Friday Letter, 5-13-16

If I were a Billionaire…

Isn’t that how we start most mornings? If I were a Billionaire, I might do exactly for our employees what this article describes.  Thanks to Lisa Citron for thinking about employee morale!  I’ve asked her to put in a budget action plan for next year.

We will be presenting the budget in its first official draft to the Trustees next Wednesday. Thanks for your participation in the open campus forums this week.

My week involved three evening events, including one tonight. It started off on Tuesday with a presentation to the Bothell City Council about Cascadia.  They are often unaware if something is a Cascadia-only issue, a UWB-only issue, or a joint issue.  By helping them understand our governance structures, financing, and student profiles, I was able to help articulate to them how the campus operates.  The point was made clear when, during the 90 minute presentation on transit prior to me, UWB was mentioned 19 times and Cascadia only twice.  I pointed that out and got some sheepish smiles in return.  But after explaining that we have just about as many headcount as UWB, I think the Council fully understands that it is a joint endeavor.

They asked how they could help. I explained that just asking if issues are Cascadia-only, UWB-only or Joint would be a good start. I also asked if they could consider the 10,000+ people on our campus and consult us more regularly as decision-making happens in the city.  They agreed.

My second evening event was a joint leadership dinner. There were 2 members of the state board, 3 members of the trustees leadership, 3 members of the presidents leadership (me included), and 4 members of the state board staff.  It was a good meeting to discuss how we urge the legislature to halt the deterioration of the CTC system.  We agreed that we needed to come up with a sense of urgency to the emerging financial crisis.  We also brainstormed several action items.  I have agreed to lead one of those action items: developing a student-oriented App or web-mail campaign that will help students tell their story to the legislators associated with their college.  Many of you know that I do NOT have a degree in this, so my first stop was with our internal experts to get their advice on how to proceed.  I only offered leadership to the project because I was confident in the abilities of our faculty and students here at Cascadia.  Plus, I can think of no better way to convince legislators that they need to act other than having 150,000 students knocking at their email addresses.

The last of my world tour is tonight. I am a guest at UWB’s Chancellor’s Reception and Dinner. I gladly accepted and have been enjoying some renewed connections with UWB in the last couple months.

I am happy to represent Cascadia in all these venues.

Have a great weekend.

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