This week, as I was doing one of my routine walks throughout the campus, I ran into two alumni of our building trades who happen to be working on the construction site for our new
Health and Science Alliance Science Center. One alum said he is pursuing his Juris Doctorate degree at the local Law school and the other will soon be pursuing a degree in business. This is music to my ears. I am a firm believer in lifelong learning. For me, learning never stops – and apparently it’s true for these alumni also. These accomplishments and achievements are living examples of our Saint Paul College mission of Education for Employment…Education for Life. I am just so glad that these students have been a part of our Saint Paul College family.
I am proud and honored to work at Saint Paul College, where together, we can make purposeful and intentional differences in the lives of our students, our community, and Minnesota
Here’s a short recap of my activities and meetings this week:
DEED Metro Equity in the Workplace Conversation - I attended a dinner and community conversation on equity and inclusion in the workplace. These engaging conversations are held regionally across the state by DEED to gather and explore practical tools for combating implicit bias, while increasing equity in the workplace. New relationships and collaborations are encouraged as catalysts for positive change in a new regional approach to workforce development. I am proud that the Saint Paul College Equity and Inclusion Committee has already operationalized our Equity and Inclusion Plan here.
Weekly Legislative Web Ex - I attended the Governmental Relations Weekly Web Ex meetings where we discussed the Legislative Priorities of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.
Saint Paul Almanac Interview - I was interviewed by the Saint Paul Almanac non-profit arts and publishing organization that values inclusive conversation and education to a very high degree. Their mission is to share stories across cultures and cultivate dialogue to promote understanding, relationships, and collaborative action.
City of St. Paul Economic Development Partners - I met with the representatives for economic development from City of St. Paul, Executive Director/President of St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, Ramsey County Deputy Commissioner, President/CEO of BOMA, President/CEO of St. Paul Port Authority, and Executive Director of the St. Paul Riverfront Corporation to discuss economic development and workforce development issues related to St. Paul and Ramsey County.
Capitol City Education Fund - I met with the executive director of
Capitol City Education Fund to discuss philanthropy initiatives with St. Paul Public Schools. SPPS graduates choose Saint Paul College as their college of choice over any other college in the Metro area: For more information, please see:
Where St. Paul grads go to college
Students United and Chancellor’s Meeting – I met with Chancellor Rosenstone and members of
Students United as part of their monthly meeting. Students United represents students regarding various system-wide policies and also work with Minnesota State staff on budget issues, legislative priorities, equity and inclusion plans, and building project planning.
Kettering Deliberative Dialogues at Saint Paul College - Saint Paul College hosted a structured, facilitated discussion of social and civic issues that focused on finding common ground between disparate perspectives. I believe that while these conversations are often difficult, they are also rewarding and timely given the nation’s current political state. The College will also expand the Kettering Foundation initiative to community listening sessions by engaging external stakeholders and community members.
Saint Paul Mayor’s Innovation Cabinet - I along with CEOs of high technology and innovation firms, the president/CEO of St. Paul Port Authority, Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce, VP of business/industry recruitment from the Greater MSP, the City of St. Paul Economic Development, elected public officials and commissioner of DEED, met at the
COCO (co-working spaces) to discuss how we can promote and recruit innovative companies and jobs to the City of Saint Paul for our economic future. For more information:
St. Paul aims to attract more innovation and technology jobs
Capital Investment Committee - I along with the Associate Vice Chancellor of Facilities from Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and presented a recap of several capital bonding projects including
Saint Paul College Health and Science Alliance Center.
Meeting with a Community Leader - I met with a community leader who is a passionate supporter of Saint Paul College to discuss philanthropy and Minnesota’s current and future economic and workforce trends.
Minnesota workforce trends - the Deans of Health Sciences, Business and Career and Technical Education and I met with an area employer to discuss Minnesota’s workforce trends, and the critical role that Saint Paul College plays in providing relevant and innovative programs to produce well-educated and well-trained workers who contribute to our economy and a prosperous Minnesota.
Incenting and Supporting Collaboration - I along with Minnesota State presidents attended a Web Ex meeting where we discussed a framework for funding performance-based funding and incenting collaboration and partnerships among our various colleges and universities to promote student success and four-year degree completion.
I will end this week’s blog by sharing with an article, how many colleges in Minnesota are teaming up to give students a more affordable path to 4-year degrees.
How Minnesota colleges are teaming up to give students a cheaper path to 4-year degrees
A growing number of private universities in the state has made the path from community college into its program as seamless as possible.
I thank ALL members of our community who facilitate opportunities for success for our students each and every day. As I said before,
if we don’t take care of our students and our community, who will?
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College