Friday Letter, 4-29-16

I’m looking forward to seeing you all at the DIA in a few minutes. Today is our last all-employee DIA and Ilsa and Caprice will take us one step further to increasing our cultural competency.  As it relates to this year-long effort, I would very much like to encourage you to attend two things in the next few weeks: your post-DIA Cavolines AND a planning session next Tuesday at 11am.  The planning session is to determine how we will continue this process next year in a way that encourages our campus to continue its learning process in a cost-effective manner.  The Tuesday session is in CC1-041.

Remember that after today’s DIA, attendees will receive a beverage ticket for the Beardslee Public House. We have the dining room booked from 4:00-5:30 for our President’s Pub and I hope to see you there to enjoy an end-of-week moment to relax and connect with colleagues.  The BPH has reminded us that there is ample 3-hour parking directly underneath their restaurant.  Everything else is 90-minute parking.

I would like to thank the Budget Council for their diligent work over the last few weeks. The executive team listened to their prioritizations and will work with them again next Monday to finalize a list of funded action plans.  And the good news is…there WILL be a list of funded items.  We went fairly deep on our one-time-only requests given the status of our available funds.  We also got farther down the list of on-going items than I expected.  As affirmed by the budget council, the executive team shuffled a couple of the priorities so that we could balance both direct student support and infrastructure needs. I think the ultimate list that we’ll finalize next week will meet the spirit of the filters I explained in last week’s Friday Letter.

Note that none of this gets a green light until the Trustees have had a chance to review the budget and affirm that it helps us fulfill our mission and strategic plan. They have a first read at their May meeting with final approval at the June meeting.

A little fact about me: I am getting to play hooky from the monthly president’s meeting today (aka WACTC). I was at the meeting yesterday and gave my proxy to a fellow president so I could attend the DIA today.  Next month’s WACTC meeting will mark the end of my 2-year stint as chair of the system’s capital budget committee.  I’ll take a year off to recoup and then we’ll see what role I need to play on the state level after that.  Interestingly, after 6 years as Cascadia President, the system now has 22 presidents (out of 34) who were hired after me.

A little fact about Cascadia: We hosted the Young Women Empowered conference this last week.  A slate of amazing and successful women speakers helped to coach and mentor young women in their career goals.  From executives at Microsoft, to film producers and directors, to video game developers and software engineers, to scientists…the campus was filled with an amazing energy.  Sara Gomez Taylor was our point person and I want to thank her for assuring that Cascadia had a visible and meaningful presence with this conference.  We sometimes underestimate the role of College Relations and Marketing on our campus.  Without these outreach efforts…and especially ones that tie into our core values…we would have a much more difficult time in fulfilling our mission.  Being seen as “the college of choice” by every member of our community allows us to continue to enrich our cultural diversity and strive towards better equity and inclusion in our practice.

Our DIA, our participation in Cavolines, and our playing hosts to conferences like YWE…those are the things that help make us a great community college.

Have a great weekend.

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