Wednesday, September 9, 2015

State of the College Address

I hope you all enjoyed the Labor Day weekend. My family and I camped near Lander. On our way into camp we stopped at Sinks Canyon where the Popo Agie River goes underground.

The following is an excerpt from my recent state of the college address:

At Northwest College we are redesigning students’ educational experiences, reinventing how we do things, and changing our systems to promote student success. We are taking on bold new ideas and changing our paradigms. As a result, our passion is launching a 21st century comprehensive community college. How exciting is that?!

We are becoming brokers of educational opportunities rather than just offering classes. We are strengthening the role of advising and learning assessment to help our students succeed. We are empowering students as partners in developing their paths and achieving their educational goals. And we are implementing policies and practices that promote academic rigor and accountability.

According to a recent report from the American Association of Community Colleges on building the nation’s future to do all of this, we must provide leadership and financial resources to:
  1. Focus on policy governance – Substantial change cannot happen unless the Board of Trustees strategically creates the policy conditions necessary to improve student success and supports the president in leading courageous transformational change.
  2. Commit to the work – Sustainable change requires commitment and persistent focus.
  3. Use and share data – There is no reason to collect data if we don’t use it to drive our decision-making.
  4. Design for scale – Well-intentioned interventions do not have an impact unless they are implemented for all students.
  5. Emphasize professional development – Development of staff and faculty must be supported financially and be strategically focused to make an impact.

Northwest College needs everyone to be involved in implementing these initiatives and contributing ideas to redesign the new 21st century community college. When you believe THE purpose of your institution is to make students better through your passions, you take risks.

At a deep level, my passion is serving our students. In fact, it is my calling. That’s why I am at Northwest College. It is my hope that you will be as energized by the passion of your NWC employees and our students as I am. The turmoil of the past is over. I am very proud of the amazing shifts that I have seen over the last two years.

Our passion is moving us forward, and it’s making a difference in the lives of our students every day.


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