Budget cuts, a new grade school, updated curriculum and revised weather policies — faculty and staff had a lot to discuss at a meeting with campus leaders Oct.17.
The Campus Conversation, also known as the Chancellor’s Lunch, is a small event put on for students, employees and staff to ask the chancellor questions about happenings on campus.
However, the chancellor unfortunately could not attend the conversation due to a death in his immediate family. Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations Lynn Valenter, Vice chancellor for Academic Affairs Renny Christopher, Vice chancellor for Student Affairs Nancy Youlden and Campus Director of Equity and Diversity Obie Ford III filled in for Chancellor Mel Netzhammer’s place.
Recent concerns regarding the budget was one of the topics covered, as well as the extension of the 6-12 grade school opening in Jan. of 2020. Another question addressed was what measures will be taken, and how classes will be affected if another massive snowstorm is anticipated. Additional questions regarded when BASE, a professional development curriculum for faculty on campus, will return and the possibility of a community speak in about social issues around the world.
Valenter said that the Vancouver campus did not receive confirmation from Pullman about budget programs for this year until recently. However, she did say that the administration is not cutting any positions that have already been hired. In addition, Lynn mentioned that since this is new to them, there will be more information later in the year.
Lynn introduced plans for a 6-12 grade school expected to be built near campus by January of 2020. A Vancouver public school currently housed in the Clark College building on campus.
Panelists also addressed weather from last year and the school policy for adverse weather events. Christopher and Youlden said that they wanted people to know that the policy has not changed. Professors are still allowed to cancel class when the campus is open and when the campus is closed all classes are canceled. However, they said professors should not be punishing the students who cannot make it to class if they are experiencing weather challenges. They said that they have not seen anyone abuse the system, so it will be used this year.
Campus Director, Obie Ford, concluded the conversation with his desire to put together a group of students on campus to show support for events going on in the world. He hopes to hold a discussion and have a “campus engagement” or possibly a speak-in.
Don’t worry if you missed the campus conversation, there will be more.