Priorities for 2016-17 academic year

Wolf at town hall
On Thursday, October 20, we held our first town hall meeting of the academic year. I want to thank everyone who was able to attend this event, which followed the GSO breakfast. For those who were unable to attend or missed the top of my talk because I started a little early, I am providing an overview of the important topics we covered. 
 
First, I want to express my appreciation for the work that you do individually and collectively to create a culture that values our students as we continue to provide access to an excellent University of Washington education. Without you, none of the success we experience on our campus and in our community would be possible.
 
We continue to work toward full realization of our 21st Century Campus Initiative strategic plan, with the following priorities for the 2016-2017 academic year: diversity, campus sustainability and a bold fundraising campaign.
 
At the town hall, I highlighted some of the diversity work that we are doing to achieve sustainable change through an inclusive process. At the top of that list is a diversity center. I encourage you to refer to my diversity message sent at the beginning of the quarter. There, you can learn about other steps we’re taking as a campus community to shore up our programming and infrastructure in support of diversity, equity and inclusion. Please find ways to engage in this important work.
 
We are always focused on the success of our students. I think we can all agree that we’ve also been focused over the past decade on growing. With more than 5,700 students who come to UW Bothell expecting excellence, it is our responsibility to continue providing that excellence through more holistic planning and budget processes. Three important initiatives that will lead to success with our campus sustainability priority are: the current campus master planning process, a branding initiative, and the action plans we develop and implement in response to the employee engagement survey findings. 
 
We are looking at options to strengthen our infrastructure, using a master plan for a more comprehensive process. It’s time to look at where we want to be in the next 10 years and develop creative methods to bring that collective vision to reality. 
The branding initiative is vital to telling our story. We are currently working on identifying what makes us distinctive within the overall University of Washington brand. 
The employee engagement survey results were enlightening and presented a challenge to me and to all of us. I said in the town hall, the results will not just sit in a drawer, but will move this university to action. The results revealed important strengths, including diversity and inclusion, job satisfaction and connection to the mission.
 
Areas where we found opportunities for improvement included communication and collaboration, shared governance, candor and trust, and senior leadership. To that end, I have already begun making changes and will work with the vice chancellors to develop an action plan to which we can be held accountable. I am committed to using this feedback to create positive changes and I need everyone on board. Beth Beam has been sharing more detailed information and building a work group that will be vital to us developing our sustainable action plans. We will continue to communicate with faculty and staff throughout this process.
 
Finally, our third priority is the most ambitious campaign in the University of Washington’s history. It was launched last Friday at the Together event in Seattle. This will also be the most ambitious campaign in UW Bothell’s history. Imagine, the goal of our last campaign was $3 million. This time, we are charging toward $45 million. With nearly half of the goal met, I know if we work together, we will exceed that goal.
 
We have exciting work ahead of us. I’m ready to work and I hope you will join me. Success on these three priorities results in success for our students and for our university.