Inservice 2011: The State of the College Address
Good morning and welcome. It's great to see all of you. We are so lucky that we get to start another academic year, build upon what is so great about Lane and do our part to make it even better in the future. I love the burst of energy that hits the campus when students and most of the faculty come back. I really enjoy seeing the faces of the people who make the college what it is today. Note: SLIDES WITH FALL COLORS
I want to express my appreciation to all the faculty and staff who worked over the summer to close out last year and prepare for the new academic year. That takes a lot of work! I also want to thank the faculty, many of whom may have been off campus but were still engaged in reviewing curriculum and practice and getting ready for the new year.
I had an opportunity to get away a bit this summer. As usual I made my annual sojourn to Scotland SCOTLAND SLIDE to take care of my mother. At 95, she is amazing – her physical health is failing but she is as sharp as a tack. I just hope I have a tenth of her wit, zest for life and curiosity for what goes on in the world if I get to be her age. I also had the opportunity to travel to Australia. Picture with Opera House in background. In fact, I wrote most of this speech sitting overlooking Sydney Harbor and the Sydney Opera House. I was invited by the Australian government to work with the Colleges of Further Education on sustainability and green skills training. We share many things with Australia, including using more resources than we should. They have an interesting system of government standards for education, and they are required to integrate sustainability in all of their career and technical programs. They have also introduced a carbon tax – in many ways they are much more advanced than we are. And I must say I am well aware that it is thanks to many of you that Lane has an international reputation for our work in sustainability, and it is only because of you that I get to go and share Lane's story. It is the Susie Cousars, the Jennifer Haywards, the Roger Ebbages the Mike Sims, and the Anna Scotts and to all of you who have contributed to our sustainability agenda that I was representing. There were four of us in the US delegation, Celeste Carter who runs the Advanced Technology Education centers program at the National Science Foundation, Michelle Fox the Chief Strategist at the US Department of Energy, and Mindy Feldbaum from the Academy of Educational Development in Washington DC. We made great connections with our Australian counterparts, and there is a plan for both governments to fund a bi-lateral green skills network that among other things will lead to exchanges of personnel and expertise in the future. What an adventure! Then I managed to squeeze in a week of real vacation where I was able to exercise like a maniac, eat healthy food and renew my mind and my spirit for the coming year.
I hope that whatever you did this summer, all of you had some time to rest and renew and enjoy the glorious Oregon summer – once it arrived that is. FILLER SLIDE I hope that you had time to spend with the most important people in your lives and that you feel ready to dive in and do the transformational work that makes Lane such a great place.
And a special welcome to all of you who are with us for the first time. Could everyone who has joined the college since this time last year please stand? Please welcome them. We are so glad you are here and wish you a long and successful relationship with the college. Please reach out to them over the next weeks and months and introduce yourselves and make them feel at home.
I would also like to welcome our board members who are here today. Our elected board does a great job on behalf of the community and provides solid and stable leadership for all of us. I especially want to thank Susie for stepping up to be chair.
And thanks to my in service team of Quinton Anderson, graduate of our multi-media program, Joan Aschim, Tracy Simms, and Donna Zmolek.
Ten years.....wow! It is a marker of something – not sure what, but it did cause me to reflect on these all college gatherings and look back at what I have said over the years. My themes have been remarkably consistent. In fact, I created a Wordle using the text of the many speeches I have given over the years and this is what it looked like. I could have imagined a wordle that was full of despair - starting a month before 9/11, basically living through two recessions – the latest the worst since the 1930's, and now poised potentially to go into another downturn, I am thinking to myself –what the hell? Can we just get a little bit of a break here? In spite of everything you have kept the focus on these things. I am very grateful to have spent the last ten years as your president, and I cannot tell you how proud I am to serve you and this great college, and I can't thank you enough for all the amazing things we – you – have accomplished over the last ten years.
What we have experienced over the last ten years is still illustrative of some of the challenges and opportunities that face us going forward. Campus Slide I started as president in 2001, and as we remember the ten year anniversary of 9/11, I can remember the shock and horror of that day and immediately following how we had a great opportunity to reconcile with the world. We talked about how it was even more important that we come together, care for each other and, as educators, do our part to eradicate the ignorance and intolerance that exists. Even then, in 2001 we were also talking about being learning centered and student achievement.
In 2002 while dealing with the realities of the day we started to imagine a future where we took our fate in our own hands and give voice to the vision, inviting everyone to get their oar in the water and engage. Oar in water SLIDE
In 2003 I talked about the nascent work of Foundation - that was before they raised $20 million – look at them now! Students SLIDE We thought about our calling to this community college work and our part in it, whether we clean classrooms or teach in them, balance the books or support networks, make sure the place is safe or students get their financial aid that all of us are educators and need what the poet Blake calls a "firm persuasion" in our work. That year I quoted Dante who said we all need to cultivate a relationship with the unknown. Boy was he right!
In 2004 we used the image of a kaleidoscope to illustrate the importance of framing and reframing, Kaleidoscope SLIDE how it takes in different forms and shapes and creates different patterns, the fact that there was a place for all diverse pieces, each piece being distinctive but everything and everyone belonging and the need for us to be equally fluid and able to change.
Building the Bridge SLIDE In 2005 we were building the bridge as we were walking across it – still are.......
Harsh Realities and Hopeful Possibilities SLIDE In 2006 we looked at harsh realities and hopeful possibilities – the theme music that year was "Under Pressure!" We were continuing to see diminishing resources, and that was the year we launched the notion of fundamental redesign and fiscal sustainability.
Light at the end of the Tunnel SLIDE In 2007 it was about the light at the end of the tunnel....if we do it right! Turned out it was another train coming towards us! Who knew?
SLIDE of students In spite of all that in 2008 we focused on achieving dreams – our own and students – and we celebrated Lane as a vibrant place where great things were happening and reminded ourselves about democracy's college.
Roller Coaster SLIDE In 2009 it was: Ready or Not...The Roller Coaster Ride Continues - same old, same old, unending challenges we have faced together; uncertainty and unpredictability was teaching us to take nothing for granted but rather to be comfortable with ambiguity, keep us on our toes, poised to take whatever life threw at us.
Sailboat SLIDE And finally last year – Uncharted – that the new normal was alive and well and there were no clear maps to the future, rather we have to create those pathways.
This year I want to share the idea of CONFLUENCE, but the thing I want you to walk away with is a sense of how good you are, how good we are – not in an arrogant way, but with a sense of confidence that Lane Community College is an amazing place, that great things are going on, and the reason that happens is because of you.
SECTION 2 – KUDOS
It is important to take just a few minutes to celebrate what is right with Lane and to recognize the many people that have contributed to these accomplishments. Before we do that I'd like you to simply ask yourself; what did I accomplish or contribute to last year? What am I most proud of? Is there a student whose life you changed? Did I make a systemic change? What did it feel like when you saw that 'aha' moment in a student? (Music: What Have You Done Today?) So take 30 seconds and think about that....... I'd like you to recognize it, own it and take time, for at least today, to reflect on your own best work.
Even if what you were thinking about is not reflected in these slides, what is important is that you recognize that you accomplished something and made a real difference. It may have been in a quiet way, unobserved by most but that doesn't make it any less important. Remember: "It is not the lofty sails that move the ship but the unseen winds."
So let's take a look at some of the highlights from last year........
Amazing! I do want to give an additional shout out to the winners of the Faculty Recognition Awards and would ask that you stand if you are here.
Jane Batterson, Health Professions
Daphne Gabrieli, Language, Literature, & Communication
Ahmad Rajabzadeh, Mathematics & Science
Janet Welch, Health Professions
Kelly Collins, Health Professions
Jody Larson, Mathematics
Florabelle Moses, Music, Dance and Theatre Arts
Bill Scannell, Science
Barbara Sullivan, Language, Literature, and Communication
Harriet Behm, Science
Let's give them another round of applause.
And also to our classified employees of the month. Our classified staff individually and collectively make this place hum and let's recognize our awardees again – names.
If you could please stand as I say your name.
November 2010 – Paula Westgate, Center for Meeting and Learning
December 2010 – Michael Zimmerman, Health and PE
January 2011 – Angela Fazio, Facilities Management and Planning
February 2011 – Michel Ronning, Child and Family Education
March 2011 – Raymond Bailey, Library
April 2011 – Terri Hansen, Lane Family Connections
May 2011 – Tracy Rea, Advanced Technology
June 2011 – Tony Hernandez, Housekeeping
July 2011 – Rhonda Johnson, BDC
Please join me in giving a round of applause for the monthly recipients.
As notable as those achievements are for our monthly recipients, we go a step further each year to identify that one individual from the monthly recipients whose contributions have demonstrated the greatest depth of impact and uniqueness to be the Classified Employee of the Year. It is my great pleasure this year to name the 2011 Classified Employee of the Year, MICHAEL ZIMMERMAN SLIDE OF WINNER
Michael, would you please join me at the podium to receive this well deserved award while I share a bit about you with your colleagues?
Here are some quotes from his nominations:
"In my 38+ years at Lane, I have known some excellent classified employees. Michael Zimmerman is above the elite. He has added knowledge, skills, integrity, professionalism and a super positive attitude to our division. With several different division chairs over the past years, Michael is the glue that held us together in ways beyond his job description."
"Because he is in such great shape, it's almost like he can be in two places at one time, solving two problems at once."
"Mike, his wife and four children volunteer with the Whitaker Thanksgiving Dinner every year, they collect donations, he transports all of the donations before the event to the site, and then they distribute these items on Thanksgiving morning. I can't imagine the dinner without Michael and his wonderful family."
"I especially love how humble and unassuming he is. He is inspiring, appreciated, respected and treasured. Everybody loves Michael, our 'go to guy.'"
Please join me in honoring the 2011 Classified Employee of the Year. Thank you, Mike.
I encourage all of you to think about a classified staff person and nominate them for this award.
We don't have any formal recognition for managers, but they also pulled their weight last year, so I would like to recognize them for everything they did.
I want to take just a moment to acknowledge the passing of some of our own:
Joann Ellingson, retired Early Childhood Education instructor
George Gyorgyfalvy, Athletics and Lane coach
Carole Carlson, Lane's first switchboard operator
Cliff Matson, Former board of education starting in 1965 who initiated our dental programs
Jim Bacon, Retired Communication Skills instructor
And one current staff member:
Tony Michaels, Longtime CIT faculty member
All of these people made a tremendous contribution to the college. They will be sorely missed.
I should also mention the whole "What is Islam" controversy. Islam slide What an incredible learning experience! You know, you never know how you are going to react until you are in the eye of the storm. When your name is posted on a website inviting people to call and try to close down the switchboard or e-mail me to tell me I am un-American, a traitor and a coward who tramples on First Amendment Rights and threaten to use their Second Amendment Rights to correct the situation, it gives you a whole new perspective. I had known that there were anti-Muslim people out there, and I knew there had been a political shift to the right, but I must say it was something of an abstraction. But when you receive 4,000 e-mails, most of which follow the same script, you can see this is an organized movement. People like Joan Aschim, Elizabeth Andrade, Donna Zmolek and Gwen Sluyk were in the direct line of fire -and I don't use that term lightly- and they did a great job of staying gracious and focused. The team of Joan Aschim, Brett Rowlett, Sonya Christian, and Jace Smith all fanned out and connected with our stakeholders. What we learned is that the college can come together, that our faith community supported us, and that as a learning college we are still learning, and the Islam Scholars series led by a great team and particularly Cliff Trolin without whom the initiative would not have blossomed, will continue to enlighten us. I also learned the importance of being engaged politically so that we try to make the right things happen.
I also want to highlight from last year our new Downtown Campus DTC slide and share with you the groundbreaking. Many of you could not attend because your were busy serving students but here is just a hint of the excitement that surrounds this effort that will create great spaces for our staff and students downtown and contribute to the economic revitalization of downtown – DTC video
What a year! To all of you: bravo, and thanks for continuing to go above and beyond to serve our students and the community. Before we go on to look at what's ahead, let me just share a poem written by one of your own faculty. It is included in the current issue of the Community College Moment. Barbara Sullivan graduated from the Women in Transition program and now teaches writing. About three years ago when I was in the depths of despair about budgets she sent me, on behalf of her class, the writing of the women in the Transitions program. That was a life saver for me –inspired and inspiring writing from women who showed courage and tenacity to deal with huge challenges. It just compelled me to get off my duff and get on with it!
Road to Lane slide
I love the stained carpets,
the broken equipment,
the valiant IT guys who keep trying
to fix things, showing up like
Jedi with giant coffee cups.
I love the single remaining, hard-used
computer lab, and the inadequate
parking that brings out students'
predatory instincts. I love that there
have been fistfights over spaces,
and that everyone drives a junker.
I love the cafeteria line, where we
who were never fed at home can get
turkey and dressing every Thursday,
and tacos, reliably, on Tuesdays.
I love the part-time, adjunct
faculty working like the crew of
this nation's Titanic to unlock
the gates in steerage for those
coming up behind them. I love
the teenagers with pierced lips,
and the old heavyweights, like me,
struggling for breath on the stairs,
hauling five hundred dollars worth
of knowledge in a backpack on wheels.
I love the thrill and terror in the eyes
of these people who have seen it all,
and still not given up. And yes,
I love even the swastika tattoo I glimpsed
on someone's back in the financial aid line,
because it is behind him now, because
he is here for something more than skin deep,
something more painful than ink:
he is here to learn something
he does not already know.
Barbara Sullivan August 2009
Stretch break – Once we start to look ahead at what's on the plate for this year, you will get exhausted pretty quickly. Sometimes it feels too hard and we feel too weary, we all experience "stretches" during the school year, excuse the pun, when the grind of daily routines take their toll – feverish pace, overwhelming demands, work never done, papers to grade, budgets to balance, contracts to settle, floors to be mopped. But we must remember that our students can be turned off so easily and we need to be alive in this work so it is important that we each take care of our own health and wellness.
Section 3 – Looking Ahead
So, let's take a look ahead at what the year might bring. The writer Eudora Welty talked about confluence, and I have been thinking a lot about the idea of confluence. Slide with word & rivers, etc.
Confluence entered English in the 15th century from Late Latin from com- ("together") and fluere ("to flow").
We often think of a confluence, as the meeting of two or more bodies of water. It can be where a tributary joins a larger river, where two or more streams unite or where two streams meet to become the source of a river of a new name.
I think it is a nice image to suggest where we are on a number of fronts. There are many elements coming together exhorting us to redefine, reconceive, redesign and reimagine our work as community college professionals. Whether it's President Obama calling for 5 million more graduates; calls for more accountability or better results; the challenge of limited resources; businesses demanding higher level skills, students needing more from us, or the philanthropic community's influence in education policy. (While we welcome the investment we need to do what we can to assure the investment goes to the things that we believe as educators will truly make a difference for our students.) It's definitely a confluence.
Next confluence slide
We are also at a confluence of the past and present, bringing forward from our past the good work that acts as the foundation of the college, honoring where we have come from and holding the values that have made community colleges what they are today but as the new flows in– new environment, new context, new normal, new expectations- we are creating something new. We must forge the American Community College Agenda – an agenda for the 21st century and for 21st century students. We have that opportunity now.
Confluence also suggests the coming together of disciplines in learning communities, sustainability and diversity work and across student services. But the original meaning of confluence is the coming together of people.
It is the idea that people adjust to meet the needs of others and evolve as they go through life. People learn from events that occur in their lives and alter characteristics they have. Eudora Welty wrote "It is our inward journey that leads us through time-forward or back, seldom in a straight line, most often spiraling. Slide of this quote –"Each of us is moving, changing, with respect to others. As we discover, we remember; remembering, we discover; and most intensely do we experience this when our separate journeys converge. Our living experience at those meeting points is one of the charged dramatic fields of fiction." And I would add is one of the dramatic fields of our reality. It is in coming together that we can create our own future. I use the word confluence intentionally. We are not at a crossroads because that gives us very limited choices – this direction or that. A confluence allows us to bring the richness of what we are really good at as we flow into the new possibilities. A confluence gives us all kinds of choice to bring together all the right people and ideas and resources, what is the best of us and join up with each other and with our best thoughts and actions. And we will definitely need to do that to tackle the huge agenda in front of us.
A few of us explored the idea of confluence out on the river a few weeks ago. River video
Mmmm. I am hoping for a better outcome for the college.
Let me just lay out some of what's ahead. I'll touch on the national, state, and Lane picture, but as you will see Lane is leading so much of this work.
At the national level, I don't need to tell you the very precarious position we are in economically. Things are not looking good. To me this is less of a financial crisis and more of a political crisis, but it is has the potential to cause us huge problems now and in the future. Even while living in that context, we can't stand still. The challenges of the 21st Century demand unprecedented vision, ingenuity, courage, and focus from community colleges and our partners in the education, policy, business, and philanthropic arenas. As a result, the 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges has been established to set forth a bold vision for the future priorities of our institutions, with related recommendations for attaining that vision. This is the third such commission in the history of the community college, the first being the Truman Commission in 1947 that led to the unprecedented growth of community colleges, the second in 1987, Building Communities, which was led by our own founding president, Dale Parnell and now the 21st Century Commission. I am honored that I have been appointed to the Commission, and we will be meeting through the course of this year with our report due in April. As I participate in this national work, Lane is my case study, my foundation, my reference point that I never forget because your thinking and action is, I believe, in the vanguard of what is happening in this country. With the rise of private for-profits and entities like the Western Governor's University, this focus on the future of community colleges is timely and necessary.
We will answer questions like:
- What are the essential priorities for community colleges over the coming 10-15 years?
- What big ideas should inform the ways institutions organize themselves and deploy limited resources to accomplish those priorities?
- How might existing and new technologies, whether conducive or disruptive, most powerfully promote realization of the 21st-Century vision?
- How can we equip leaders at all levels to ensure that institutional solutions are large enough to address the magnitude of the challenges ahead?
- What policy conditions would make achievement of key priorities for community colleges both necessary and possible?
- Who are the 21st century students we will be serving?
I am planning to host a dialogue here at the college on these questions. Please consider joining me for a dialogue on these questions so that I can take your best thinking to the table.
Similarly, at the state level, you may be aware that Governor Kitzhaber is calling for deep systemic changes even as we do not currently have all the resources we need. He has called for us to do better, asking us to improve our systems and invest in proven practices that can improve results.
To move this agenda forward, the Legislature passed SB 909, creating the Oregon Education Investment Board. Governor Kitzhaber has appointed me to work on this board and, if confirmed, my Senate hearing is this morning, we will start work next week. What does that mean for our education system moving forward?
First, a relentless focus on results for students. Second, alignment of funding, outcomes, and education strategies across the entire continuum of a child's development — from birth to post-secondary education and training.
The governor is seeing the state as the largest investor in public education, spending roughly $3.8 billion each year and is expecting the Investment Board to ensure the dollars invested achieve the results we need.
I thought long and hard before agreeing to do this, but among the appointees, there are only two community college practitioners – David, a faculty member from PCC who is president of AFT – Oregon and myself. And I think it is important that among the K-12 and business people on the Board that we bring your voice into the room. Make no mistake, what happens in the rest of the Governor Kitzhaber's term will affect us significantly – from the way we receive our funding to how we coordinate with other sectors of education. For example, as we move to the state investing in outcomes – actual results – student completions – rather than enrollment – students simply showing up. Lane slide What does that mean for you as a teacher in the classroom? What does it mean for you, Steve Candee? What does it mean for you, Dean Bergen? What does it mean for Siv Serene Barnum when she is working on a student transcript, or Cindy Lott when she is advising a student? It will likely require that we think and act differently. I don't have all the answers, but I know that in this room we do have the answers. And I must point out that Lane, you, have already laid a lot of the groundwork.
If significant new funding is implausible, if failing to meet aspirations is not acceptable for our democratic society, if continuous improvement is not sufficient, it will be imperative for us to develop new models that improve results – learning outcomes – and that are fiscally sustainable. But we need to do this by design, not miracle. We need to have a deep sense of intentionality and deliberation. That is the work at the national and state levels and at Lane.
Clearly, there is much to be done, not only to develop this American Community College Agenda for the 21st Century but to make it a reality. If our visions are large enough and actions bold enough nothing can stop us. Right now, we have the chance to shape this catalytic and transformative moment for community colleges and when asked if we, community college professionals are up to the task? I say "yes, we are."
Access and Success (Slide of students)
In both the state and national visioning a central tenet will be student success. We are being called upon to focus on results and develop strategies for increasing community college students' completion of certificates and degrees; achieving equity in outcomes across student groups, by race, ethnicity, gender, age, and family income; preparing students for real jobs that pay family-supporting wages; and demonstrating public accountability for improving institutional performance and student success.
As we focus on this opportunity to assure more progression and completion, it does not mean we walk away from our deep rooted value of access. In fact, access is as important now as it ever was. Access is an unfinished agenda that cannot be ignored, and we must do everything we can to assure that the pathway to completion is not accomplished by leaving behind the very students that community colleges were created to serve – the most under-prepared, the most under-represented, the poorest and most first generation students in our country. Education is what disrupts the cycle. Post secondary is a way to economic viability; economic viability is a way out of inequity. If we tolerate gross and systemic inequity, it effects everyone in the system – those with privilege and those without. Working on behalf of some of the most under-represented students is a way to work for justice. It shows up, but quietly; working for students in many ways is working for justice – having an educated citizenry gives people the opportunity to be empowered and demand to be treated justly. This is what we believe in at Lane.
So no, the 2020 goal regarding completion does not mean leaving access behind.
Having said that, access and completion (however, we are defining it given the broad range of students we serve) should be seen as two sides of the same coin. They are inextricably linked. For the first time in U.S. history, the current generation of college-age Americans will be less educated than their parents' generation, and yet our workplaces require higher-level skills than ever before. The U.S. has fallen in international education rankings. In one single generation, America went from first to twelfth in college completion rates for young adults.
Different slide of students
Community colleges educate nearly half of all undergraduates in the country, yet fewer than half of these students who enter community college with the goal of earning a degree or certificate have met their goal six years later. And those numbers are worse for low-income students and students of color. More than just their hopes and dreams are at stake; the very foundations of our democracy depend on increasing student success.
When a student enrolls in one of our colleges, it is an act of optimism and trust. Whatever their goals, when they come to us and we accept them and their tuition, we must accept our share in the responsibility for their learning and assuring that they leave with something to show for their work – knowledge, skills, proficiencies, meaningful credentials and as empowered citizens able to deal with the unscripted problems that come up. We need to build a field of expectations for these students and then we need to develop the practice that will support these students on their learning journey.
Guess what? We, you, have already been engaging in this work, whether it is our Quality, Progression and Completion, productivity and efficiency, entrepreneurial activities, sustainability, diversity. We are certainly not where we need to be but are not just starting to think about this – you have already engaged and made great progress.
Let me just focus for a moment on the Quality, Progression and Completion direction because that is very clearly connected to what is happening at the state and national levels. As I said, fortunately, we launched this work two years ago, and much has been accomplished. This is what this initiative looks like. You can see that there are multiple projects but they are all connected, they are all in service to the goal of helping students achieve their dreams. QPC Slide
One new effort that is part of a national program is Achieving the Dream. ATD SLIDE Built on the values of equity and excellence, Achieving the Dream advances community college student success through work on four fronts:
- Transforming community colleges
- Influencing policy
- Developing new knowledge
- Engaging the public
To accelerate community college student success nationwide, Achieving the Dream has established a network of:
- 160 Achieving the Dream community colleges in 30 states and the District of Columbia serving more than 2 million students
- 100+ Achieving the Dream advisors and thought-leaders who are producing cutting-edge research and reports
- 16 Achieving the Dream State Policy Teams that are driving public policy reform
On October 5, 6 and 7, we will be doing the soft launch of Achieving the Dream. We will be joined by our coach and data coach, and there will be a series of meetings. One of the great things about ATD is the data framework. It will allow us to longitudinally track cohort data, study specific populations like first generation students and give faculty and staff the ability to query data with a web based interface.
SCALABLE AND SUSTAINABLE
Another force that is out there relates to scalability and sustainability. It is not just about did it work? But what did it take to make it work? It is about both the quantity and quality. Boutique innovations that affect only a few students are no longer enough. As we develop our practice, we must consider how to bring it to scale and if it is financially sustainable. Again, this is nothing new for Lane. We have been engaged in this conversation and this work for several years. Our R & D team is up and running and doing great work.
And we cannot compromise quality. I would say that Lane has been the leading advocate for quality. To assure that it is not about just getting a degree – a piece of paper, but rather what does that piece of paper mean? What learning outcomes underlie that degree? Is quality embedded?
At the national level, The American Association of Colleges and Universities, where I am a board member, has been the leading advocate for quality - essential learning outcomes, as well as liberal education. The Lumina Foundation is getting behind this focus of making a credential meaningful and funded the Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP). And guess what? Again, Lane is in the lead. We will be working with the other community colleges in the state and the universities to "beta test" the DQP, funded by the Lumina foundation. This is where we get to weigh in and give them feedback about the efficacy of that piece of work.
DEVELOPMENTAL EDUCATION (slide with words)
I should also mention that both at the national and state level there is increasing scrutiny in the area of developmental education. I am rarely in a conversation where it does not come up, and I expect changes in how it is funded (if, indeed, it is funded) and increased expectations for the progression of students.
Informed by evidence and by an array of national experts, requisite to success in all of these areas are recommendations and actions addressing the critical issues of career readiness, college readiness—and the urgent need for community colleges to implement solutions at scale that produce quantum improvement in developmental education outcomes. This is a big national conversation, and our own governor has made the statement that we are spending far too much on developmental education with too little to show for it. Our Quality, Progression and Completion agenda will help us focus on this at Lane. There are many sound, faculty-led, action research and practice initiatives going on across the country, and Lane must be part of that effort.
All of this will require leadership. Leadership at all levels.
SLIDE of Geese
When you think about leadership, for a long time in the United States we sought leaders who called us to a higher purpose, inspired us, informed us and elevated us.
Leadership does not only belong to people with a high profile, but often to the quiet leaders who make things happen from wherever they are in an organization. People like Margaret Robertson, Lida Herburger, Phil Martinez, Katie Morrison-Graham, Ben Hill, Margaret Kimble, Dawn Barth, Lynn Nakamura, Ram Rattan to name just a handful of our many, many leaders at Lane. And here's a short clip of someone new to Lane who is providing not so quiet leadership at the college. Ty VIDEO.
To provide the leadership we need for the work ahead, we must use our multiple intelligences: emotional intelligence, self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social awareness. We need social intelligence -recognizing and protecting the dignity of difference. Jonathon Sacks, the British Rabbi who wrote the book, The Home We Build Together, argues we need to see our differences as gifts to the common good, for without a compelling sense of the common good, difference spells discord and creates, not music, but noise.
Leaders with social intelligence are the ones who are most convincing in persuading others that diversity need not divide; MLK SLIDE that pluralism rightly understood and rightly practiced is a benefit not a burden; that the fear of difference is a fear of the future. The focus we will have on our Diversity Strategic Direction this year will build our social intelligence. We need spiritual intelligence - the ability to cope with the unexplored, the unexamined and the unknown; the capacity to transcend the reality we see and to imagine alternative possibilities; and the ability to step back, renew oneself and to find meaning and purpose. So we will need these multiple intelligences to craft a future we want to be in.
We will need more.....hopefully we all feel rested today – nothing's gone wrong yet, I hope. But as we wait for that wave of energy to hit us on Monday it might look like this....Toy Story VIDEO.
We will need more.....we will need to work together as we have done over the last many years and to do it with an ethic of civility. GHANDI SLIDE In this world of meanness and political polarization where public discourse has deteriorated, we have an obligation to teach each other and our students to sort through information, to look for facts, to recognize bias or agendas that shape the interpretation. As educators we have the responsibility to create the conditions where, in disagreement, we always focus on issues, not on the person. How can we fulfill that responsibility as educators if we do not model it ourselves?
There is a serious academic discussion going on across the country on this topic, and we need to be part of it.
The founder of Habitat for Humanity had the theology of the hammer – we can disagree on many things, but we can all agree to pick up a hammer and help build this house.
Barry Lopez, who will be here on October 6 at 7:30 pm, wrote:
"There are simply no answers to some of the great pressing questions. You continue to live them out, making your life a worthy expression of leaning into the light." Barry Lopez
Slide of Lopez
I like the idea of leaning into the light when it comes to dealing with all these pressing questions and issues we face. It seems a much better, healthier and gracious way to live one's life. I invite you to do the same so that we truly do create the conditions where everyone – every one – can do their best work.
Finally, I know that for some it is difficult to have this conversation in the midst of simply trying to keep our doors open. But it has been said that we are not imprisoned by our circumstances but freed by our choices.
We have made a choice to serve in these wonderful American inventions called community colleges and at the national and state levels we are being called to consider a set of new choices. As we sit here on September 22, 2011 and look out to 2020, living in these difficult times, I am reminded of the comments of Vaclav Havel, in 1986, three years before he became president of Czechoslovakia and then the Czech Republic, when asked, "Do you see a grain of hope anywhere in the 1980s?"
"Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Either we have hope within us or we don't; it is a dimension of the soul, and it's not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world or estimate of the situation. Hope is not prognostication. It is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons.
I find those lines: Hope "is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart..." Help me to recognize that we can, in fact, find an internal orientation that can hold its own when we're overcome by scarcity thinking. We can incline our hearts to hope—looking for the many small ways hope is in evidence around us every day in the faces of our students. In thinking about students and their families and their challenges, and experiencing their heroic actions to achieve their dreams, we owe them nothing less than our very best – our best hopes and our best actions.
Hands and globe slide
We can choose a sustainable future. It is a choice. I know times are hard. But with your vision, your passion, your stewardship and okay a lot of brain power and elbow grease our work together will change the institution, transform students and the community and most importantly it will change you.
So, in the words of John O'Donohue Sunrise SLIDE
A Blessing for One Who Holds Power
May the gift of leadership awaken in you as a vocation.
Keep you mindful of the providence that calls you to serve.
As high over the mountains the eagle spreads its wings,
May your perspective be larger than the view from the foothills.
When the way is flat and dull in times of gray endurance,
May your imagination continue to evoke horizons.
When thirst burns in times of drought,
May you be blessed to find the wells.
May you have the wisdom to read time clearly
And know when the seed of change will flourish.
In your heart may there be a sanctuary
For the stillness where clarity is born.
May your work be infused with passion and creativity
And have the wisdom to balance compassion and challenge.
May your soul find the graciousness
To rise above the fester of small mediocrities.
May your power never become a shell
Wherein your heart would silently atrophy.
May you welcome your own vulnerability
As the ground where healing and truth join.
May the integrity of your soul be your first ideal.
The source that will guide and bless your work.
So I invite you to plant yourselves at the gates of hope, participate with things as they unfold, expect to be surprised, enjoy the mystery of not knowing how things are going to turn out as we embark on this largely unscripted journey. Education is high stakes work – what happens in our college matters because we raise students up, futures are born, dreams achieved, passions ignited. We are Lane Community College video
We are Lane Community College. This college is a storehouse of miracles, and if we keep our eyes peeled and listen with care, we can see the moments of wonder and transformation. They are always there waiting to be seen and savored. I wish you a wonderful year. Thank you.
Billy Joel Music Video – River of Dreams