Warren Wilson College News

Archive for the ‘President’ Category

November 2008 Report to Campus

December 17th, 2008

In my September report I described how changes in the economy might affect the college. Although I’m confident Warren Wilson will thrive in the years ahead, I now have a better idea of the steps we must take to ensure that it does. After addressing some general fiscal challenges, this report mentions some recent decisions that will enhance our mission while still responding to new budgetary pressures.

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October 2008 Report to Campus

November 3rd, 2008

While the world pitched and swayed around us, October brought campus events reminding us that Warren Wilson continues to move along in pleasantly predictable ways. For example, we enjoyed a successful Homecoming/Reunion on a beautiful fall weekend; the Board of Trustees had a productive meeting at which they welcomed four new trustees and approved our 2009-2010 budget; the Student Caucus joined Evelyn and me for a great meal (courtesy of Brian and his colleagues); and the Environmental Leadership Center met with its very strong group of supporters.

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September 2008 Report to Campus

October 9th, 2008

This September report to campus includes a "state-of-the-college" update I presented to Staff Forum yesterday afternoon, focused mainly on the economy. The complete text is included below. In addition, I want to thank all of you who participated in the fabulous Homecoming, reunion, and family events this past weekend. And finally, my congratulations to Jessica Wooten and the Recycling Crew for our being designated the nation’s "leading school for waste reduction and recycling" by the National Wildlife Federation.

Sandy Pfeiffer

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August Report to Campus

September 8th, 2008

Since my last report, the fine work of many members of our community has brought recognition to the College. I’ll mention a few examples in this report, while also including brief updates on service, enrollment, budget, and governance.

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2008 Convocation Address

August 20th, 2008

John Bowers (JB) might be surprised to learn that yesterday morning—at around 4 a.m., in Amherst, Massachusetts at the beginning of a day that included a talk with a Warren Wilson alumnus, a brief visit with my Amherst College professors (who’s still active in teaching and publishing), and the usual mania involved with business travel today—I found myself reading the latest issue of the Owl & Spade in the relative comfort of a hotel between Smith College and Amherst College, on a road I hitchhiked, drove, or motorcycled countless times as an undergraduate four decades ago. JB is a fine writer and editor whose prose could keep any reader riveted to the page in the wee hours of the morning and who would have done serious surgery on the long sentence I just read. So I have him to thank for providing me with an avenue into this my third convocation address.

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Summer Report to Campus (June/July)

August 4th, 2008

Last night Evelyn and I hosted a dinner for about 25 friends of the College, who then accompanied us to a great Swannanoa Gathering concert at Kittridge. Having the Gathering as part of our community during the summer reminds me that the culture at this college has extraordinary depth and diversity throughout the entire year. Besides attending events like Gathering concerts and taking some vacation, I’ve spent much of the summer planning for the year ahead. The planning continues next week when the President’s Advisory Council holds a retreat to discuss major issues for the current academic year and beyond. I thought I would use this “summer report” to cover a couple such issues. By the way, this year I’ll continue my custom of sending you periodic reports that are also posted on my web site. Besides the report you’re now reading, there will be eight more: for August, September, November, December/January (combined), February, March, April, and May/June/July (combined).

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Sustainability

August 4th, 2008

Warren Wilson College is regarded as a sustainability leader in higher education. The practices for which we’ve been recognized have had a significant impact upon the economic, social/cultural, and environmental health of the College, region, and planet. Given our commitment to sustainability both within and beyond the College, I’m writing to announce a change that further demonstrates this commitment.

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April-May 2008 Report to Campus

May 2nd, 2008

With the end of the semester just a few weeks away, I’ve decided to send you a combined report that looks back to April as well as forward to May. My next report, which will cover late May and June, will likely come your way about July 7, after the July 4 holiday.

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March 2008 Report to Campus

April 3rd, 2008

In March, campus activities began to accelerate to a pace that won’t slow until Commencement, after which point the summer cycle starts—with summer work crews, the Gathering music festival, our culinary school, and more. Recently Sam Scoville told me that in summers past, faculty and staff labored together on projects like painting buildings and the like. Though I don’t suspect we’ll return to that model, hearing about it reminded me that we live in a special community with a unique history and culture. We’re also special in how we handle spiritual matters, so I thought I would speak to that issue in this month’s report.

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Promotion of Paula Garrett

March 11th, 2008

I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Paula Garrett has been promoted to the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College (VPAA/DOTC), effective July 1, 2008. She and Interim VPAA John Casey will be working very closely in the coming months to plan the transition.

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February 2008 Report to Campus

March 4th, 2008

This Leap Day brings us near the close of a winter season that finally brought cold temperatures and even a little snow on campus. Yet the daffodils are blooming in my yard, over twenty calves have been born on the College Farm (so I’m told by Eliza Sydney, a member of the Farm Crew), and students are starting to wear shorts and T-shirts on warmer days. Spring is close at hand, but here I’ll reflect on a few events of the last month of a winter now ending.

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V.P. for Administration and Finance Search Results

February 27th, 2008

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Jonathan D. Ehrlich has accepted the position of Vice President for Administration and Finance at Warren Wilson College. He will begin July 2008, after the retirement of our current VP, Larry Modlin, who has given the College 19 years of excellent service.

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Announcement of Personnel/Structural Changes

February 7th, 2008

These are both exciting and challenging times for Warren Wilson—indeed, for all private colleges with relatively small endowments. Although our fund-raising success has improved in the last year, we still depend far too much on tuition to meet our operating expenses and have far too little scholarship money. That said, we continue to have an outstanding pool of new students, our faculty and staff openings attract the best applicants in the nation, our Triad mission serves as a beacon for other colleges, and our success in sustainability is much admired by colleges and universities around the country.

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Cathy Clark

January 14th, 2008

I am very sorry to inform you that Assistant Dean of Students Cathy Clark passed away Sunday morning at her home on Daisy Hill.

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December 2007 Report to Campus

December 26th, 2007

The campus is strangely quiet today, with most students having left for holiday destinations near and far. Although it’s a good time for me to catch up on paperwork, I already miss the wonderful activity that envelops this campus when it’s full of 800-plus students.

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Update on the VPAA/DOTC Search process

December 20th, 2007

Thanks to all of you—and especially to the members of the search committee—for the hard work invested in the search to fill the position of Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College. Here’s an update on the process.

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Open Forum on governance

November 30th, 2007

My last monthly report included a few thoughts about shared governance. If you’d like to take part in a discussion on the topic, you’re invited to an Open Forum on Monday, December 10, from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm in Canon Lounge. You’re welcome to drop by any time during that 90-minute period if the topic interests you.

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EPA Audit

November 30th, 2007

In June 2007, the College volunteered to participate in an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) peer audit program through the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities consortium (NCICU). I’m writing to describe our collective responsibility with respect to the audit.

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November 2007 Report to Campus

November 30th, 2007

This month we received more great news about how the world beyond campus views our college. Here I’ll mention several examples, highlight an upcoming meeting about governance, and give my response to a policy recently recommended to me by Staff Forum.

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October 2007 Report to Campus

November 2nd, 2007

I’m using this monthly report to offer some thoughts about our governance process. My goal is to get us thinking about changes that might give more members of the community the chance to influence the direction of the College. But before I launch into that discussion, I’ll comment briefly about happenings on campus this past month, offer a “communication opportunity” to students, and give you the latest draft of a “vision statement” I’ve been sharing with you.

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