Dear CUH Community,
Thank you for welcoming members of the Dean's Office to your August 3 retreat on Bainbridge Island and for the opportunity to address the entire gathering. We enjoyed participating and talking with many of you. I also enjoyed the pizza party held that evening in Seattle.
The meeting was useful in that it brought all of us up to date with regard to a number of issues and thoughts within your unit. We recognize the extreme conditions under which you are working as a result of the arson fire last May. Clearly, nerves are on edge and emotions run high.
As a result of the retreat, we ask for the nomination of CUH staff members to serve on the College Planning Committee in the capacity of staff-at-large positions. These suggestions will be considered along with other nominations we receive for these positions. Furthermore, we ask for CUH staff and faculty nominations to the College Work Place Quality Committee. As you know, we intend to place heavy focus on both strategic thinking and organizational culture in order to maximize our chances of implementing the proper future course of action for the College and its various units. The above-named College committees will serve as our focal points for the initiation of these discussions, but, to be successful, ALL members of the College must freely participate in both processes. We intend to "push" the concept of strategic thinking as deeply into the organization as we can in order to avail ourselves of the best thinking the College can offer.
CUH (like all other work units) is asked to design its programs to contribute to our College's mission, vision and goals. The mission statement you developed in June 2000 (i.e., "To apply horticulture to natural and human-altered landscapes to sustain natural resources and the human spirit."), recognizes sustainability as a core concept and you are to be congratulated for this foresight. CUH programs appear to incorporate two of our three metrics (ecological and social).
While CUH is making substantial contributions to help achieve College goals, we ask that future discussions be focused on ways to broaden your programs to incorporate additional elements related to the environment, urban ecology, urban forestry, etc. We believe that the citizens of Washington State can greatly benefit from your efforts as they relate to the sustainability of urban environments. These discussions should precede the design of the new Merrill Hall and should recognize this broader mission.
As you continue to work towards further refining the Center's programs within this larger context, in concert with the design of your new building, please continue to incorporate the ideas of sustainability. All units of the College are being asked to do this and this is viewed as an important organizational and philosophical step in addressing the challenges put forth by the President and Provost. Where additional resources are required to achieve this broadening, please so indicate. Also consult the performance criteria we intend to use to measure programmatic contributions to the College.
I personally look forward to strengthening our mutual relationship in the months aheads. Best wishes.
B. Bruce Bare, Acting Dean