Setting. Five people sitting around a conference table. Last Friday was an all-day retreat for the executive team. We were supposed to be off-campus, but unforeseen circumstances led us to steel away into a dark corner of CC3. The day was productive. We talked about four main topics:
- Risk Management: We have a registry of all events that could pose a risk to the college, from earthquakes to data failure to lack of enrollment to poor management. Terence manages the registry and we have to report back to him how we intend to mitigate risks in our areas. This is required by the State.
- International Programs: The current trends and future possibilities of our international student recruiting is on our minds. Students are tending to head towards Canada rather than the US so keeping up our market share is an important topic for us and Meagan’s area.
- Accreditation: The time has come to evaluate our work over the last 6+ years. Kerry is right on top of organizing our process. This will be a time for an all-points assessment of our progress on the Core Themes and Strategic Plan. You’ll hear more about that soon.
- Equity & Inclusion: Marty and I have been putting the finishing touches on a job description and process for hiring a new Executive Director of Equity and Inclusion. You’ll hear more about this at Convocation on Monday.
Cut to 10 people sitting around a glass coffee table. In addition to the Executive Team Retreat, the Board of Trustees also had a retreat this week. The Executive Team joined the Board at Trustee Roy Captain’s house in Redmond. They attended for the morning session to update the Board on enrollment, finances, capital projects, and equity and inclusion work. After lunch, I rushed the e-team out of the house because I was excited to have my “alone time” with the board in the afternoon.
Cut to five people sitting around a dining room table. The trustees and I do some planning about topics for up-coming meetings, they review their self-evaluation, and we plan for our interactions with the state.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, a text conversation is taking place among the executive team. It goes something like this:
#1: I can’t believe he kicked us out before the bunny cakes!
#3: Bitmoji of individual on knees yelling NO!!!
#4: Emoji of distraught person.
#5. I mean “bundt” cake. Darn autocorrect.
In wanting to move to the next agenda items so quickly, I forgot a very important moment. Vicki and Kari had gone out of their way to provide the bundt (aka bunny) cakes as a treat for the entire team after lunch at the retreat. The leader goofed by forgetting there were enough for the e-team as well. Vicki bailed me out by buying more bundt cakes later in the week so that I could share them with the executive team.
So what’s the moral of the story? We accomplish big things at Cascadia and we work hard. But little things are important too. A nice word to our students, going out of the way to help a colleague, spending a few minutes building relationships, and (sometimes) a little tiny cake to let people know they matter. Thanks to everyone for their summer work. I’m excited to see you at Convocation on Monday morning and at the President’s Pub at 4:30.
Have a great weekend.