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, 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.

https://www.washington.edu/news/2017/12/05/rooftop-wiretap-aims-to-learn-what-crows-gossip-about-at-dusk/

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:

www.cascadia.edu/discover/governance/policies/default.aspx

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!

Best,
Marty

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:

COFFEE

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.

STAR WARS

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…

(Suspense) OBI-WAN’S TEACHINGS.

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

WACTC

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.

EYES

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.

FINALLY

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:

(https://cascadiaupdates.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/2017-2018-catalog.docx),

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.