Steve Lydon, center, receives recognition award from Friends of Saint Paul College Foundation; pictured with David Kline, executive director, Friends of the Saint Paul College Foundation and Rassoul Dastmozd, president/CEO Saint Paul College.
This week, I had an opportunity to thank and congratulate Steve Lydon on receiving recognition from the Friends of Saint Paul College Foundation. He is an advocate, supporter and friend of the College, and established an endowed scholarship in memory of his late daughter for our students in the Child Development Careers programs. His active and generous support makes a difference in the lives of current and future generations. I am honored that we are associated with so many loving, caring, and generous members of our community. Their generosity makes a profound difference, a life changing difference, in the lives of our students.
I sincerely thank so many members of our College staff and faculty, as well as advocates outside the college, for giving so generously. Giving for a good cause is contagious.
Here’s a short recap of my activities this week
Kettering Foundation College Presidents Meeting
I attended the Kettering Foundation Deliberative Democracy Exchange College Presidents: Rediscovering the Civic Purposes of Higher Education. The college president’s panel recognizes that many higher education institutions were created by civic engagement and with civic purposes in mind, and many are experiencing a narrowing of their mission, reducing education to simply professional training and workforce development. We, as the president attendees, continue our conversations to see how higher education leaders are reacting to this landscape by focusing our attention to democracy, and advocating beyond our traditional administrative and fundraising roles to addressing the problem of democracy, the overall dysfunction of our public life in a time of disengagement of many citizens. And, finally, what can we collectively do to promote citizen employees, and citizen students in our institutions of higher education. After attending this meeting, a quote from President Abraham Lincoln resonated with me: “With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed.”
I attended the Generation Next board meeting where we discussed literacy, reading, math, career and college readiness strategies. Saint Paul College is an intentional partner at the Generation Next table. A meeting about a recap of Greater United Way of Twin Cities and Social Innovation Fund (final evaluation) followed.
Greater Metropolitan Workforce Council Board Meeting
I along with private and public sectors leaders attended the Greater Metropolitan Workforce Council board meeting to discuss strategies that will benefit members of our communities who have traditionally been underserved and underemployed, with a special focus on sector partnerships and career pathways to prosperity. Saint Paul College plays a critical role by training qualified talent for Minnesota’s economy and workforce shortage. Check out saintpaul.edu/programs.
Full Stack Saint Paul Networking Event
I attended the Full Stack Saint Paul meeting which focused on the strategies we are implementing to grow a culture of innovation and to grow the workforce talent needed to keep Saint Paul competitive and vibrant. Full Stack Saint Paul is an opportunity to network with some of the brightest minds in the tech and innovation sectors in the region. The meeting also focused on the promotion and branding of Saint Paul, as well as places and spaces which are an integral part of attracting high technology firms. Full Stack Saint Paul is a public/private sector collaboration, co-led by the City of Saint Paul and the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce. It provides a full range of services to help tech and innovation sector businesses start and scale up in Saint Paul.
MSPWIN Postsecondary Convening Meeting
As a board member of the Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Workforce Innovation Network (MSPWin), I attended a workgroup meeting to discuss current research, trends, policies and initiatives that could improve postsecondary success for students of color and low-income students in Minnesota.
United Hospital Fund Raising Event
I attended a private fundraising event for United Hospital Foundation to promote their center for excellence in Robotic Surgery.
Minnesota State New President Orientation
I took part in the Minnesota State New Presidents’ Orientation session at the Minnesota State system office.
College Leadership Team Meeting
I met with the Saint Paul College Leadership Team to discuss operational, tactical, and strategic priorities updates at Saint Paul College. I am proud of our team, which is comprised of a group of talented, skilled, and hardworking leaders at the College.
Faculty Shared Governance Meeting
The Executive Leadership of the College and I met with the Faculty Shared Governance team to discuss policy reviews/approval, and the establishment of new committees at the College.
We interviewed several candidates for faculty positions at the College. Investing in full-time faculty positions is a strategic priority, and advances our commitment to Teaching and Learning.
In the news – articles of interest
The common thread that is salient in all of the following articles is the fact that community and technical colleges, such as Saint Paul College, play a critical role by providing state of the market training for the residents of their communities. Minnesota benefits and prospers, as a whole, including its citizens, businesses and industries, when we educate and train the quality talent that is so desperately needed by employers.
Pioneer Press:Editorial: Among Minnesota’s manufacturers, optimism and opportunity
Star Tribune: Editorial: For job hunters, tight labor market has a upside
Women’s Press: Lachelle Cunningham's Mission
CNBC: The U.S. labor shortage is reaching a critical point - CNBC
Twin Cities Business: Labor Shortage is Hurting Minnesota’s Employment Growth
I will end this week’s blog by thanking our passionate, motivated, and hardworking faculty and staff for going the extra mile by serving the educational needs of our students each and every day. By working together, we can successfully and intentionally attend to the needs of our community and students.
I am honored to be a part of our Saint Paul College family.
I wish you a relaxing and enjoyable weekend.
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College