Friday Letter, 9-23-16

There were certainly some pretty cool moments this week.

Convocation and the associated potluck was a great gathering. Did you know that we didn’t organize the potluck like we normally do (by last name and food item) and it ended up being the most balanced food gathering we’ve had?  There were plenty of mains, desserts, salads, and side dishes.  Sometimes less planning helps?  Fancy that.  And to top it off, we had balloons and gifts.  Thanks to everyone for your positive and optimistic outlook.

The Trustees also met this week. Rosemary Sutton did a fantastic job at reviewing the current status of the Strategic Plan.  Kathy Biagi did a great summary of her sabbatical.  And Erik Tingelstad wow’d the Board with his presentation on a new professional technical homeland security/emergency management degree we’re pursuing in conjunction with Pierce College.  After some tough questions from the Board, they approved adoption of the degree.  We will get more info out to you on that new offering as we get everything organized.

I welcomed over 300 students at the Jumpstart New Student Orientation yesterday. The excitement in the room was energizing.  I talked not only about how Cascadia is the best transfer institution around, but I also spent some time talking about Pluralism.  Like everyone else, I am deeply concerned about on-going tensions in our world, our nation, and our state.  Yet, I am also inspired by actions such as the Garfield High School football team and how they are attempting to bring about conversation and equity in their community.  I spoke to our new students about how we believe in the richness of our diversity and that every student, from every walk of life, is a part of Cascadia.  I asked the students to let a faculty or staff member know if they encounter an environment that is contrary to that notion.  Especially after last year’s work, I believe that most employees at Cascadia are aware enough to help sort out conflicts before they escalate.

In October, we will bring to you options for engaging in this year’s Cavolines. As mentioned at Convocation, this is one of our on-going priorities.  You’ll eventually receive a catalog for options and we hope you’ll join one that suits your availability and interests.

I heard that the faculty seminar on Re-envisioning Faculty hiring through an Equity Lens with Vik Bahl went well.  I’ve been trying to keep abreast of all of the faculty activities this week and I appreciate the good attendance and conversation.  And, as a shout out to our enrollment and orientation folks…I know you’re working hard this week too.

Have a great weekend.

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