Friday Letter, 5-6-16

I’ve been asked to update everyone on two topics today: Tent City and next year’s Pluralism efforts. We know that the Friday Letter is a commonly read communication piece, and I appreciate being asked to use it as a vehicle for talking about important all-campus issues.  Should there be a need for comment on other topics, please feel free to offer me suggestions for future letters.

Tent City. The Trustees have gathered enough information to make a determination at their May 18 meeting as to whether they would like to guide the decision (because it relates to governance, community and mission fulfillment) or if they would have me make the decision (because it is operational in nature).  They will have a discussion about their views on this and then render a decision.  If they decide that they will make the decision, I’ve asked that they do it at that meeting.  If they decide that I should make the decision, I will put together all of the operational data I have and write a Special Letter with my decision on the Monday before commencement.

As I see it, there are three possible outcomes. 1) The idea is not implemented and put to rest forever.  2) The idea has merit, but the timing is not right.  3) The idea should proceed with an established timeline.  The information collected over the last year has helped us to understand the effort and, I appreciate the efforts and passion of our campus community.

Pluralism. The future of our DIA’s (Days of Inquiry and Assembly) and Cavolines is currently being discussed in multiple forums.  You should have received PART ONE of our assessment process from Samantha this last Wednesday.  Your written thoughts about the initiative as outlined in her letter would be very helpful.  As well, you will receive PART TWO of our assessment next week.  This second part will offer the opportunity to share what kind of focus you think the Cavolines should have.  We know that there are different learning styles and different preferences for engagement that need to exist for you to feel like this is a process worthy of your time.  We hope to shape next year’s Cavolines to be responsive to those varying needs.

Because we can afford at least one more year of a structured program from our one-time-only funds, we intend to keep our efforts revolving around the concept of small group (Cavoline) work. While we don’t know how this will manifest itself, we do know that we will not have external facilitators.  We are therefore offering an opportunity for interested faculty and staff to become Cavoline facilitators for next year.

The content of the Cavolines and the style of conversation will be shaped by the Cavoline Facilitators this summer based on the two assessments I just mentioned. I encourage all who meet the below criteria to apply. We have this opportunity to mold our process to be more “Cascadian” and I hope those who have offered feedback about how to better execute the learning will apply for a facilitator role and lend us your expertise.

Applications are due by May 23 and facilitator selection and communication will be made by June 3. Click here for the application. Please direct all questions to Samantha Brown ( Here are the criteria:

  • If faculty, have Tenure with Cascadia as of August 2016.
  • If staff, have three years of experience with Cascadia as of August 2016 and supervisor approval to participate.
  • Personal commitment to being a heartfelt champion of diversity, inclusion & equity, and to supporting training and development efforts on campus.
  • Active engagement in 2015-2016 DIAs and Cavolines.
  • Desire to collaborate and contribute to high-functioning teams.
  • Ability to remain calm in the midst of difficult conversations, support all members of a group, and hold space for diverse ideas and perspectives to be heard.
  • Available for three hours in June or July 2016 to meet with other Cavoline facilitators for a team building activity, to refine the Cavoline approach, and to determine Cavoline outcomes. (A date convenient for all members will be selected.)
  • Available in summer 2016 for a one-day train-the-trainer workshop. Available in fall 2016 for an additional one-day train-the-trainer workshop. (Dates convenient for all members will be selected.)
  • Available during the 2016-2017 academic year for: Monthly one-hour Cavoline facilitator meeting and three hours of Cavoline facilitation twice per fall, winter, and spring quarters. (Dates convenient for all members will be selected.)

Have a great weekend.

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