RECAST | Winter 2020 | Week 4 | Provost Note

Hi all,

This is a longer and more “weedy” note than usual as there is important information to share about the new academic programs (“big bets”) process, the budget process, an unexpected temporary closure of the Housing Community Center, and a winter virus PSA. 

But first, if you were in the Library building last Wednesday afternoon, you witnessed the hum of activity and wonderful connections students were making for applied learning opportunities with community partners at the Community Opportunities and Internship Fair.  Thank you to our colleagues who steward this annual event.

Another event designed to foster students’ understanding of the connection between their Evergreen education and broader goals is the winter quarter All-Campus Mentoring Day, which takes place on February 19th from 2-4 p.m.  Paths of Study and Graduate Study advising will be represented at an open house from 2-3p.m. Faculty: as you look forward to working with graduating seniors in spring quarter, the Learning and Teaching Commons and the Writing Center are offering a workshop on how to support students with their the Academic Statements from 3-4 p.m. in Purce Hall Classroom 7.

New Academic Directions

The New Academic Directions (“Big Bets”) coordinating group continues to engage in our ambitious action research process to identify and prepare to implement new academic programs and/or curricular strategies that will substantially increase the College’s enrollment and create a path to financial stability.  The group is in the process of creating several draft models for Evergreen’s academic offerings that provide a vision for students we should and could serve, what curriculum we could offer, and what structures we would need to create to do so.  There will be opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to provide additional input later this quarter.   The New Academic Directions website also offers a way to track the project and contribute to it.


The College’s Core Budget Team (CBT) continues its work to create a fiscally responsible and stable budget for 20-21. The CBT is starting this work by considering cross-divisional strategies for reducing the budget and working more efficiently as a smaller college.

In the Student and Academic Life (SAL) division we will work with budget managers to develop scenarios for divisional budget reductions during the latter part of this quarter. We will also lean on the good thinking that came out of the budget scenario meetings we held last spring.  The SAL budget team, which includes me, Andy Corn, Wendy Endress, Larry Geri, David McAvity, and Greg Mullins, will work with these scenarios to develop a budget reduction plan by spring quarter. The Resource Allocation Advisory Committee (RAAC), which is co-chaired by Holly Joseph and David McAvity and includes four faculty members from the Faculty Advisory Panel on the College Budget, two students from the GSU, and two staff members, will meet regularly during this period. We will work with them to plan opportunities for community engagement. The RAAC will also give advice and input to senior leadership before they make final decisions in spring quarter.

Housing Community Center

The Housing Community Center (HCC) is temporarily closed due to several mechanical and structural issues that are currently being addressed.  Residential and Dining Services staff have created alternate plans for students to continue to have access to laundry facilities and mail delivery.  While the HCC is closed, the market in the CAB (POD Express) will offer expanded hours and food choices. 

Winter Virus News

The recent news about the spread of a novel coronavirus (Wuhan coronavirus) is a good reminder that public health is our collective responsibility.  While the likelihood of exposure to the Wuhan coronavirus is very low, we are seeing elevated seasonal flu and some cases of Norovirus on campus. All of these viruses are highly contagious and can cause serious health problems, especially in young children, older adults, and those who are immunocompromised. The staff in Student Wellness Services advise that all community members take care of themselves and others to prevent the spread of illness. Get vaccinated, cover your cough/sneeze, wash hands, and stay home when you’re sick. People with a fever of over 1000 F with a sore throat and/or cough should stay home and limit exposure to others.  Once you have been fever-free (without fever reducing medicines) for 24 hours you should be able to return to work or school. Flu vaccine is available at Student Wellness Services, on the main floor of the Seminar I Building, no appointment necessary; the $28 will be billed to your staff account.

On the horizon

The two final men’s and women’s home basketball games, which are free for faculty and staff, will take place on February 7-8.    On February 11 from 4-6 p.m. we are all invited to a 50th birthday party to celebrate the birth of coordinated studies in February, 1970. 

Especially when we are all working so hard, it is important to remember to find time to connect.  There are two more gatherings this quarter, one at Einstein’s and one at 3 Magnets.  Staff can sign up here and faculty can sign up here.  I hope you are able to join us if you have not yet participated. 

Are you one of over 50 % of faculty and staff who have already completed the Campus Climate Survey?  If not, there is still time to do so.  As we consider campus climate, it is worth noting that we continue to hear that our students’ experiences are overwhelmingly positive.  This is an important reminder for us to be both real and positive in our interactions with students in the midst of challenging times.  What strategies do you utilize to ensure students know the best that Evergreen has to offer?  Let us know!



SAL Renewal Initiatives 2019-20 Accomplishments

Current status of renewal initiatives for which Student & Academic Life is primarily responsible.

Greener Foundations (First-year Experience Program)

Contact: Trevor Speller, Academic Dean and Cynthia Kennedy, FYE Fellow

It’s winter quarter, and our “Greener Foundations” course continues in 6 academic programs. We have conducted a preliminary, mid-program assessment with some promising results, which were presented at the week 4 faculty meeting. Dr. Rebecca Campbell will be conducting in-services for faculty and staff on January 30 and 31. Fall scheduling for Greener Foundations courses will be announced in the coming week. 

Learning and Teaching Commons (Commons)

Contact: Julia Metzker, Director, Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education

The Learning and Teaching Commons has an exciting roster of upcoming events that are open to all faculty and staff:

Workshop on Practical Strategies for Supporting Learning for Students with Neurodiversity facilitated by Alicia Roberts Frank

Week 5| Monday, February 3, (WK 5) | 3:00 – 5:00 PM | Purce Hall, Classroom 5
Please RSVP for the workshop by completing this short survey.

What Can Your Commons Do for You? Talk to Us!
Week 6 | Tuesday, February 11th | 12-1 pm (lunch provided) | SEM II B-2107

Commons Advisory Council members will listen to your thoughts about learning and teaching at Evergreen, and to your ideas for the Learning and Teaching Commons.

Workshop on Providing Academic Statement Support to Students facilitated by Joli Sandoz and Sandy Yannone
Week 7 | Wednesday, February 19th | 3-4 pm | Purce Hall, Classroom 7

Come join us to share your experiences and learn new strategies to support students in developing their annual and final academic statements.

Seminars That Work presented by Cholee Gladney and Elizabeth Williamson
Week 8 | Monday, February 24th | 12-1pm (lunch provided) | SEM II E-3107

Seminars can spark learning for everyone present…or not. Bring your experiences and questions! Presenters briefly will share their ideas about what faculty and staff can do to set groups and sessions on an equitable and rewarding path, both before and during seminar discussion. Then we’ll open the floor for conversation.

Details about these opportunities will be sent via email and posted to the Learning and Teaching Commons website at

The Learning and Teaching Commons Advisory Council continues to plan more ways to best support you and the work you do with students.  Please send your requests for workshops, discussions, trainings, or other types of professional development to

Council membership includes Robin Bond, Emily Gray, Julia Heineccius, Penelope Partridge,  Julia Metzker, Therese Saliba, Joli Sandoz, Eric Stein, Eirik Steinhoff, Lisa Sweet, Pauline Yu, Sonja Wiedenhaupt, Elizabeth Williamson.

Paths of Study 

Contact: Larry Geri, Academic Dean

During the current academic year we allocated $50,000 of our Mellon Foundation grant to funding student scholarships to offset costs of academic program travel, either abroad or domestic, or to cover expenses related to individual study research that requires travel.   Over 60 scholarships have been awarded and the application pool is currently closed.    Student travel is a high impact educational practice and a goal of the grant is to support increased student engagement with a wide variety of such practices. 

Masters in Teaching (MiT)

Contact: Sue Feldman, Director

The MiT program faculty are teaching the final on-campus term of the MiT program as we have known it. It is a bittersweet time of change as we appreciate the remarkable opportunity two years of full-time teaching and learning yields and as we welcome the wonderful chance to improve the program design by making it shorter, less costly, and more accessible while also increasing the time students will spend in schools.  The vision for the new program is to offer “a vibrant public education for a just society,” and the purpose of the program is to prepare teacher activists who join students, families and communities in educational work, empowering a participatory democracy for a sustainable and equitable future.

The new program aims to work with fewer schools in order to more intentionally partner in school transformation. The MiT director and field placement liaison are spending time in schools with principals, and in school district central offices meeting with human resource directors, superintendents and assistant superintendents. Our goal is to create authentic, mutually beneficial partnerships that support our aspiring teachers as well as the school and school districts’ transformational goals to eliminate the opportunity gap through public education. 

Native Pathways Program (NPP)

Contact: Dawn Barron, Director

NPP faculty and staff completed designing the curriculum and program fundamentals for the next 3 year upper division cycle. This has been informed by NPP student surveys and research on Native/Indigenous studies in higher education.  We are currently working on an assessment process for all branches of NPP that aligns with Evergreen’s 6 Expectations, as well as the NPP mission. 

We just returned from another exciting ATNI (Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians) meeting where Dawn is a member of the Tribal Educators Alliance and Education Committee. The TEA is working on the issue of  Identification of AI/AN students, among other issues, which led to the development of our newly formed ATNI Higher Education Consortium.  NPP students presented about NPP Student Governance, the CIRCLE student club, legislation and bills (status and support updates), and representing their Tribes. 

On March 7th from 7-10 p.m., the CIRCLE student club for Creating Indigenous Revolution through Culture, Language, & Education is hosting a fundraiser at the Lord Mansion with musical and spoken word artist Calina Lawrence and open mic to follow. The cost is $20 at the door. 

Tacoma Program

Contact: Marcia Tate-Arunga, Dean

At Evergreen – Tacoma, we were honored to host a zoom presentation with the Daili Lama on the subject of compassion. This was hosted by the office of the Governor, Jay Inslee, in conjunction with 3 additional college campus sites in the state of Washington. The presentation was a successful community engagement event, attended by over 75 students and community people and included a live question and answer period. 

Tacoma has taken on the responsibility of managing a work study crew of students to enhance our facilities and keep our laboratories open that made possible accessibility of our limited facilities and expanded our hours of availability to our media laboratory and our computer lab. This has improved our ability to streamline access to equipment and study space for our students.

The responsibility of S&A now falls completely in Tacoma’s purview and we are working out ways to respond to organizational gaps in meeting student needs, while building an effective learning curve. The team successfully held elections, expanding to an 8 member body.

We have added new partners and local stakeholders with the following organizations: Graduate Tacoma, Metropolitan Development Council; Pierce College-Fort Steilacoom; Decolonize Education Conference organizers; 3 Upward Bound and Trio programs in the Pierce county region, Technology Access Foundation and St. Martins Church  (Women’s health initiatives).  


Contact: Larry Geri, Academic Dean

An event titled “Entrepreneurship and Changemaking at Evergreen” was held on campus on Friday, October 18th bringing together over 30 faculty, staff, students and community members to envision possibilities for the campus entrepreneurship program.  The event was very successful in exploring an expanded vision for this initiative. Work is underway with a small group to develop the next steps for stewarding this work.  More soon.

Aquatics Program

Contact: Elizabeth McHugh, Director, Wellness, Recreation & Athletics

The Aquatics Steering Committee Co-Chairs and Student Wellness, Recreation, and Athletics staff members shared the Aquatics Review Summary Report and options for consideration to Senior Leadership in the fall. College leadership is in the process of assessing how to proceed with approaching work that is critical to maintaining a safely operating swimming pool. Current operations remain in effect until further notice. See here for more information:

NOTE: Significant work on the College renewal initiatives is being stewarded by other divisions on areas including Climate and Belonging, Enhanced Reputation, Indigenous Arts & Education, Inspired Marketing & Outreach, and New Student Recruitment.

Jennifer Drake, PhD | Provost and Vice President for Student & Academic Life

she/her pronouns

3805 Library, The Evergreen State College

2700 Evergreen Pkwy NW, Olympia, Washington 98505

(360) 867-6400  |

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