RECAST | Spring Quarter Week 4 Provost Note

From: Drake, Jennifer <>
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2020 8:24 AM

Hi all, 

I continue to be blown away by the thoughtful and responsive work I see happening across the Student and Academic Life division and the College.  I see staff and faculty quickly acquiring the technology skills required to teach and learn remotely.  So many of you are leading from the middle, in collaboration with colleagues from across the College, to develop teaching, student engagement, and business processes that we need in this moment.  This creative energy and spirit of community care is Evergreen at its best. 

We could not be making this transition without an incredibly high level of performance from both staff and faculty, including working long hours.  This is a time that calls on all of us to have generosity with ourselves and our staff and faculty colleagues.  Thank you for your continued hard work on behalf of our students.   

I’ve noted before the cognitive dissonance we face as we prepare to grow through the big bets process while also addressing continued shortfalls.  The pandemic deepens this discord and adds to the urgency of attending to both. 

New Academic Directions: Big Bets – Members of the Big Bets coordinating group presented our current thinking and modeling at this week’s faculty meeting.  This was followed by small group work.  I understand there were robust conversations taking place and the coordinating group will have much feedback to use as we move the modeling forward.  In the next couple of weeks, we will share the modeling and receive feedback from the GSU, Campus Leadership Group, and a variety of other groups, including Student and Academic Life staff.  The impact of the pandemic on the College and our regional community deepens the urgency of this work.  We anticipate making high-level decisions about the new model before the end of this academic year so that further curriculum development and implementation planning can occur this summer.  More to come. 

Budget – The COVID-19 situation complicates the budget picture the college was facing. There is some loss of revenue, particularly in auxiliaries, but also savings in some areas due to remote instruction.  The enrollment picture is also mixed, with spring enrollment roughly in line with projections, and uncertainty about the impacts of the pandemic on enrollment for fall. To mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19 uncertainty, the Core Budget Team is advising that we address known budget deficits as fully as possible in this annual budget process. We are working with budget managers to develop for reductions scenarios of about 10% and will have recommendations for review by the Resource Allocation Advisory Committee and Senior Leadership in the next few weeks. 

 A few reminders/updates: 

  • Remote instruction will be continued for summer quarter, with limited exceptions in second session if conditions allow.  The summer catalog will be updated by May 8. 
  • The Academic Fairwill be held remotely on May 27 and registration for summer and fall will begin on June 1. 
  • For technology support, please submit a help ticket at  Duplicate requests cause confusion and extra work, slowing down support for all.  
  • We are all invited to participate in the Pandemic Academy’s weekly lectures.  Topics covered, and links to the lectures, can be found at   
  • In lieu of our 3 Magnets and Einstein’s gatherings, I invite you to join colleagues for some virtual social time by signing up here
  • Let’s celebrate the MiT Program today–they launch their new curricular model starting spring quarter 2021, with applications going live May 1, 2020. 
  • Congratulations to our nine faculty colleagues who recently underwent a review process that has resulted in the award of continuing contracts:  
    • Lucky Anguelov 
    • Stephen Beck 
    • Steve Blakeslee 
    • Lori Blewett 
    • Marla Elliott 
    • Shangrila Joshi 
    • Joli Sandoz 
    • Suzanne Simons 
    • John Withey 

I know we are tired, and sometimes inspired, and still forging ahead.  I appreciate Julia Metzker’s and Elizabeth Williamson’s way of naming the complexities of this time in their April 17 Keep Teaching newsletter: 

[T]his new mode of working, teaching, and learning remotely is taking a toll on all of us.  Not only are we intensely engaged in learning new technology and new modes for working, we are also caring for our own families while navigating a world-wide crisis.  If you haven’t yet established a practice for tending to your own wellbeing or are looking for some variety, BSCS Science Learning has compiled a lovely set of activities for anyone to connect with nature. 

Best wishes and good health to you all, 


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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