Town Hall review: Feb. 14

Thank you to everyone who attended our town hall on Feb. 14. Special thanks to the General Staff Organization for providing hot chocolate before the main event. I was glad to see about 100 students, faculty and staff at our meeting. 
Here's a quick summary of our discussion:
  • We are engaged in a campus master planning process. This process will guide campus growth in the future. We need this campus plan to help us plan for all the facilities we would like to have. I want to thank Kelly Snyder, assistant vice chancellor of government and community relations, for her excellent work. Kelly and I have also been spending time in Olympia, meeting with lawmakers and seeking support from the state for state need grants for students. We are also seeking capital funding for a new building (to ease the 90 square feet per FTE) and also to support the School of STEM.
  • We are tracking developments in regard to federal immigration and travel restrictions. This ban affects many of us in personal and professional ways. Please use the many services we have available if you have questions or need support.
  • I recently signed an agreement with the state Department of Veterans Affairs, re-affirming the commitment to veterans. I'm proud to report that UW Bothell has 281 student veterans on campus. I'm also proud to announce the Veterans Life Initiative, a long-term commitment to help military veterans succeed as students. As a Navy veteran, I understand  the need to remove barriers, make veterans feel welcome and support their educational experience. An initiative task force of student veterans, faculty, staff and alumni will recommend programming and processes to be incorporated into UW Bothell’s Diversity Action Plan.
  • Finally, we are on track to open our Student Diversity Center by March 27. The center will be located in the northwest corner of the first floor of UW1.
Vice Chancellor Ruth Johnson gave an overview of our budget recalibration process. For the time being, we will be holding our enrollment at 5,300 students. As you all know, we have been state's fastest-growing colleges for several years. However, the time has come to take a breather. What does that mean? It doesn't mean reductions in staff and faculty. Rather, we are looking for ways to realize savings on shared services, organization structure and other ways to save money and avoid costs. 
I don't need to tell you that our classrooms and campus are crowded. We need more space. UW Bothell’s 90 square feet per FTE is the lowest of any similar campus. As we shape our budget, it's my hope that we'll position our campus to be ready for the next opportunity to acquire more space.
Look for an email from my office with dates for upcoming town hall meetings.