Friday Letter, 12-21-17

Grades are in? Financial Aid is awarded?  Students are enrolled?  Are we ready for a long winter’s sleep?  I think the answer to those questions is Yes, No, No, and YES!!  Thanks to those working around the clock to help get things running for Winter Quarter.

As promised, I have attached HERE a summary of the Coffee for Three ideas. With over 100 individual ideas, I tried to categorize the best I could.  The executive team will review the detailed suggestions starting in Winter Quarter.  I plan to repeat the process in 4 years…I’ll start calendaring now. =)

This week was a flurry of activity in the President’s Suite, as I am sure it was in other offices. We worked on the DIA for January (more about that next quarter), we agreed to host a small gathering to determine how to help a Bothell company meet their workforce needs for a 1000 employee expansion, and I started on an 8-month research project approved last week by the Trustees.

The research projects goes like this: I will be spending the next few months interviewing city administrators in our district, and then hosting a half-day business leader summit, and then hosting a half-day legislative summit in order to develop revenue ideas that will help us meet our expenses.  Our expenses are rising at a faster rate than our revenues. Since we do not control our revenue (legislative funding and tuition) and since the expenses are mandated (ctcLink, software licensing increases, collective bargaining obligations, etc) we have to start methodologically identifying our commodities and partnerships to start leveraging them as funding sources.  I’ll gather this info through the summer and then complete a cost-benefit analysis to determine if any of the newly-generated ideas seem worthwhile to add to our plate.  In fall next year, I hope to relate what I’ve learned to the campus (and the Trustees) so we can make some informed decisions about how to tackle this problem.

While we are financially stable at the moment, everyone knows from Convocation that our reserves are scheduled to get smaller because of predicted revenue shortfalls. It is my intent to see if we can reverse that trend AND give us more flexibility in affording the things we need, like competitive salaries and program support.  This is a long-term and systematic process; I figured I should start it now while we are healthy rather than waiting for when we are in desperate times.  I estimate that any idea we ultimately employ will take several years to start producing revenue streams given start-up phasing.

So next quarter you will see me very active in Olympia (7 visits, 4 of which are overnighters) and very active working on this research project. That’s in addition to all of the other priorities on our plate.  Yes, I am ready for a long winter’s sleep, but that may have to wait until summer.

I wish you a restful holiday, I’m excited for the new year, and I thank you for a wonderful 2017. I am holding down the office next week, Wednesday through Friday…stop by to chat.

Have a great weekend.

Friday Letter, 12-15-17

The last day of the quarter. You made it.

I’ve been back at work full time this week after two successful eye surgeries over the last month. Thanks for all who have inquired and endured my story-telling about the experience.  I’m healing well, I’m seeing well.  I’ll have a new pair of glasses to dial things in as of February 1, but am (for the first time in my life) functional without any aids even now.  I’ve also appreciated hearing from other people who have similar issues or have gone through similar processes.

Vicki Newton and I wish to thank the 102 people who stopped by the Koffee Haus yesterday. We were thrilled to visit with everyone and help you wrap up the quarter.  Speaking of coffee, two other things to report.  I have completed the Coffee for Three series.  I will be sharing some reflections from that process next week in the Friday Letter.  And, the winners of a Starbucks gift card for having selected the prized Star Wars trading cards were Marion (info desk) and Martin (financial aid).  Congrats to the both of you and I hope you will learn from Obi-Wan’s teachings.

For staff: Please remember that we begin an alternative work schedule for two weeks beginning NEXT week.

Beginning December 18, we revert to a 4-day, 10 hour work week.

We’ll work 10 hours on December 18, 19, 20, and 21. The college will be closed on December 22nd.

The college will also be closed on December 25th and 26th.

December 27, 28, and 29 will be 10-hour work days.

We are closed Monday, January 1 and return to 8 hour days beginning January 2.

Thanks to Katherine Raines for sharing an article and video with me about a former student. Derek Flett is a Learning Center employee and his research project was published and presented to his peers last week in New Orleans. “We’re all very proud of Derek and expect great things from him!” He will be graduating from the UWB Engineering program this spring.

The Board of Trustees met this week to begin my end-of-year review. While they recognize that we have to constantly put out fires and address challenges, they expressed their satisfaction with the entire campus and our employees’ dedication to our students and institutional health. I thought I would pass that along.

If you are interested in viewing some of that success, our Japanese students who come to us from Trajal Hospitality College are graduating from their 9 month English program tonight (6-8pm, Mobius). It is always an entertaining and meaningful ceremony.  You are welcome to attend.  Thanks to the International Programs staff and ELP faculty for the extra effort it takes to stand up this mid-year graduation ceremony.

Stay well and have a great weekend.

Friday Letter, 12-8-17 (guest author)

Dr. Murray is off this week and requested that I sub as a guest lecturer, so this week you get an exciting HR addition of the Friday letter!! As you all know, there is nothing more exciting than Human Resources…

It’s hard to believe that it has been 6 months since I joined the Cascadia team; it has been a blur. Thanks to all of you for being so welcoming and friendly. It didn’t take long for me to feel at home here. I have done my best to meet all of you and I apologize if we have not had time to chat, please feel free to stop by the HR offices anytime and say hello.

In this special HR addition, I wanted to accomplish two things:  tell you a bit about myself and provide a brief update on one area that has been at the top of my list since coming aboard, Title IX.

About me: Who is Martin “Marty” Philip Logan? (Side note: I had many people in high school who did not know my last name, it was always just “Marty”).

  • A native of the Pacific Northwest – I have lived here almost my entire life within about 5-15 miles of the College. No reason to leave because, so far, I have not found a better place in the country.
  • A huge Seattle Sport fan – any team, you name it. Big win last Sunday for the Hawks, hopefully you are sporting your blue Friday gear today. Looking forward to watching the Sounders rematch of last year’s MLS cup tomorrow.
  • A career HR professional – some past roles include: many years in customers service management, HR Consulting with Waldron (Seattle based firm), recruiting with the Seattle College District, and HR Director at North Seattle College.
  • A lifelong learner – I am always looking to expand my skills and knowledge. As far as my formal credentials go, I have an AA from Edmonds CC (also spent some time at Shoreline), a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from U-Dub, and a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) from Seattle U. I also certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) a Career Transition Consultant.
  • Family focused – both my wife and I have most of our family in the area and we enjoy spending time with all of them whenever we can. We also have a rescue dog that has quite the personality. She is about 6.5 lbs and can run like the wind. Gold star for whoever can guess the breed. Hint: She is an unusual combination, with one breed associated with a bus line and the other with a Mexican fast food company.

About Title IX: What is it? Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in educational programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Title IX states that:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Title IX has been a hot topic with the current administration. In September, Betsy DeVos, US Secretary of Education, announced she would be rescinding Obama’s Title IX sexual assault guidelines. The Department of Education will need to engage in a formal process to make any changes. This has not been done yet. For the time being, the College will maintain the Discrimination Complaint Procedure recently adopted by our Board of Trustees. This procedure outlines how Cascadia handles Title IX complaints. It is based on a model policy created by the Attorney General’s Office and has been vetted by our legal counsel. You can view all the information here:

Cascadia just sent seven employees to a Title IX training at Bates Technical College. We hope to use this additional expertise to further define our processes moving forward.

Thanks for your time and have a great weekend. GO HAWKS and Scarves UP!


Friday Letter, 12-1-17

I hope everyone had a safe and joyful Thanksgiving holiday. We are now fast approaching the end of the quarter and I know that grading, student anxiety, and preparations for next quarter are on the rise.

Some updates:


The Coffee for Three program is winding down. I will have my last set of coffees the week of December 11.  I intend to publish an abbreviated version of my notes so folks can get a general sense of the kind of feedback I received.  As well, Deans, Directors, and the Executive Team will receive the detailed version so that we can attempt to start integrating suggestions into our daily work.  Thanks to all who participated.


When I went around with the Green Bucket this quarter, I distributed 109 Star Wars trading cards. I know some of you were coerced into taking them, but thanks for playing along!  As I mentioned, two of the cards hold special value.  If you are in possession of one of these cards, you are the winner of a $15 gift card to Starbucks.  You can redeem your gift card with Vicki in my office.  The winning cards are…

And this should make total sense given we’re an educational institution…

One card with a RED boarder and one card with a GREEN boarder that say…


I’ll announce the winners once we know who they are and then THEY can take you to coffee.


I have been in Bellingham since Wednesday night at the monthly Presidents’ meeting. We have discussed a range of topics mostly focusing on how we can increase compensation through successful lobbying with the legislature.  The business meeting is about to begin this morning. We’ll see what that brings.


I will be out of the office all of next week as I undergo my second and final eye surgery. Healing from the first surgery is progressing nicely.  The last 3 weeks have been hard as I see very differently out of each eye for the moment.  And, interestingly, I see colors differently out of each eye; my UNcorrected eye has a sepia tone while colors are brighter with my corrected eye.  No wonder my spouse and I have disagreed on color choices for the last 11 years.  Meagan will be the acting president in my absence next week and I look forward to seeing you in your true colors when I return.


A shout out to Erik Tingelstad who holds the title of our “College in the High School” administrator. We received a letter from the State Board last month with accolades for our program.  This program involves support from across the college, including faculty members and those who help with registration.  Erik is our main point of contact and I want to thank him and all those who contribute to making this program successful.  One paragraph in the letter reads:

The review committee commends Cascadia College for an overall solid CiHS program. We are encouraged by the quality and potential of this program to provide opportunities for Washington students seeking dual credit programs.

Have a great weekend.

Friday Letter, 11-17-17

A lot of great things happened this week.

As you may have heard, we are honored that Margaret Bock, a long-time friend of the college, gave a sizeable portion of her estate to the college upon her passing in 2016. Her scholarship endowment for students is approaching $1M and we will be helping students for generations based on her good will.  The Board of Trustees recognized Margaret and her late husband John this week by renaming our Learning Center to the “John and Margaret Bock Learning Center”, or the Bock Center.  We had a reception after the Board meeting this week to announce the resolution and celebrate Margaret’s life and contributions.  Thank you to Anne, Kari, Raquel, Shawn, and Vicki for helping with the reception and set-up for the Board meeting.

I hope you will join me in transitioning our vocabulary to call this space the Bock Center. In 2016-17, the Bock Center had over 1300 unique student visitors who returned multiple times resulting in over 10,000 student contacts.  I want to thank Lindsay Burke and her staff as well as all of the faculty facilitators who have helped to make this service successful.  It is probably our best retention tool and paramount to our students’ success.

Speaking of our students, I attended two school districts presentations this week about their new levies and bonds. The Lake Washington School district is now the 3rd largest in the state with over 29,000 students and 115 languages spoken by those students.  It has an 80% graduation rate compared to the state average of 60%.  The Northshore School District has 22,000 students who speak 96 languages.  It has a similar graduation rate.  Both districts have seen tremendous growth which is not slowing down.  Ultimately, this will feed into Cascadia’s growth as these students graduate.  One of the most frequent conversations in my Coffees over the last few months is how we will prepare for that growth.  Certainly, it is on the mind of leadership and we will spend much of the next few years preparing for CC4, full classes, appropriate staffing, parking and the other issues that come with growth.

I was around yesterday with the Green Bucket. Sorry if I missed you.  I was able to get to about half of campus and will try another round next week.  Most popular were the Star Wars trading cards I distributed.  There are 60 floating around currently with more to come next week.  Trade-up if you desire or come by if I missed you and you want one.  There is one very special card that I will announce in a couple weeks.  One of the purposes of the visit was to remind folks to sign up for Cavolines.  Please make sure to review the catalog:


discuss with your supervisor your options, and then sign up with the appropriate Cavoline leader.  Samantha Brown can answer almost every question about Cavolines if you have any.  Also, you will see the Annual Diversity & Equity Summary coming out soon. I hope you’ll take a chance to review ALL of our inclusion efforts as we attempt to coordinate the multiple initiatives underway this year.

To conclude, let’s celebrate one of our students:

Last week, the Activities Board (CAB) went to the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) West Regional Conference in Reno, NV.  It’s an opportunity for our students to network with students from two-year and four-year institutions across the western states, attend educational sessions about programming as well as leadership and see new/upcoming performers to bring to campus.

Ellie Boone, our CAB chair, won the award for Outstanding Programmer at a Two-Year Institution.  One of the comments from the nomination said:

“Ellie is someone who has embraced every leadership opportunity presented to her. She works hard every day to support her teammates, encourage other students to get involved, and to create a welcoming and inclusive campus experience for all students. Ellie really understands and values the importance of student involvement on campus and is planning on pursuing a career in Student Affairs.” 

We are proud of the hard work and time Ellie has put into Student Life and especially the Cascadia Activities Board.  When you see her on campus, help us to congratulate her.

Have a great weekend.

Friday Letter, 11-10-17

This Friday Letter is actually being posted on Wednesday. Friday is Veteran’s Day (more on that in a bit), and Thursday I will be off campus having the first of two eye surgeries.  To follow-up on a previous post, I have been approved to move forward with surgery.  If all goes well, I should be back to work on Monday with a corrected right eye.  I asked for them to change the color of my eye to Cascadia blue/gray. The left eye will be corrected a month later…to UW purple.  (And for those of you who take me always-so-seriously…I’m kidding about the color change part of that.)

But yes, I will be out for a few days hence the early posting of the Friday Letter.

This coming Monday, November 13, is the day we will post the Cavoline Catalog. I would like to urge you to review it and find a Cavoline to join.  Through my Coffee for Three program, I have been told over and over that this learning opportunity is one of the things that sets Cascadia apart.  We learn about inter-cultural competency so that we can be supportive of the employee and student experience.  I know it is “one more thing”, but I view it as a “critical one more thing” that helps define Cascadia’s commitment to Pluralism.  Thank you!

There are a couple of meetings this week that I think define Cascadia’s other commitments, namely transparency and collegiality. Today, the WPEA stewards and Cascadia management met to discuss how we can be most effective on the local level. Since the WPEA is represented at the state level and the college’s admin is represented by the Governor’s office, we asked those reps to come\ talk to us about the kinds of discussions we can have locally vs. those that need to go through “the machine”.  As with the faculty union, the WPEA members on campus and the administration have embraced an informal “interested-based” approach to problem solving.  We learned today how to make that more effective since it is often not the methodology employed in state negotiations.

And then tomorrow, the executive team (minus me), the deans and many of the directors will be having a “planning retreat”. We realized this summer just how many priorities we have going on and that none of them are coordinated with the others.  This planning retreat will put many of the managers in the same room with four-year calendars outlining over a dozen priorities.  They will be working to see where there is overlap, capacity, overload, and impossibilities.  We have to start thinking with an integrated systems approach if we want to accomplish everything on our plate. To do so, we need to get all of the players and all of the priorities in the same room, and then sort out how to get it done.

Because of our small size, we have the burden of too many things to do, but we also have the good fortune of being able to work through these things together.

As I said, Friday is Veteran’s day. I hope that you take a moment to reflect on the lives, challenges, families, sacrifices, and dreams of our vets, especially the 120 of those who study with us at Cascadia.  I am proud of our Veteran’s Resource office and the staff and faculty who support this group of individuals.

Have a great weekend. I hope to see you better on Monday.

Friday Letter, 11-3-17

The DIA…

I hope your Day of Inquiry and Assembly on Wednesday was worthwhile no matter which topic you pursued. I’ve heard from one person that the Undocu Ally training went well and I look forward to hearing from the Faculty & Staff of Color Conference participants.

For those of us in the emergency planning exercise, thank you! We are debriefing on two separate topics:  how we responded to the hypothetical incident, and if/when we do this type of exercise again how we’ll make it better.

We learned a lot about certain gaps, such as the need to identify “essential personnel”, a plan for bomb threats when the police are not able to assist, a plan for the orderly evacuation of campus, etc. We have collected the notes about how we responded to the incident and will work on them.

We also know that the incident will take a different shape with less available people to help, when the EOC is properly located in Husky Hall, and when we work with our partners at UWB. Again, we’ve collected the notes on how we executed the exercise and will make improvements.

Overall, I am pleased that everyone was exposed to the chaos of an exercise and that there is a general understanding now of how we will operate in an actual situation. Patience and practice are the keys.  Thanks to all…it was a productive day.

On a different note…

Huda Sarhan and I will be hosting this fall’s “Conversations on Current Issues” program next week on November 7. It is a part of the campus “Your Voice, Your Space, No Hate” campaign. The conversation will happen in the President’s Conference Room (CC2-261) from 12-1. This is a time for any student or employee to chat in a small forum about the struggles and worries that the current national climate brings to their lives. We have established a set of conversational guidelines for the forum. In our conversations at Cascadia, we…

  • Respect difference
  • Listen for understanding
  • Expect and accept non-closure
  • Focus content on community issues and climate
  • Give others the opportunity to share

The Committee on Pluralism and Social Justice, along with the executive team and college relations, has been promoting such conversations since last January when many of our students and employees felt vulnerable. We invite you or your students to attend.

Lastly, some praises for a successful event collaboration…

iUrban Teen is a STEM education program that encourages STEM careers for youth (predominantly male youth of color ages 13-18). Cascadia welcomed over 100 visitors to our campus on Saturday, Oct. 28 for STEM-O-Ween that included STEM workshops and other interactive education forums. The event included three workshops led by Cascadians: Craig Duckett (Karel the Robot – computer programming); Mohan Raj (Egg Drop – engineering); and Jodie Galvan (Parking planning with Google Earth & iMap). Initial comments after the first round of workshops were positive, and especially for our Cascadia team! Thanks to Sara Gomez Taylor for her coordination and organizing of the event and to the faculty/staff who were willing to come in on a Saturday to help promote Cascadia and integrated education.

Have a great weekend.

Friday Letter, 10-27-17

We are about half way through the quarter.  I hope the first part has treated you well.  My Coffees for Three continue; I’m meeting briefly with all of the tenure candidates for a check-in this quarter; the Board of Trustees has met twice; and I meet with the Foundation Board this morning.  Overall, we seem to be chugging along.

Next week, on Wednesday, we have our professional development DIA (Day of Inquiry and Assembly).  Ten of you will be going to the Faculty and Staff of Color Conference; thirty of you will be going to Undocu Ally training; and the remainder of us will be going through an emergency preparedness exercise.  Breakfast for those on campus will be served at 8:30.  Trainings on campus begin promptly at 9.

We have begun discussions in the executive team about hate speech, what it is, and what campuses have done in response to such speech.  It seems like every week there is an incident on a college campus somewhere. Like everything, the issue becomes complicated.  Legal definitions don’t always match our perceptions of what hate speech really is.  In order for us to be better prepared on how to handle literature or oral exchanges that we find offensive, we really need to know what the law allows or does not allow.  Next quarter we’ll start an educational series on hate speech so we are all on the same page and will know how to react when such circumstances present themselves.  For now, if you encounter something that you think is hateful, please contact Erin Blakeney or Meagan Walker.

Cavoline sign-ups are just around the quarter.  Look for an email from Samantha Brown and view the catalog.  Some of our options happen in Winter Quarter but will be repeated in Spring Quarter if there is enough demand.  There should be an opportunity that fits most people’s schedules.

My apologies to the Classified Staff.  I had to cancel our quarterly TED Talk scheduled for November 9 because it is now the day I am scheduled to have eye surgery.  My period of wearing glasses is almost over and I have been approved to move forward in the surgery process.  That’s good news for me.  And, for the classified staff, I will repeat my TED Talk as part of my Cavoline series in Winter and Spring.  You can catch it then if interested.

Have a great weekend.

Friday Letter, 10-20-17

I am always looking for the reminders of why I like working at Cascadia. Often, students’ stories inspire me.  I am also motivated by the successes of our faculty and staff.  I get particularly excited by new collaborations with UWB and our community partners.

Last week we hosted a conference for folks in the international student realm and one of our former employees, Chris Thomas, was in attendance. He sent me this letter after the conference.

Hi Eric –

I attended the AWISA conference at Cascadia this morning.  It was the first time I had been back since I left nearly 4 years ago, and frankly, I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of how it would feel being back on campus.

A lot has certainly changed!  New buildings, new staff, etc.   But as I walked across campus, it felt exactly the same as it did 4 years ago – the same community feel, the same commitment to sustainability, the same focus on students – and I realized that the emotion I was feeling was gratitude.  I was thankful to see that while time has passed and much has changed, Cascadia has stayed true to its values.  I was thankful to see the International Programs lounge area vibrantly decorated and full of international students interacting with one another.  And I was thankful for all the good memories and opportunities I have taken with me from my time there.  I think Cascadia will always have a special place in my heart and it makes me really happy to see it doing so well.

My job as President allows me to leave campus, visit other campuses or Olympia, and then return. The feelings expressed by Chris are ones I feel every time I pull back onto campus.  Sometimes seeing what else is out there allows one to appreciate what is at home.  And I, like Chris, certainly appreciate being at Cascadia.  Thanks to Chris for sharing his thoughts.

One of this week’s “big events” was our monthly Board of Trustees meeting. A lot was accomplished, including the Board’s unanimous nomination of a student for the state-wide Transforming Lives award. We saw this student’s story at Convocation; LaShanta Sealy will compete in January against 33 other students for one of five scholarships.  Send positive thoughts to the awarding committee in Olympia!

If you keep up with the Board agenda or minutes, you might also know that we received a generous donation from one of our long-time donors who passed away last year. In recognition of the donor’s generosity, the Board is considering naming our Learning Center after this donor.  Here is an excerpt from the Board packet:

Shortly after marrying in 1949, John and Margaret Bock moved to the Totem Lake area. John was a salesman and Margaret a homemaker. In the late 1960’s when the extension of Interstate 405 was slated to run through their property, they sold their home and moved east beyond Redmond.

Before John’s death some twenty years ago, the Bocks talked frequently of sharing their good fortune with a student or students seeking a college education. Ms. Bock made a commitment to honor that vision.  Although the Bocks did not have children of their own, Ms. Bock decided to establish an endowed scholarship to help Cascadia students reach their dreams.  The endowment supports students who demonstrate academic success and are pursuing a degree in the sciences, math, or economics.  The endowment has funded multiple scholarships to date.

Ms. Bock established the endowment in 2007 with a gift of $107,000; the first awards were distributed in 2008. Over the last 10 years, Ms. Bock continued to make generous donations.  Upon her death last year, a portion of her estate was entrusted to Cascadia.  Creating the endowment, especially one of such significant size, has and will fund dozens of student scholarships each year for generations.

In honor of the Bock’s generosity, the college’s executive team and the Foundation Board recommend to the Trustees that, at the November Board meeting, the college name the institution’s learning center (currently located in CC2) as the John & Margaret Bock Learning Center, or simply the Bock Center.

The Bock’s desire to help students learn and achieve their goals is best represented by naming the learning center facility after them. The learning center continues to grow as a vital resource to students’ success with quality professional staff, tutors, and services.  It is an integral facility for Cascadia and will continue to grow and expand in importance as the college itself grows. 

As I said, I am inspired by our employees, our students, our community partners, and all that we do at Cascadia.

Have a great weekend.

Friday Letter, 10-13-17

The week has been routine.  I hope yours has been too.

The Navigators met on Monday for our first meeting of the academic year.  I updated them on parking, budget, and the master plan.  No new issues were brought up, so I encourage you to remember that the Navigators represent each campus constituency.  If you have a concern, chat with them and they will help try to resolve the problem or bring it to my attention if needed.  You can find your navigators here.

The Chamber of Commerce endorsed the Master Plan this week.  There is a public hearing next Tuesday when the City Council will hear comments on the plan.  While not everyone will be 100% happy with the outcome, we think is contains a fair amount of compromise and future thinking.  The UW Board of Regents met yesterday and gave their preliminary approval to the plan.  I’m happy about our partners, especially Kelly Snyder and Ruth Johnston at UWB.  They’ve been good stewards of this process and have kept Cascadia’s needs as a priority.  Our Board will have an in depth study session next week on the plan.

I met with state legislators at Google in Kirkland this week.  They affirm what we heard at WACTC:  there are a lot of needs during this legislative session and they are not sure how things will play out.  It reminds me that I need to stay in front of them, keep them informed of our needs, and constantly advocate for Cascadia and the CTC system.  I expect to be in Olympia regularly this winter.

Coffees for Three continue.  I have 27 more employees on the list that I still need to meet with.  Once we have finished with those meetings, I’ll put out a call for those folks we missed.  The process has been good and I appreciate the feedback.  Thanks for your patience in the process; I’ve had to postpone a few of them including one this week.  But I promise we’ll circle back.

Have a great weekend.