Friday Letter, 3-16-18

It’s the end of Winter Quarter. Congratulations!

We continued to receive good news this week. As you might recall from last week’s letter, we received more college funding from our Running Start reimbursement, we received a $300,000 grant to facilitate workforce planning for the biotech industry, and we got funding approved for the design of CC4, our next building.

This week, we received notice that the building that comes after CC4, conveniently called CC5, made it to the next construction list. Of the 25 proposed projects, we ranked #13.  My crystal ball says that CC4 will be built within 4 years.  It further says that CC5 will be built within 10 years after that.  For those of us who intend to be around for the next 14 years, we should see two more buildings come on-line.  WooHoo.

We also received other good news. The Bothell Arts Council has decided to start investing in public art around the City of Bothell.  As a huge supporter of the council in the 2000’s, Cascadia worked side-by-side with them on Live Arts Bothell, an arts festival that no longer exists in our community.  To honor that support, the Council has asked if a statue commissioned by them could be placed on campus.  The executive team reviewed the proposal and agreed.  The statue is of a 10’ tall dragonfly with a 12’ wingspan.  They chose to honor Cascadia because of our past support and because the dragonfly is indigenous to wetlands in the northwest.  The work is being commissioned soon.  No word on its installation date yet.

As we move forward into Spring Quarter, I’d like to make you aware of two efforts underway.

First, we have established a “DREAMer Team.” Last November, Cascadia hosted “Undocu Ally” training during which employees developed ideas for supporting Dreamer students. i.e., those students at our institutions that are undocumented residents.  If you are unaware, DREAMer stands for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors.  One idea that surfaced from this training was the development of a taskforce to support Dreamer/Undocumented students. The executive team approved the group to move forward as a formal campus “team”: The Dreamer Student Team.  To highlight key points, the purpose of the Dreamer Student Team is to serve as a centralized way to collect and be familiar with current and correct information related to Dreamer students, communicate this information to the internal and external campus community, and discuss supports and solutions as issues and concerns arise. The primary mission is to support Dreamer students as requested and needed. Some of the Team’s other work includes: maintaining a library of current and accurate resources; maintaining a website presence; creating professional development opportunities; creating partnerships with Leadership Without Borders, UWB, 5 Star colleges, and local community groups and organizations. You can expect to hear more from the Dreamer Student Team as they continue their work. Please direct any questions or ideas to Samantha Brown ( Thank you for your support of our Dreamer students and this new team.

Second, I’d like to take a moment to update everyone on the Vice President for Student Learning and Success process. This week a few of you showed surprise at learning that Rosemary is retiring.  Indeed, she is retiring at the end of June as she slyly indicated in a recent email post.  We will be having a summer farewell party for her and, in the meantime, have begun designing our search process.  Thank you to Erin Blakeney and Tori Saneda for agreeing to be the committee co-chairs.  We expect to post the position next week.

Here’s how the process will work:

  • Those interested in serving on the search committee should talk with their assembly chairs, who have been asked to compile a list for me.
  • The committee will form and go through all of the necessary preparations in April.
  • Marty and I will be engaging in a “Listening Tour” in April to hear from Classified, Exempt, and Faculty on the traits and qualities you hope we find in our next VPSLS.
  • In May, we will narrow the candidates first via the paper process, second via semi-finals, and finally in an on-campus interview of the finalists.
  • Very close to the end of Spring Quarter, the finalists will be invited to campus. They will go through a grueling day-long process with the various stakeholder groups. These days have yet to be designed.
  • We will then make a selection.

For our college, this is a pretty tight turn-around. I ask that you work with assembly chairs and the committee co-chairs to voice your input. We will make every accommodation reasonable and possible so that folks can participate in the process.

Have a great Spring Break. I’ll write again at the end of the first week of Spring Quarter.

Friday Letter, 3-9-18

The legislature came to a close yesterday. Budgets were determined and numbers were published.  Over the last few months, I have felt a bit beleaguered by our great democracy as I spent many-a-day in Olympia.  I just wondered if all the work would make a difference for Cascadia.  Today I can report that, yes, it did make a difference.

Starting next year, the reimbursement rates for the Running Start program will begin to climb to match that of our state-supported students. This is GREAT news.  It will give us more financial flexibility to meet the needs of our campus.  This was a down-to-the-wire decision.  As of Wednesday, I still didn’t know if our message had been heard.  To get the money, we had to sacrifice a $9M backfill request for compensation left out of last year’s budget for the CTC system.  The Running Start money was worth more and so a trade was made.  We won a lot, and lost a little.  I’ll take that.

We received our design money for CC4, over $3M. Terence and Kim are now starting to outline the process of design that we will begin this summer.  This is GREAT news.  I’m not sure when our construction money will come, but getting the design money gets us on the right path.

We received $300,000 for a biotech initiative I have been stewarding. This money is allocated to Cascadia such that we can bring UWB, the City of Bothell, and the Canyon Park Biotech companies together to develop a workforce plan.  We will be the steering group which will help 7 institutions of higher education and 12 biotech companies work together to fill the 1,000 jobs we expect to become available in this region over the next 2 years.  This is GREAT news.

As you revel in the GREAT news, allow me to remind you that the Truly Express and off-campus parking lot will not be available next quarter. We will be piloting valet parking on the south surface lot for the first two weeks of Spring Quarter to test out a new system.  This new system is a net increase in space, and hopefully a net decrease in hassle.  I ask for patience as we try this out.  Details can be found on the commuter services page.

Other things that happened this week: The Navigators met and spent a lot of time discussing campus Race Politics, a term I learned from Soraya.  We continue to wade through various national and local issues that surround our students and campus.  The Pluralism Committee met and discussed campus safety and how we respond to campus incidents.  (The Special Letter I promised will be published today.)  I attended the LGBTQ+ club meeting this week in response to their invitation to faculty and staff to hear about issues they face.  The club, plus a separate suggestion to the Navigators, brought up how there is a cultural change happening in the English language surrounding the use of pronouns.  This is something for us to think about as we pride ourselves on being progressive thinkers.  More on this soon.  And the UW Board of Regents met this week on campus.  Again, by invitation, I joined them and the UW leadership for lunch.

There is a lot going on and a lot to come. We had a good week.  Have a great weekend.

Friday Letter, 3-2-18

Happy Friday! We are at the end of Week 9.

I know that everyone is still trying to wrap up Winter Quarter, yet plans for Spring Quarter are already in motion. One such plan involves the Truly Express off-site parking lot.  Spring Quarter typically has the least amount of vehicle traffic during the academic year.  With this in mind, the Truly Express will not operate during the spring.  The last day that the Truly Express will operate for the 2017-18 academic year will be March 15.  Our parking folks conduct a lot of analytical work and we have endorsed their recommendation based on cost and available space.

Parking is one way we work collaboratively with UWB. There are many.  At a joint leadership meeting yesterday, we reviewed other topics of joint governance and decided that we will write a Special Letter outlining some of the more recent issues we’ve faced.  Weapons policy, free speech policy, and crisis response are just a few topics where our work overlaps.  I’ll pass that letter along to you under my Special Letter email series as soon as it is finished.

Thanks to the participants in this week’s TED talk on socio-economic disparity. It led to a great discussion about economic inequity among members of our campus community. I appreciated the conversation.  (If you couldn’t make it, the link to the talk is here.)

One way we can help students who face financial struggles is to encourage them to apply for scholarships. They are due by the end of today.  This is the last chance to encourage someone to apply and the odds are in their favor.  We will award more scholarships this year than ever before and, as of this morning, we’re light on applications.  Direct them to the college homepage to pick up the link.

Also thanks to Monday’s 58 pubbers. What’s a pubber?  Someone who attends the President’s Pub (brought to you by the Cascadia College Foundation).  We had a great time getting to know each other.  As a reminder, we have a social event each quarter:  Fall is the December Coffee House, Winter is the President’s Pub, Spring is the All-Employee Celebration, and Summer will be the return of the Backyard BBQ.  We will practice lawn bowling during the summer event in anticipation of our Fall Bowling League.  Yesss!  A Fall Bowling League is in the works.  Stay tuned for more on that in the coming weeks.

Have a great weekend.

Friday Letter, 2-23-18

As our college president, I consider it to be one of my paramount duties to ensure that we work and learn in a safe environment. This includes communicating timely, assuring that we have proper training and equipment, and working with staff to remain up-to-date.  Over the years, we have conducted shooter and earthquake trainings, offered CPR classes, held hallway-by-hallway discussions, conducted all-campus DIAs, and bolstered our safety and security staff.  This work is never done however.

Every time we witness another community’s tragedy, I wonder if we’ll be next. The high school shooting in Florida and the scare at Highline last week remind me of our vulnerability.  And it reminds me that we must continue to be vigilant in our workplace.  You will receive a letter soon that is being written by the leadership teams of Cascadia and UWB.  We decided to do this jointly because of our unique institutional relationship.  It is a letter designed for our employees AND students.  Today’s Friday Letter is meant for our smaller group of Cascadia employees.

There are a three things I hope you will do for me.

First, please complete our Campus Safety Survey.  If you are a Cascadia employee, it will be in your inbox directly following the email that links to this letter. The survey will take about 20 minutes to complete. The Advisory Council on Campus Safety (students, faculty and staff at UW Bothell and Cascadia College) will use this information to help determine future directions.

Second, I want you to be prepared for an impromptu drill initiated by me. If I come into your office space and say, “You just heard gunshots, what would you do?” I want you to react.  I plan to do this randomly, but often.  This is an opportunity to practice, much like we did in elementary school when preparing for a fire alarm.  Please remember, the response to an active shooter situation is dependent on the specifics of the event.  The best advice is to practice situational awareness and decide, based on the circumstances and your location, whether you can RUN from the incident, HIDE or DEFEND yourself.

There are two videos that provide clear instruction on how to respond in the event of an active shooter.  First, from the University of Washington SafeCampus website, the “Shots Fired on Campus” video can be viewed on this page.   (You need a NetID login for this video.)  Or, if you go to our Cascadia website, you can view this video which we present each year to students.  The first video is longer and includes some re-enactments. I urge you to watch one and share it widely with friends and colleagues.

Third, stay vigilant. We need to prepare ourselves for all sorts of emergencies and safety concerns.  Much like other institutions, we increasingly deal with bias-based incidents. Cascadia and UW Bothell are not immune to these behaviors. College leadership believes it important to inform you of the steps we take to offer a safe community and proactively fight against hate, discrimination, and threats.

If an incident (including verbal attacks, hateful posters, or unlawful activity) were to occur in a Cascadia space, our administration would:

  • Immediately consult with UWB and send a joint communication as necessary.
  • Activate Cascadia’s Bias Incident Response Team. This team assesses incidents targeting members of our community, provides support to those affected, and recommends appropriate actions.

We have set expectations that our Campus Safety officers walk by our student spaces several times each day to ensure a safe environment. This includes spaces such as lounges, the meditation room, and the Center for Culture, Inclusion and Community. Specific Cascadia staff also have designated duties to assure that these spaces are kept clean and presentable for all users. Vigilance is important and it is up to all of us to say something if we see something suspicious.

  • Take the survey
  • Watch a video
  • Say something

Together we can stay strong when faced with the threats that seem to be so common today.

Friday Letter, 2-16-18

How much do you know about Valentine’s Day?

Wikipedia says this:

Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14. Originating as a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus, Valentine’s Day is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country.

Martyrdom stories associated with Valentine include a written account of Saint Valentine of Rome’s imprisonment for performing weddings for soldiers, who were forbidden to marry, and for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment Saint Valentine restored sight to the blind daughter of his judge, and before his execution he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell.“

I spent my “day of martyrdom” on Mt Olympus putting out fires. I have been in Olympia since Wednesday morning doing so.  Here are some of the things going on down here:

Fire #1: There was a rumor that the Empire was not going to fund CC4.  For the moment, I have affirmed that the rumor is false. We will know next week when the House and Senate release their budgets.

Fire #2: The senate is considering pulling back the Running Start funding that was coming to us based on the budget passed last year. That’s about a million bucks for Cascadia. I did not make headway in changing people’s minds.  The Senate believes it should stay with K-12 and not follow the student through to community college.  The House may think differently.  The presidents are working together to communicate that we need that money.

Fire #3: We are working to add some language to a faculty bargaining bill so as to avoid a situation where some colleges will “have” the ability to bargain successfully and others will “not have” that ability. There’s more detail in this last one than I want to cover here, but happy to talk about  this one individually. That bill is still working its way through the system.

I don’t envy Valentine one bit. Yesterday was spent caucusing with the rest of the college presidents who arrived for our monthly WACTC meeting.  We are putting together some strong messaging to help encourage lawmakers to remember their love for the community and technical colleges.  The session ends March 8; I have no idea where we will land on some of these issues.  We need a little of St Valentine’s help at the moment.

On a good note, Monday this week was spent celebrating the passing of the Master Plan. Thanks to Trustees Captain and Kelly for joining folks from the City of Bothell, UWB, and UW Seattle to congratulate on a job-well-done.  Thanks to Terence and Meagan for providing great leadership along the way.

I will continue to be in Olympia today as we finish up some business. Back on campus, we are in the home stretch with regards to scholarship applications. The Cascadia College Foundation awards scholarships on an annual basis and, since 2013, they have presented more than $275,000 in awards to our students.  Many thanks go out to Cascadia staff and faculty, longtime friends of the college, and community organizations for supporting these efforts.  This year has been a good year for the Foundation and in April they will award almost 60 scholarships for the 2018-19 academic year – more than double their annual average. It will be their biggest year to date. As the deadline of Friday, March 2nd approaches, I’d like to invite you to help out by encouraging our students to get their applications in.

Please enjoy the long weekend. See you on Tuesday.

Friday Letter, 2-9-18

This has been the kind of week I long for. Every day on campus (i.e., no Olympia or other travel) and progress on a lot of projects.

One of the projects I am coordinating for the region is to bring together about a dozen biotech companies and seven institutions of higher education to conduct a gap analysis on workforce needs. We then hope to develop educational pathways to meet those needs. It’s the first time we have worked regionally to perform this kind of work. Our partners include the 5-Star Consortium (Cascadia, Shoreline, Edmonds, Everett, LWIT), Bellevue College, and UW Bothell. This got kick-started by a local company (Juno) who is expecting to expand their workforce by 900 employees over the next two years. We’ve had our first meeting. There is another in March and then in April. We hope to have academic pathways in the works by the time we are finished.

The second project, which I’ve reported on previously, is my 8-month long research project around new revenue sources. I have completed interviews with all 6 city managers in our district and am now moving on to develop our summit of industry leaders. They will help brainstorm our commodities and suggest possibilities for us. I hope to have that summit in April. I plan to conduct campus forums in May soliciting ideas from those of us on campus.

While I may not have been in Olympia, I continue to work on behalf of the State Board to communicate with legislators as the session progresses. The legislative session ends on March 8, or so they say. I plan to include in that week’s Friday Letter a list of bills important to us and the disposition of those bills. There have been issues around capital dollars, running start, and bargaining, among others.

On a side note,we were also reminded by the State Board this week that Governor Inslee’s executive order directs state agencies to refrain from inquiring about a person’s immigration status in order to determine whether that person has complied with immigration laws. This means that all of us, as employees, must not inquire about this status. It will help us continue to build a safe community.

Upcoming events, I hope to see you at these:

Legislative Town Halls. The 1st District (Palumbo, Stanford, and Kloba) will hold a town hall here at Cascadia in Mobius from 3:30-5:00 on February 17.  They will report on their activities and take questions.  Similarly, the 45th (Dhingra, Springer, Goodman) will host their town hall on the same day but at Lake Washington Tech, 11:30-1:00.  I will be at both.

President’s Pub (brought to you by the Cascadia College Foundation), for employees only. Join your colleagues for a Foundation-sponsored social event. It’s the return of a legend. February 26, 4:00-6:00pm, CC2-261.

Join Huda Sarhan and Becky Riopel in a group conversation about the Women’s March movement and the controversy/divisiveness it creates among sub-groups of women. They will share a brief history of the march and give folks a chance to talk about their personal experience in the march, the perception of the march through the lens of media and the perception from those who heard about the march from participants. The hope is to have a mutual dialogue in a confidential and respectful space. March 7, 12:00-1:00pm, CC2-261.

Next week, I am back to the travel routine. I will be in Olympia Wednesday through Friday.  Wednesday is another lobbying day and the other two days are for the Presidents’ monthly meeting.

Have a great weekend.

Friday Letter, 2-2-18

This has been an interesting and (mostly) campus-based week for me.

I had one day in Olympia where I testified on a Running Start bill. Cascadia has subsidized the Running Start program over the years using other revenue sources. This is necessary because we do not receive the same tuition for RS students as we receive for our state-supported students despite the fact that Running Start is a particularly staff-intensive program.

Next year, the revenues for Running Start will become equal to those for state-supported students. That’s a good thing. However, the legislature wants to dictate how that extra money is spent. That’s not a good thing. While the intentions are good (lawmakers want to help RS students on free and reduced lunch), if they were to give us local control of those extra funds, we could probably help more than just those students. There’s a social equity issue at play. My role was to explain this to the legislature on Monday.

This made for an interesting discussion at this month’s Cavoline TED talk. We talked about the cost of education and student loan indebtedness. Yes…we want to help lower-income Running Start students get access to higher education, but we also want to help the displaced worker, the 40-year-old returning student get a certificate, the single parent, and the homeless 18-year-old…without racking up insurmountable debt. It is difficult to find systemic solutions to the dilemma and many of us (including me) left the TED talk without knowing how we can help. But, I believe that this is the purpose of all of our Cavolines…to stimulate us to think about complex issues around equity and inclusion.

So I thought more this week about how we can help our students with needs. In addition to being able to direct students to student services staff, counseling, the Veterans Center, the Bock Center, and the Center for Culture, Inclusion & Community, we have a few new resources that have been made available through the Cascadia College Foundation. There is money to help Running Start students purchase textbooks, a brand new scholarship that will be awarded to individuals who enroll via College Goal Cascadia, and a scholarship designed to help students who are just a few credits shy of completing their degrees. And, as we process the DIA feedback, we hope to find more ways we can be equitable and inclusive.

Campus leadership has begun synthesizing comments from the DIA. This will take us several weeks. Ultimately, we hope to translate them into initiatives important to the campus’s health that can be accomplished with existing resources. Thanks again for your candid feedback. We’ll report back soon. In the meantime, I hope you will write or depict your reflections on the back of the “Your Voice. Your Space. No Hate.” cards and display those in your work spaces. I am looking forward to seeing them on my next visit to your space.


I want to announce the RETURN OF THE PRESIDENT’S PUB. Yes, you heard right. The return of the Pub. Once upon a time, the President would provide beer, wine and a specialty drink in a cozy late afternoon venue with sweet and salty snacks. The great State of Washington reminded the colleges 3 years ago that this can’t happen at a state agency unless it were to occur “after hours”. The president decided that the college never closes, so “after hours” was impossible, thereby bringing this social time to its demise.

Well, the Foundation has subsequently decided this event is important to the fabric of our institution, and as a NON-STATE entity, it can have a function whenever it wants to help with its mission. Therefore, on February 26 from 4:00-6:00 pm in CC2-261, the Foundation cordially invites employees to attend the “President’s Pub (brought to you by the Cascadia College Foundation)”. Make sure you’re done with work; understand there is a 2-drink limit (and non-alcoholic beverages are also provided); and come enjoy the company of your co-workers.  The Foundation will distribute some information on its current activities and future plans. How exciting is this???


As you know, we celebrated Marion’s long tenure with Cascadia yesterday. Her departure leaves a vacancy at the welcome desk. Cascadia will cover this position by hiring an additional customer service specialist 3 for enrollment services. All of the customer service specialists will share responsibilities for working at the Kodiak Corner desk AND the welcome desk. In the interim, all questions should be referred to Kodiak Corner until our new system is in place.

Have a great weekend.

Friday Letter, 1-26-18

The highlight of my week was the DIA. As I walked around during team meetings and the skill building workshops, I heard people engaged and enthusiastic.  Thank you for your participation.  Your ideas about our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts on campus will be synthesized and turned into something actionable.  We’ll report back as soon as we have an idea of where we’re headed.

I’m not sure you would call it a highlight, but I spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Olympia. Monday was with Trustee Roy Captain for a New Trustee Orientation; Trustee Janet McDaniel joined us in the evening on Monday for the Transforming Lives Scholarship dinner.  Tuesday was spent lobbying with UWB and then beginning my monthly presidents’ meeting, which spilled over into Wednesday.

The top 3 topics of interest at the state level:

  • The supplemental capital budget. I’ve been working on that one. I am still hopeful that CC4 will be in the bill.
  • Running Start legislation. I’ve been asked to testify next Monday on the costs of that program.
  • ctcLink…we are still waiting to hear if we are in the next group to move forward.

We spent LOTS of time on these topics.

The Foundation Board meets today and is continuing to do good work. Scholarship season is here and the deadline for submission is March 2.  Please get the word out to students and direct them to the webpage.  There is a link in the main header (the rotating feature) of the homepage.

Activities next week include a return visit to Olympia on Monday and my second Cavoline TED talk on Wednesday about Student Loan Indebtedness. I hope to see you there (noon, CC2-170).

Have a great weekend.

Friday Letter, 1-19-18

It’s been a whirlwind of a week and I don’t see the end of it just yet. Welcome to Friday…I hope we have a great weekend…and here’s the update:

The Trustees met on Wednesday. I received my evaluation…and they voted to renew my contract through 2022.  (That makes me happy.)  The Trustees also visited the Bock Learning Center and received a tour from Lindsay Burke.  They were completely impressed by the growth and professionalism of the unit.  Kudos to Lindsay and her staff for leading one of our highly-valued resources on campus.  Nice job.

The Trustees heard from Catherine Crain, Sharon Saxton, Natalie Serianni, and Gene Taylor about their sabbaticals last year and from Sarah Leadley, who gave a presentation on the Library. They were also updated on ctcLink, the Campus Master Plan, and CC4 and CC5. As I said, we have a lot going on and I enjoy keeping the board informed. We have tremendous assets at Cascadia.  (We are fortunate.)

I will be in Olympia next week on Monday with Trustee Roy Captain as he goes through the State Board’s Trustee Orientation. (Grant us patience.)  Following the all-day orientation, Trustee Janet McDaniel will join us for a dinner with Senator Guy Palumbo and our Transforming Lives Scholarship nominee LaShanta Sealy.  The five of us will be joined by the trustees, legislators, and student nominees from all 34 colleges in the state.

The next two days are also in Olympia as I meet with legislators and have my monthly presidents’ meeting. The meeting with legislators will be conducted jointly with UWB in our first attempt to lobby jointly. (Wish us luck.)

I’ll be back on Thursday in time for our DIA. You can find the agenda here and I hope to see you there.  We are using this day to help guide us as to our next steps with regard to diversity and equity on campus.  Your input is highly valued.  We want to make sure that this remains a priority, yet we also want to think strategically. (It’s gonna be a good day.)  As a side note, I’ve been holding onto this handout regarding LGBTQ allyship.  Given the topic of next week’s DIA, I thought it might be appropriate to share it with you now.  Click here.

Finally, we had two great workshops last week on generational differences. They were conducted in my Cavoline TED Talk series.  Several folks have requested the link to the TED Talk, so it is provided here.  Thanks for the participation; they were fun discussions.  As a Gen-Xer, I am an action-oriented Do-er (or so they say).  It makes sense…just look at this week’s letter.  I think I need to program in some down time.  I hope you do so as well.  =)

Have a great weekend.

Friday Letter, 1-12-18

As promised, I was in Olympia this week on two separate days. Monday was spent in 7 legislative meetings, mostly with Representatives of the House, lobbying for the addition of 5 projects to the capital funding list.  The last project would be our own, CC4.  There was generally good reception for this addition.  My case:  by funding this facility, we move forward with building capacity at Cascadia, thereby allowing us to increase enrollment, thereby allowing us to get more students to UW (since we’re the best Transfer College in the state), thereby allowing us to meet the workforce needs of our region.  They bought it.

When I’m in Olympia, I “home base” in Senator Guy Palumbo’s office. His aides like me; I bring them Dr. Pepper.  I also responded to a comment by Senator Palumbo about the fact that he has more purple in his office (UWB) than blue (Cascadia).  Vicki and I hatched a plan.  We ordered 3 dozen helium filled blue balloons for me to put in his office.  As I carried the balloons into the State Capital building, two very nice, but persistent, State Troopers said I could not bring balloons into the building.  Even with all my charm and Dr. Pepper, I could not get around them.  The balloons therefore ended up at the sundial in the middle of the legislative campus.  See the picture.  We still got points with Senator Palumbo…it’s now a story that goes into the books.

Yesterday was my second visit to Olympia. I testified before the Senate Ways and Means committee about the capital funding list.  I hopefully made a compelling argument about the projects (see “my case” above).  On January 23rd I return to Olympia with Kelly Snyder from UWB.  She and I will jointly lobby the decision makers for our funding so that we can sync the building of UW4 with CC4, making the projects more cost-efficient for both of us.  This could be the first of many steps the legislature takes to demonstrate support for the co-location and the efficacy of our relationship.

Two other things of note this week.

Thanks to those who attended my TED talk on generational differences. This is a part of our Cavoline opportunities for building inter-cultural competence.  The two sessions were well-attended with great conversation.  I appreciate your attendance and look forward to the next talk on student loan indebtedness.

This week I also began in earnest my Trustee-approved research project. I am spending the next 8 months in a 3-step process to determine the most viable means by which we can increase our revenue outside of the legislative funding mechanisms of tuition and state-support.  Step One is to meet with all of the city administrators in our district to see how they might directly help the college financially.  As well, they will tie me in with the 5 most entrepreneurial business leaders in their communities to come to a summit on campus (Step Two) to determine our commodities and opportunities for revenue development.  Step Three involves a summit for our legislative leaders to have them help change policy and support these revenue ideas.  At the end of the project. I will evaluate the costs and benefits of the ideas and propose some new objectives to the Trustees about how we might generate more revenue.  My goal is to increase the operating budget by $2M, or 10% of our budget.

I’ve completed four city administrator meetings (as of noon today) with four more to come. After I’ve collected ideas from the cities and the business leaders, I will be hosting an open forum with campus to solicit your opinions of these ideas and to hear YOUR ideas.  I am excited about the process.  It is systematic and I am hopeful will we find something.  As a result of our Coffees for Three, I developed this project because, after hearing from you, I realized we can no longer wait for the legislature to meet our needs.

Have a great weekend.