The College remains in excellent shape as we close in on 2010. In large part, our success flows from daily decisions all of you make to live our mission and spread the word to others. Our shared sense of purpose creates a bond uncommon in any organization. We should cherish it, nourish it, and never take it for granted.
2010-2015 Strategic Plan
Certainly our shared sense of purpose has been evident during the strategic planning process. Now the pressing task is to complete the plan by April, for presentation to the trustees. The campus planning teams are making progress, as I wrote you yesterday in a planning update. As noted in that email, there will be an open forum on the Strategic Plan this Thursday, December 3, from 11 am to 1 pm in Canon. Feel free to drop by any time during that period to ask questions and offer your views. The teams are working hard to consider ideas from all around campus and to produce creative, pragmatic action plans.
Advancement and Admission
The Advancement and Admission staffs and I have been traveling a good deal this semester. I’ve made trips to Chicago, New Jersey, Atlanta, and Knoxville to meet with donors, alumni, prospective students, and trustees. Two particularly successful events were receptions held at the Bonner Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey, and at the Carter Center in Atlanta. Clearly, the fine national reputation enjoyed by the College is helping to advance our cause. Besides helping to gain funds for the current year, our Advancement efforts are laying the groundwork for future gifts to fund College plans for the coming decades.
Our governance system remains an essential way to complete the work of the College. Because its success depends on sharing information among governance groups, we’ll continue the practice of having all campus governance leaders meet with the PAC at least once each semester. Rowena Pomeroy is now scheduling such a meeting before break—with the agenda to be set by leaders of the Caucus, Forum, Staff Body, and Faculty Body.
I’ve enjoyed meeting with those of you who have stopped by my office, and I’ll continue the practice of open hours most weeks. The best way to set a time is to contact Rowena Pomeroy (x2070 or firstname.lastname@example.org). For those of you who would rather talk over a meal, I’m open to meeting with individuals or groups at the dining hall or Cow Pie. You may have an “agenda item” to discuss—or just want to chat. In either case, contact Rowena to schedule a time. Relatedly, I’ve been working with students on two crews this semester: one connected with energy audits and the other with our archeology program. Then this week I’ll record an essay for radio with the Swannanoa Journal crew. Also, last week I spent Saturday morning on a service trip to the Family Visitation Center, with Lucy Lawrence and her First-Year Seminar. I learned a good deal from these work crew and service-learning experiences and will continue them next semester. Finally, I’ll note I’ve now been entrusted with a golf cart to travel to work (on days when I don’t have to leave campus)—and to share with the Business Office, Admission, and Advancement. Feel free to ask for a lift if you see me coming your way.
Dean of Service-Learning Search
The Dean of Service-Learning Search Committee is making good progress. Right before Thanksgiving break, the committee narrowed its focus to a group of candidates from whom it will request additional information. As we get further along in the process, you will be notified when the committee is ready to schedule on-campus interviews for finalists. Based on its own deliberations and information gathered from campus, the committee will submit a short list of the most acceptable candidates to me, after which time I’ll recommend a final choice to the Board of Trustees for its approval.
This college and its faculty, staff, and students receive many awards and recognitions, which get announced in various ways. Here I want to draw attention to a group of students who received well-deserved praise in the “Report Card” feature on the Opinion Page of the November 16 Asheville Citizen-Times. Here’s an excerpt from the piece, submitted to the paper by Hugh W. Stephens:
[A grade of] “A” [goes to] to a recent effort by a group of eight Warren Wilson students who, during fall break, worked for a week to rebuild tent pads at the Pisgah campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This effort required heavy labor. . . .[T]hese students restored eleven of the tent pads in four days. . . .The Asheville chapter of the Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway . . . thanks the students, the College’s service-learning program, and Warren Wilson itself for providing critical support.
Interim Dean Debra Kiliru tells me the following students took part in the trip: Alex Babbitt, Julie DeVita, Ryan Frank, Tully Herr, Bob Koplos, Wyatt Smith, Corey White, and Flint Wiswall. Karen Kyle and Franklin Tate helped set up the trip. I should add that Warren Wilson students took part in at least five other break trips that week. Congratulations to all students and employees who took part in these trips.
My next periodic report will be sent in 2010, so I’ll take this opportunity to wish you an enjoyable holiday break ahead and to thank you for participating in the Triad life of our college.