RECAST | Provost Fall Quarter Week 3 Update (including a social hour invite)
From: McAvity, David <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, October 16, 2020 3:38 PM
We are winding down the third week of fall quarter and signs of all of your dedication and hard work are all around us. I’d particularly like to acknowledge all the staff supporting in-person instruction and Residential and Dining Services for their work to welcome and help orient 247 students to the residence halls. All except two residents were tested for COVID-19 and all tests came back negative. We hope for the same results after this week’s follow-up test results come back.
Our fall quarter total enrollment has ended up being very close to 2300 total students, with some final tallying to do. This is 6% below our budgeted enrollment target. This decline is consistent with those we are seeing at the other regional Washington State universities, which they attribute to COVID-19. For Evergreen this comes on top of a previously anticipated enrollment decline due to a recent pattern of graduating classes that are larger than the incoming one. Overall enrollment is down 20% compared to last fall. A piece of good news is that the Native Pathways Program continues to do well, increasing enrollment by over 30%. I’d like to acknowledge Dawn Barron and Toby Sawyer for their big recruitment efforts over the summer and for developing such a compelling curriculum and supportive learning community. In addition, we saw a lot of students make late decisions to register just as the quarter got underway. This gave our enrollment a last-minute lift, but also caused some back-ups for Enrollment Services, Business Services, and Advising; thank you to our colleagues for their hustle and hard work and to everyone for your patience!
The enrollment picture leaves us with an operating revenue shortfall over $1.5 million, which means we will need to identify further spending reductions this year. Members of the core budget team will work with unit budget managers to find opportunities for savings and will consult with the Resource Allocation Advisory Committee as they do so.
New Academic Direction
The creative and generative work we started last year on New Academic Directions is moving to the next phase this quarter, after dedicated teams developed proposals over the summer. Our phased approach to this work will start by institutionalizing and promoting Paths of Study, including increasing our capacity to offer paths in high demand areas, such as psychology and business/entrepreneurship. We will also build the systems and infrastructure to support new certificate programs and a process for approving such programs, with a goal of offering 5 to 8 by fall 2021. Additional work this year includes developing a holistic advising plan, working on partnerships opportunities with local community colleges, and continuing the development of a schools proposal for a faculty vote later in the quarter. Threaded through all of this is a commitment to serving new majority students and working adults by offering hybrid online and low residency curricular opportunities that meet the needs of those who wish to study part-time. Other proposals will move forward incrementally, while we look for fundraising opportunities to support them. These include the curricular proposals such as climate action and sustainability, interdisciplinary art and design, and workforce development. There will be regular updates on our progress during fall quarter and the rest of the year.
With thanks to several of our colleagues, we have an Elections 2020 website that includes resources for voting, information on permissible political activities for members of our community, and a Day After Election Guide from the University of Virginia which may be particularly useful for faculty planning to address election-related issues that may arise in your classes. Senior leadership members are also preparing for the possibility of disruption on or off campus after the election, and the implications of different outcomes for our learning community. Look for more information prior to the election.
I’d like to end with a particular welcome to our newest colleagues and an invitation to you all. This is a particularly challenging time to join a community; please reach out if you need support in your transition to the College. For all, I’d like to invite you to sign up for one of several social gatherings that I will host this year. While it’s not the same as being together at gatherings such as those held at Three Magnets, there is still much to be gained in us coming together to enjoy time with colleagues from across our division. Please sign up here: https://doodle.com/poll/kxypfwixgzrhhcsy.
David McAvity | he-him | Interim Provost and Vice President for Student & Academic Life | The Evergreen State College | 360.867.6400