Friday Letter, 1-6-17

Welcome to a cold 2017. I hope the first week has gone well for you.  I also hope you enjoyed the holidays and took some time to rest.  For me, I took some time off; I’m not so sure I rested.  I took a 3000 mile road trip through 8 states, 70 degrees of temperature variation, with 4 drivers, 3 colds, 2 holidays and 1 truck.  The trip was fantastic and reminded me of how beautiful our country is.

I can’t say that my carbon footprint was excellent, but that leads me to share some of the good work Jodie has been doing with Meagan’s team. Take a look at this site:

It’s intended to pool information about careers, internships, and campus sustainability information in one spot. It’s comprehensive and well considered.  I appreciate now being able to easily share all of the great things we do to foster our value of sustainability.  Thanks to all those who helped.

Sustainability also means thinking about the long term. As you know, our master planning process is well under way in conjunction with UWB.  We are presenting opportunities for your feedback and the next one occurs on Tuesday, January 10, from 1:00-4:00 pm.  The president’s conference room has been reserved so that any employee or student can stop by to learn about the campus master plan and to give feedback on the three design approaches.  Thanks for your participation.

One of our other commitments this quarter is to hold space for Campus Conversations in the Center for Culture, Inclusion, and Community. These safe space opportunities for conversation happen on Mondays and Tuesdays from 12:00-1:00 pm.  If you are willing to host/facilitate one of the hours, please let me know. I am particularly interested in filling open slots later in the quarter.  These hours may or may not be well-attended, but they provide a time for students and employees to share concerns, suggestions, and encouragements about our changing world.

In that same vein, I am excited that over 80 employees have signed up for this year’s cultural competency learning opportunities. The Cavolines, skill builders, and TED talks have filled nicely.  If you are still interested in participating, please contact Samantha Brown.

Finally this week, I am happy to report that we are making progress on the campus Diversity and Equity Summary that I promised to deliver during Convocation. We hope to distribute this document in about two weeks.  It is a compilation of all the campus efforts currently underway and how they relate to the strategic plan.  We have approximately 15 (fifteen!!) initiatives being implemented through various parts of campus.  As I looked over the draft this week, I was happy to see all of these efforts reported in one place and happy to now fully believe that we are tackling issues of diversity, multi-culturalism, equity, and social justice on multiple fronts.  I look forward to sharing that with you after we fine-tune some of the details.

January is a busy month for my office. Legislative events in Olympia, a tour of JBLM, chamber events, and community events keep me off campus at least two days each week during January.  Let’s chat in the hall when you can and here’s to a great Winter Quarter.

Have a great weekend.

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