Friday Letter 8.30.18
Glad to be back for my second edition of the Friday letter. Some of you may recall, my first Friday letter was last December, and I was just 6 months into the job and still getting my feet wet. Now, I am over a year in (15 months on Saturday to be exact) and I think it is safe to say that I am entrenched. As I reflect back, a lot has occurred over this time. As far as the HR/Payroll team goes, we have completed two great new hires; our new HR Generalist Assistant is Karina Castro who was previously working in our office as an hourly employee, and a work-study prior to that! Our other recent hire is Elizabeth Englund, HR Generalist. Elizabeth came to us with a background in recruiting, and she is already coming up with some innovative approaches to improving our processes. If you have not met our two newest team members, please stop by CC2-280 and say hello.
One other staffing change that we have on the horizon is the retirement of our Payroll Manager in October. After 12 years with the College, Rod Cowley is hanging up his cap. Rod has been the staple of consistency on the HR/Payroll team during his time at Cascadia. He has helped guide the team through many up and downs and he will be missed. Don’t worry, we will make sure you all still get paid after he retires (our recruitment for a replacement is underway)!
All of this change has been occurring while we also prep for ctcLink; the HR team was right at the top of the list in completing all the common process maps. We continue to work hard to prep for our go-live date in January/February of 2020. I can definitely say we would not have been able to navigate through these rough waters without a strong backbone in place. Thanks to Gayle, Haley, Samantha, Carmen (our stellar work-study; good luck at Seattle U, we will miss you!), for continuing to keep the ship afloat through the many staffing transitions. And special shoutout to Raquel for always lending a hand!, We are very lucky to have such a talented and customer-friendly team here at Cascadia!
What else has happened over the past 15 months? Here are a few accomplishments that I have been proud to be a part of, both from a college and system-wide level:
- Successfully bargained a new faculty contract through the interest based bargaining (IBB) process. It was great to get to know the faculty bargaining team Brian Bansenauer, Greg Campbell, Lisa Citron, and David Shapiro.
- We hired a new VPSLS, Kerry Levett, who you got to know a bit in last week’s guest letter. Kudos to a great hiring committee (Erin Blakeney, Faye Houshyari, Gene Taylor, Glenn Colby, Marah Selves, Sarah Leadley, Tori Saneda, Tracy Phutikanit, and Yan Li w/HR support from Haley Green).
- From the State Board level, I just completed my year as the Chair of the Human Resources Management Commission. Every time I participate in statewide meetings, I make sure all of my peers know that Cascadia is the best college in the system! 🙂
- State Board Salary Study Steering Committee participant. This group has been tackling the issues we are facing around cost of living in the state and we have been brainstorming ways to ensure we can continue to retain and recruit great employees. These conversations are ongoing; if you have any great ideas, please let me know.
- Lastly, one item I am particularly excited to see move forward is the hiring of an Equity and Inclusion Officer this fall. As a lifelong HR professional, I have always been passionate about doing my part to create an inclusive environment so that all of our employees can feel valued and thrive. For the last seven years, since working in the SBCTC system, I have continued my efforts towards inclusion. I’ve collaborated with multiple district wide equity and inclusion committees, worked towards an MOU in an effort to further expand the diversity of the Seattle Colleges faculty and remove barriers in the hiring process, partnered with the Director of Diversity at North Seattle College to create a Leadership Development program, and provided support in assuring training materials were created with an intentional lens of equity and inclusion. I look forward to continue this work at Cascadia, and am more than excited to partner and grow with our newly hired Equity and Inclusion Officer in the very near future.
In summary, it has been a busy 15 months, but I have enjoyed every minute. I am very happy to be here and proud to be a Kodiak. Happy Blue Friday (tomorrow), have a great weekend. I also hope you all have a great fall quarter and GO HAWKS!
P.S. We will be resuming our regular (5 day, 8-hour) schedule next week, following the holiday.