|Volume 3, No. 4||
As I write this, I have been the new Dean at CFR for only two months. But with great pleasure I can say that Dan and I made the right decision to come to Seattle. An important element has been the enjoyable and stimulating interactions I have had with alumni, faculty, staff, and students. There is an old saying that “people make an environment.” Since all the elements required to form a vital and dynamic team exist either within the College or are associated with the College, CFR is a great environment and a great team to be part of. The core group associated with the College is extremely dynamic and vibrant and reflects and highlights the culture that is particular to the Pacific Northwest.
CFR was a very attractive opportunity for several reasons:
The difficulty the College faces is to balance these diverse areas so that its current strengths are not diluted in the process of developing a common vision by faculty, students, and alumni.
There is an urgent need to produce a center where forestry, horticultural, environmental, and other natural resource issues can be discussed and where productive dialogue can be established among different stakeholders. This is a goal that CFR is ideally suited to provide because of the mix of faculty in the College and the rest of the UW system. There are many challenges to achieving this leadership role for the College. For example: (1) Forestry and natural resource issues cannot be conducted in isolation. It is impossible to have just a Pacific Northwest or Washington focus. Global ecology and other factors affect what happens here. There are no borders that allow forest and natural resource managers to ignore the rest of the world. (2) There is a need to bring together different groups dealing with natural resource issues—from forestry to conservation and the environment. No institution has been established to successfully deal with the complexity of natural resource issues. No model exists that we can follow to achieve this goal. This means that it will be more difficult to accomplish, but the rewards will be tremendous for those who are successful. The leadership opportunities for the organization that first successfully accomplishes this task make it a commendable endeavor for the College. (3) We need to integrate information from the social and natural sciences—to be interdisciplinary. (4) It is essential not to eliminate or alienate forestry in the process of integrating all these fields. Forestry professionals have to participate and be part of the solution. Most institutions have been unable to implement this integration, but forestry has to be part of the formula. The forest industry must not be marginalized or eliminated from the matrix just because there is significant discord between it and the rest of the stakeholder community. (5) It will be a similar challenge to integrate forestry and environmental education in the UW system at the undergraduate level. The College needs to be the focal point where this intersection occurs.
I hope that I will be able to count on all of you to help provide the leadership for the many issues that the College is well positioned to lead. It is going to be a challenging time, because the issues have been ongoing for several decades. The easy answers have not worked. A new type of leadership is required to move us beyond the polarized approaches typical in the past. New ideas may not be readily accepted. I believe that if no one cares about what you are saying, you are probably not expressing cutting-edge thinking on the issues. When people start arguing with you, it means that you are making them think and care about something in a new way. As this dialogue develops, I encourage all of you to participate and to provide your thoughts on how best to move ahead.
In my discussions with members of the community, I have been told that it will be hard work taking over the leadership of the College but that it will be FUN. I hope the positive input I have had from so many individuals will continue and that everyone will always feel that the door is open to my office whenever any of you feel a need to discuss the College, its future, and also its past. During my learning phase, I will need all of your input to develop a common vision that we can all agree to, and to move CFR to the position of preeminence that is within our reach.
The CFR Quarterly is published four times annually, at the close of Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer Quarters.
Please send comments or submit news items to Cecilia Paul: email@example.com; 3-3075; 107E Anderson, Box 352100.
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