RECAST | Winter 2020 | Week 7 | Provost Note

Hi all,

Here’s to the beautiful PNW sunshine – I hope that it will continue! Thanks to all who advised their students to participate in this week’s All-Campus Mentoring Day, a program designed to foster students’ understanding of the connection between their Evergreen education and their broader career goals. Engagement was strong and the offerings were robust! We continue to look for opportunities to amplify the career-connected learning that an Evergreen education provides; we know our students are seeking this translation and these experiences.

Thanks to Jeannette Smith, Ph.D., Director of Student Activities & CAB, and to her team – these are the good folks providing the Black History Month Trivia series.  Thanks also to all who are testing their knowledge and participating. There will be a Black History Month event on February 26th from 1-4 p.m. in the Library Lobby. This follows the successful celebration of the 50th anniversary of coordinated studies held in the Library last Wednesday. It was wonderful to see faculty emeriti, alumni, students, and current colleagues gathering for cake and giving a nod to our innovative history. Kudos to Greg Mullins and Liza Harrell-Edge, who took the lead in coordinating this event.

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 directions and/or curricular strategies that will substantially increase the College’s enrollment and create a path to financial stability.  Last week at the faculty meeting, colleagues engaged in conversation about several big ideas that are percolating, many of which shared a connection to the theme of place/bioregion. At the SAL staff division meeting, colleagues considered data regarding different groups of students for whom we might design higher education experiences. Some of the Coordinating Group members recently seminared on this resource: Uncharted Territory: A Guide to Reimagining Higher Education. We encourage everyone to read it and consider the creative ideas it offers.  The New Academic Directions website also offers a way to track the project and contribute to it.

The SAL Budget Team continues to work with the Core Budget Team, led by John Carmichael, Vice President for Finance and Operations, to identify the level of reductions necessary as well as to identify opportunities for cross-boundary reductions. We anticipate working directly with area budget managers to develop scenarios for consideration.  We will also tap the Resource Allocation Advisory Committee (RAAC), which is co-chaired by Holly Joseph and David McAvity and includes the four faculty members from the Faculty Advisory Panel on the College Budget, two students from the GSU, and two staff members.

On the horizon
This weekend Admissions is hosting prospective students and a number of us are helping to provide a robust program that highlights the distinct features of an Evergreen experience.

Please attend the annual State of the College address, now scheduled for Monday, March 2 at 3 p.m. in Purce Hall 1.

In addition to the Black History Month celebration I already mentioned, I also encourage you to participate in two more events on Wednesday February 26: our 2020 Willi Unsoeld Seminar visitor, Tim Wise, whose presentation Working for Justice in Unjust Times will be from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. in Purce Hall 1; and Retrospective: An Exhibition of the Evergreen Art Collection opening reception is in the Gallery from 5-7 p.m.

I continue to appreciate the opportunity for face-to-face engagement with all of you. The faculty meetings and the quarterly SAL staff division meetings last week are examples of how we can share information, hear each other’s ideas and concerns, and celebrate our collective work. Our Three Magnets gatherings were very enjoyable this quarter and I look forward to more in the spring.

Thank you for all you do to ensure students at Evergreen have the opportunities they need to dig deep and show the world what they can do!



SAL Renewal Initiatives 2019-20 Accomplishments
Current status ofrenewal initiativesfor 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 mid-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. We are currently scheduling Greener Foundations classes for 20-21, and making a call for instructors.

Learning and Teaching Commons(Commons)
Contact: Julia Metzker, Director, Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education
We are excited to welcome your creative proposals for community-initiated Summer Institutes! Summer Institutes give us time to come together, build relationships and reinforce our pedagogical commitments to our students. They also give us much needed time for reflection, self and community care, and fun. [Learn more]

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, and Elizabeth Williamson.


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 the Learning and Teaching Commons events are available at

Paths of Study
Contact: Larry Geri, Academic Dean
Stay tuned for further updates.

Masters in Teaching (MiT)
Contact: Sue Feldman, Director
MiT is currently focused on developing a workable schedule and budget for the new program design.

Native Pathways Program (NPP)
Contact: Dawn Barron, Director

Stay tuned for further updates.

Tacoma Program
Contact: Marcia Tate-Arunga, Dean
Stay tuned for further updates.

Contact: Larry Geri, Academic Dean
Stay tuned for further updates.

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 and the decision has been made to continue to remain available for limited student programming and to remain closed to general public use while necessary facility repairs are further evaluated and strategic partnerships are explored. This will be the last update on the Aquatics Program via the SAL Notes. See here for more information:

NOTE: Significant work on the College renewal initiativesis 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  I

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