This has been a productive week as I have been able to complete several projects under way. Summer session is in full swing and Fall semester registration is currently well under way. We are delighted to see so many students from St. Paul Public Schools at Saint Paul College as these students give our college environment some dynamic energy.
To all of our students - thank you for giving us the opportunity to work with you on your educational journey! I hope all of you are doing well and making satisfactory progress - remember, we are here to assist you with your goals!
Here’s a short recap of my 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, began a series of 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.
- Management Team Retreat - I attended the Management Team retreat that focused on campus climate and a culture of engagement and customer service excellence, effective communication, and high performance team environment.
- Generation Next - we discussed literacy, reading, math, career and college readiness strategies at the Generation Next Board Meeting. Saint Paul College is an intentional partner at the Generation Next table. We also discussed uniform measurement tools and standards across networks that address after school tutoring programs.
- Higher Ground Academy - I met with the Executive Director of Higher Ground Academy to discuss educational partnership and access to higher education at the College for their students.
- Central Corridor Anchor Partnership (CCAP) – I attended the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership Executive Committee meeting to discuss and promote workforce system strategies for the healthcare occupational sector.
- Minnesota Philanthropy Partners – I attended a Minnesota Philanthropy Partners Governance Committee meeting.
- Joint Meeting: Friends of Saint Paul College and President’s Advisory Council - I attended a joint meeting of Friends of Saint Paul College Board Members and President’s Advisory Council Members comprised of community volunteers who provide their counsel and advice to Saint Paul College in terms of advancing the College’s Mission, Vision, and the Strategic Plan. Additionally, Friends of Saint Paul College promotes relationship building, philanthropy, fund raising and donor cultivation to secure charitable gifts and grants to benefit the students and programs at the College, making college more affordable and accessible for our students.
In the news:
For over 106 years, Saint Paul College has been an intentional partner with many businesses and industries and promoted Minnesota’s prosperity. New industries and new technologies offer new opportunities for us, such as with Lightwave Photonics, Inc. (LPI), a company growing “crystalline round semiconductor wafers that will make LEDs more efficient” that employs some of our students as interns and also working with us on growing crystals in our start-of-the-art labs. You can learn more about our new partner by reading Cutting-Edge Technology Company Calls University Ave Home
I will end this blog on a somber but promising note. I attended the funeral of Mr. Philando Castile this week. My heartfelt condolences go to his family, friends and our community. I am optimistic and hopeful that this tragic loss will lead to a more unified community and continued understanding of each other.
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College