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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

Fifteenth Week of Spring Semester

It is always an honor and a privilege to be honored for the work that any of us do on a daily basis. This week faculty from around the state were honored at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees Awards for Excellence in Teaching celebration.

2017 Outstanding Educator Dr. James Andresen

Susan Taylor Outstanding Educator

Two of our faculty members, Dr. James Andresen, political science instructor, and Ms. Susan Taylor, English instructor, were recognized as 2017 Minnesota State Outstanding Educators at this celebration among 27 other educators from Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

I attended this luncheon along with several faculty members, their family members and the interim Vice President of Academic Affairs.

This recognition reflects and manifests the exceptional commitment that James and Susan have demonstrated in teaching at the College, throughout their career, in their continuous professional development, and in service to our students, and Minnesota State. Please join me in congratulating both James and Susan!​

I recognize that excellent, outstanding and extraordinary work is being performed in our classrooms by ​our faculty each and every day, for which I am very grateful. I am reminded of the quote, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops,” by Henry Brooks Adams. Thank you for all that you do for our students.

Here's a short recap of my activities this week:

Minnesota Philanthropy Partners – I attended the Board of Director Governance and Executive Committee meeting to discuss the MN Philanthropy strategic framework, governance issues and the recruitment of prospective board members.

Comprehensive Workforce Solution meeting – I, along with four other Minnesota State presidents, met to discuss the development of a Comprehensive Workforce Solution model, which will be used to ensure we leverage our customized training and continuing education to strengthen Minnesota’s workforce in a manner that is financially sustainable. We presented this tentative CWS Model to Customized Training and Continuing Education Leadership Team from across the state.

United Hospital Foundation - I attended the United Hospital Foundation meeting to discuss their gift priorities, strategies, and board development opportunities.

Faculty Shared Governance Meeting – The Executive Leadership of the College and I met with the Faculty Shared Governance team to discuss systematic and strategic planning, enrollment, marketing and recruitment, program evaluation, construction projects, legislative priorities, and Friends of Saint Paul College strategic initiatives.

AFSCME Meet and Confer – I met with the AFSCME employee bargaining unit representatives to discuss College operations in their respective work areas.

Friends of Saint Paul College Executive Committee Meeting - I met with the Friends of Saint Paul College Executive Committee and chair of Finance/Investment Committee to discuss committee reports, devise a draft budget for the Foundation, and discuss progress with the Strategic Plan of Friends of Saint Paul College.

Joint Meeting of Friends of Saint Paul College and President’s Advisory Council Members - I attended a joint meeting of Friends of Saint Paul College and President’s Advisory Council members to forge a commitment to advance the strategic plan of Saint Paul College and strategic priorities of Friends of Saint Paul College. This joint meeting served as a catalyst to engage both entities to learn about each other’s strategic priorities, the work of the Friends of Saint Paul College Foundation, as well as President Advisory Council. There is a tremendous opportunity to work together and to advance philanthropic giving to the foundation.

Senator Franken’s Advancing Career Pathways Summit - Saint Paul College hosted Senator Franken’s Advancing Career Pathways Summit and I provided welcoming remarks. This summit brought together educators, business owners, labor representatives and community partners to discuss best practices, models for collaboration, and opportunities. Saint Paul College has been intentional in forging partnerships with Saint Paul Public Schools and non-profit Community Based Organizations to establish seamless guided pathways for traditional and non-traditional students (traditional or non-traditional) and enhance access to all areas of the College. For more information, please read the Pioneer Press article Sen. Franken urges closing ‘skills gap’ with training other than four-year degrees

Plumbing Program Commencement Ceremony – the Vice President Finance and Facilities, deans of Customized and Continuing Education and Career and Technical Education and I attended the graduation ceremony and dinner for students of the Plumbing Diploma program. This program trains apprentices in commercial, residential and industrial plumbing. The College has a long and rich history with the Plumbers union, of which we are very proud. I am very proud of our students, apprentices and our continued connection to Plumbers Local 34. Thank you for all that you do.

Announced by Minnesota State on April 19, 2017:
$1 Million Gift Establishes Summer Scholars Academy
A $1 million gift from Beverly and Richard Fink to eight Minnesota State colleges in the Twin Cities will establish an innovative program to ensure that students are college-ready by fall semester of their freshman year – at no cost to the students. Saint Paul College is one of eight Minnesota State Colleges benefitting from the grant. We are very grateful for the generous gift that is meant to reduce disparities in student success caused by financial and academic challenges For more information go to Saint Paul College Summer Scholars Academy.

I marvel at how student-centered Saint Paul College is! I witnessed how several students needed some answers to their advising questions. Without having an appointment, the front desk staff were able to secure assistance for these students. This type of service is an everyday occurrence and I am grateful to our staff who go the extra mile and be able to answer students’ questions and concerns. Helping our students and caring for them is in our DNA.

I will end this week’s blog by wishing everyone a safe and relaxing weekend.

Best,
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
President/CEO
Saint Paul College

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