Governance Retreat

Dear Colleagues,

So far, these Monday messages have been dedicated to the informal side of leadership and institutional culture.  That focus has been selfish, as I function best in an institution where I know and feel--on a deeply personal level--what matters to the members of that organization.  That's why I search out multiple opportunities to connect with you in ways that are as inclusive as possible.

In these various communiques, I see a theme running through where I tell parts of my story so you can see where I'm coming from.  And then I appeal to you so I can hear where you're coming from.  I hope to find what motivates you and feel what brings you joy in working with our students and at our college.  I want to hear your stories.

Much to my pleasure, the approach seems to be working.  Every single day you're helping me make connections and find commonalities.  And those overlaps continue to be centered on this amazing institution, the students we serve, and the communities where they come from.  You take time and speak with courage, and this helps me.  Without question, you've helped me with your testimonials,, your joy in your colleagues, your commitment to student success, your understanding of our educational partners and our region's economic and workforce development needs, and your concern over issues of social justice.

And the exciting part is that I still have so much to learn.  With every connection, more questions arise, and my desire to inquire, collect data, and immerse myself in this new culture grows.

Going forward, these Monday Missives will also cover the other side of the institution--the formal, process-oriented structures of governance and decision-making.  I see key parts of my role to ensure effective processes, strengthen structures, and develop trust in the system.

As a way to start, today I'd like to draw your attention to a governance retreat that a team of your colleagues has been planning for the 15th of December.   In addition to the members of Consultation Council, a number of additional students and members of the faculty and staff have been selected by your representatives on CC.  The main focus of this retreat is to come together around the charge and role of Consultation Council.  We'll do this by interrogating data and examining other contexts so that we--collectively as a committee and individually as stakeholder representatives--can chart a strong and confident course.

Among other issues, we'll be examining the overall participatory governance structure and taking a hard look at our committees and how they fit together.  The governance retreat agenda, while still not quite finalized, includes plenty of quantitative and qualitative data about local and broader contexts that will inform our discussions.  We'll also spend a significant portion of the day engaging in deep and critical dialog.  We'll undoubtedly disagree at times, but I'm confident that we'll come together around the key goals.

In key ways, this retreat agenda and the day itself are crowd-sourced.  Next week, when you receive the finalized agenda, you'll see clear outcomes throughout, with sections being led by teams of students, faculty members, classified professionals, and administration.

So, look forward to that update, and please feel free to reach out to your representatives with questions or concerns.

Enjoy your week.