Friday Letter, 3-31-17

Did you find your fire extinguisher? If you didn’t do your homework after last week’s letter, I encourage you to get caught up.  Today’s homework…where is the nearest First Aid Kit to you?

Were you in your office on Wednesday when I came around with the green bucket? “TOYS” was the most popular response to my survey last week about your favorite green bucket item.  This month we had rubber toys.  The salamander was immensely popular.  Robots went next.  Sling shot bunnies were hot, but watch out for Shawn Miller…he’s a master archer.  I passed out over 100 of the toys…sorry if I missed you and our opportunity for a short chat.  Many of the faculty were busy teaching; next time I’ll just tape something to the door.  =)

Speaking of short chats, Vicki has been busy scheduling our Coffees for Three. We are trying to schedule as many faculty as we can before the summer break and will work to get exempt and classified staff on the calendar during the summer. We will catch you in fall quarter if we don’t make it to everyone during spring and summer.   Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to meet me for coffee.  These meetings will help me know you better, get your thoughts about Cascadia, and understand your aspirations for our campus.

I hope to be having a longer conversation this summer with the new Bellevue College president. He was just announced today.  You can read the article HERE.

Since I have been here (July 2010), Bellevue has had 5 presidents, including two interims. Seven years, five leaders.  I can only imagine that folks at Bellevue are anxious to settle down with someone.  I know Bellevue has had some struggles after long time leader Jean Floten left (my first year at Cascadia).  This makes me appreciate the relationship our campus has among constituencies.  We can have the occasional strife, but I commend our efforts to always talk and work through those issues to come to resolution and continue serving our students the best we can.

One of the ways I committed to responding to a concern on our campus was to organize a Teach-in. I’ve told the story before about lowering the flag last Fall in honor of a person that was marginalizing to some in our community.  I have finally succeeded in bringing experts to campus to help us understand that action.  This will be the first in a series of President-sponsored Teach-ins.  The current topic is Israeli-Palestine relations.  As this becomes a hotter topic nationally, and as we pursue our commitment to Pluralism, and as we have an increasing number of students from these regions…I encourage you to attend the 2-hour Tech-In and, if able, to bring your class or work colleagues.  The event is April 24, 1:00-3:00pm in Mobius.  Check out the cool logo for the Teach-in and additional info HERE.

Finally, a couple of business items:

Cascadia Student Life is now accepting applications for student leader positions in the 2017-18 school year. We have positions available in Cascadia Student Government, Cascadia Activities Board, or as a Community Engagement Officer. Applications are due 4 p.m. on Friday, April 14th. For more information and a link to the applications, visit tinyurl.com/CascadiaSLJobs

And, besides encouraging students to become involved, we have our “once every three years” distribution of the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE). This is a HUGELY important piece to our accreditation documentation and the feedback we receive that helps shape our programs and services.  I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that every student take this survey if it is implemented in your class.

Research shows that the more actively engaged students are, the more likely they are to persist in their college studies and to achieve academic success. Identifying what our students do in and out of the classroom, knowing their goals, and understanding their external responsibilities can help us create an environment that enhances their academic outcomes.

Thank you ahead of time for taking the distribution of the survey seriously and we know it takes away from a bit of class time. However, the information we receive is of great benefit to how we move forward at Cascadia.

I hope the first week of the quarter went well for you.

Have a great weekend.

 

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