’re going to talk about the Earth? Yup.This week has been dubbed Earth Week and is a culmination of student, faculty, and staff driven projects as well as good collaboration and work with UWB. The activities also highlight some of the ideas we’ve had in the past and how they have come to fruition. (There’s an unintended pun there…not usually my strength.)

You’ll see the Cascadia Mobile Lab (now painted white) on the edge of the Cascadia Cornucopia. As it turns out, we have multiple names for the trailer and multiple names for the vegetation. We’ll stick with the above labels for the purposes of today’s letter. The Mobile Lab is an ongoing outreach project and we slowly, through multiple years, have been getting it ready for use. We’re at that point. It still needs artwork on the outside, but you’ll see it as a focal point to many of our future activities. It was host to Midori’s “It’s Not Dirt” activities yesterday and is scheduled to be out and about in the communities we serve all summer long. I was touring the president of Bastyr around campus yesterday and stopping in at various Earth Day activities. Photo: Bastyr President Dr. Mac Powell and student body president (and future Bastyr student) Elise Saracino outside the Mobile Lab.

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Also yesterday (which was the official “Earth Day”), the facilities staff helped people plant vegetables in the Cornucopia. This interactive, earthy lab has been a success and has been used not only to supply us with a lifetime of kale, but as a point of study for many classes. It continues to grow and diversify and is a shining example of our desire to teach sustainable practices.

This week is a good example of just one way we embrace our values. As we think about the forthcoming budget decisions, those values will be important influences as we put decisions through our filters.

From 11-3 today you can also plant trees and join the Earth Day Fun Fair. Both activities take place on the sports field and near the wetlands boardwalk.

DON’T FORGET NEXT WEEK: Our next DIA (Day of Inquiry and Assembly) is April 29. Again, all employees are asked to attend and we’ll continue our discussion of intercultural competency.  Those folks who attend the entire DIA will receive a ticket, redeemable for a Happy Hour beverage across the street at the Beardsley Public House.  We have reserved the front room after the DIA (from 4:00-5:30) for a social gathering and all offices have approval to close at 4pm on that Friday.  This is my gift to you as thanks for your participation in this process.  I look forward to seeing everyone at our off-campus, after-hours Pub.

Have a great weekend.

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