It’s only October and I have the sense folks are feeling overwhelmed. To be frank, I am. I am currently in Olympia attending the monthly president’s meeting. As I write this letter on Thursday night, we have so far only talked about two topics. We have considered what we are going to ask the legislature for and how we are going to do it. As well, we have had a fairly animated conversation about ctcLink.
Each president, as we enter the room, always asks “How are you?” Being the honest guy that I am, I explain that my bucket is full and give a laundry list of things going on at Cascadia. In turn, I have heard the same response from almost every colleague. Everyone seems to be at the max. Why? Is this self-imposed or is this something more conspiratorial?
I shared this feeling with the Trustees this week, as I have with my colleagues and now with you, because I think it is important to be self-aware. It is important to know when you are reaching your limits of effectiveness and that as a leader you care about those you work with in the same way. I recognize that our campus is pursuing multiple initiatives and the executive team as a whole is extremely concerned about pushing people passed the red line and into exhaustion, especially so early in the year. Why are we feeling this way?
We are passionate people in pursuit of serving our students well and improving our service delivery.
- ctcLink is driving people insane around the system. Our campus has a team of about 12 people who are working hard to get us prepared, even though we won’t launch until next year.
- We have a small team working on delivering our inter-cultural competency initiative and a hope that our campus will engage. That takes time.
- My.Cascadia is in the process of changing. Another team is working on that.
- We have promised to engage the entire campus in how we will spend our better-than-expected allocation and the Budget Council will have extra meetings to help prepare the campus for that process.
- Our emergency management team got into full action for the storm-that-never-was, which also illustrated things we need to continue working on this year.
- Rosemary tirelessly leads a group of folks in our year-long assessment of the strategic plan…a process that never ends.
- Campus committees are in full swing attempting to accomplish goals set last year.
- In January we hope to launch a campus wide discussion on parking, and those discussions will need your attention.
- And, among other things, many of us are dealing with staff vacancies. The faculty is missing Cathy Baker; I am missing Dede. Almost every one of us is somehow experiencing extra workload because we have a staff vacancy or are in the process of training new hires. This is a normal part of the Cascadia process, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy.
I ask that you rest and care for yourself. Get your flu shot, drink plenty of water, and take care of your body’s needs. Enjoy time with family and appreciate them. Find a way to let go of the stress and pursue it relentlessly. Say “no” sometimes. In order to get through the current wave of activity, we will all need to stay focused and support each other. If you haven’t received your Fall Pumpkin on one of last week’s green bucket visits (or if you have no clue what the Green Bucket is), stop by my office for a moment of happiness.
I have confidence that we will survive and Cascadia will be better for it. Have a great weekend.