RECAST | Fall 19 | Week 1 | Provost Note
Week 1 has launched following the energy generated by pre-orientation programs, the Academic Retreat, and final Summer Institutes, and most recently as we welcomed over 700 new students to Evergreen. Thanks to all who both led and participated in bringing our new students into the Evergreen community.
A new academic year means taking time to reconnect. I hope you will join me and members of the SAL Leadership Team for one of the following informal opportunities to connect in person this fall:
· On-campus 4-6pm (sign up here<https://doodle.com/poll/f55c5skeetzdnvmc>).
We have exciting and challenging work ahead of us. The Student and Academic Life Leadership Team spent time this summer assessing our collective work and planning for this coming year. We are engaging in our work with the understanding that Evergreen should take an assets-based approach in designing our future in service to students, which means building on our community’s core values:
· Our commitment to innovation in higher education,
· Our commitment to learning in community,
· Our commitment to fostering strong student-faculty and faculty-faculty relationships in our classrooms,
· Our commitment to interdisciplinary inquiry and exchange,
· Our commitment to inclusive excellence and student success, and
· Our commitment to providing access to a public liberal arts education that has the power to transform selves and societies.
Our work together continues to occur in a space of contradictions. We want to honor our vibrant past, even as we innovate to build a vibrant future for Evergreen. We must imagine and work together, in community. This year will be shaped by three imperatives:
· Fully implementing the renewal initiatives<https://www.evergreen.edu/strategicplan/renews> currently in play, so as to realize our goals for recruiting and retaining students;
· Achieving financial stability, which will require further reducing expenses, including addressing the deepening mismatch between the number of faculty and the number of students, and limiting the draws on institutional reserves; and
· Laying the groundwork to grow through building curricula that will attract new students to Evergreen.
We will be assessing and refining the renewal work this year, and we are hoping to see positive impacts on recruitment and retention by this time next fall. For a current accounting of SAL’s progress on renewal initiatives, see below. We will continue to provide initiative updates with each Provost Note as well.
While our current work is a heavy lift, it is also exciting. We are creating a holistic, inclusive, engaging, challenging and supportive experience for all Evergreen students in which they move from pre-orientation programs and the first-year experience, through interdisciplinary curricular paths with multiple points of entry, towards the promise of advanced work—including powerful opportunities to engage in community-based learning, study abroad, undergraduate research, and internships—and into the next phase of their life journeys, whether that’s graduate study or another route into their chosen career paths.
In other words, we are building a powerful model that, if we continue with careful design and intentional implementation, has the potential to attract more of today’s students to Evergreen and to engage and support them while they are here.
My next Note will be sent during Week 4. On the horizon we will welcome alumni and guests with Return to Evergreen<https://www.evergreen.edu/return/2019> events in mid-October. I also encourage you to support our dedicated student athletes at our home competitions<https://gogeoducks.com/>.
I appreciate your efforts to welcome all students to Evergreen.
I’m glad you are here.