Third week of Spring Semester ushered in the first major snow storm we’ve had in years, and at 11:15am, we let the public, students, faculty and staff know that we would be closing the College at 2:30pm due to the severe weather. Our dedicated and hardworking facilities crew, public safety team, and IT staff made sure that the parking lots, walkways, and various entrances to Saint Paul College were open and accessible to our faculty, staff, and students.
What great team work - kudos to ALL.
We were pretty much back to “business as usual” on Tuesday for all who could make it to campus. I want to thank our faculty and staff along with our students who traveled to work earlier this week through the aftermath of the winter storm.
Here's a short recap of my week:
Northern Star Council Boy Scouts of America
I gave the keynote to Northern Star Council Boy Scouts of America leadership at their annual meeting at Saint Paul College. I emphasized the commonality of alignment of mission, purpose, and strategic alignment between our two organizations from their humble beginnings; and, how, Saint Paul College and the Northern Star Council Boy Scouts of America promote service to their constituencies. Collectively, we both strive to narrow and fill the gap of opportunities for our communities and bridge the gap of divide for our communities. For more information, please see:
Scholarship Established by House of Hope Presbyterian Church
I attended a retirement celebration for Dr. David Van Dyke, pastor and head of staff of the House of Hope Presbyterian Church, located near the College on Summit Avenue. The
House of Hope Presbyterian Church supporters endowed a Saint Paul College scholarship in honor of Dr. Van Dyke to be awarded to a young African American man who transitions from
Ujamaa Place to pursue their higher education here.
Ujamaa Place is an organization focused on young African American men in Saint Paul (primarily between the ages of 18 and 30), many of whom suffer multiple barriers to becoming stable, productive members of the community. Education is the best equalizer in the lives of our citizenry. For more information, please see:
Downtown Development Framework Steering Committee
I met with the Executive Director of the
Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation for an update of their new initiative to attract and retain employers to downtown by creating a more vibrant, safe, engaging, and successful downtown St. Paul through convening civic, business, and community leaders in a community-based and centered design process. Moreover, how downtown can become a service district as well as a hub for recruiting and promoting new businesses.
Minnesota State Leadership Council
I attended the Minnesota State leadership council meeting with other
Minnesota State presidents. We discussed progress with Minnesota State’s Strategic priorities, Finance, Capital Projects, Enrollment, Developmental Education Strategy Roadmap, launching ERP/Next Gen, strategic approaches to a Legislative supplemental request by investing on higher education, innovation and collaborative funding, and operating budget outlook.
Comprehensive Workplace Solutions Conversation
I met with the interim executive director of Comprehensive Workplace Solutions of
Minnesota State and the steering committee team, to discuss how we can leverage our customized training and continuing education programs to strengthen Minnesota’s workforce in a manner that is financially sustainable. Additionally, we discussed the development of tentative outcome measures and metrics.
Twin Cities Metro Baccalaureate Plan
I met with several Metro area college presidents and
Minnesota State system office leadership team members (Twin Cities Metro Baccalaureate) to discuss a Metro area Baccalaureate Plan.
The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundation Meeting
The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundation Governance and Executive Committee meeting. The common board of The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations governs the Foundations' shared services.
United Hospital Foundation
I attended a United Hospital Foundation meeting to discuss setting major gift priorities, strategies.
Partnership with a Community Bank
I met with the President and CEO of a local community/family owned bank to discuss potential partnership with this bank for the students of Saint Paul College and our graduates.
Alumni in the News – Making a Difference
Minnesota Spokesman Recorder:
Couple provides safe housing for women in recovery
Connecting with Students and Alumni
Saint Paul College plays an effective role by providing opportunities for students to seek the education and career goals they have set for themselves.
Last Saturday, I had lunch with one of our students, who is on his way to seek admission to medical school in a big ten research university. This student spoke of his experiences at Saint Paul College. Never having felt a sense of belongingness at other colleges he had attended, he really appreciated the special care that our staff and faculty exhibited toward him. I also had a conversation with a student from the
Cabinetmaking program. This student also informed me that she had a positive experience at the College.
Lastly, I also had lunch with an alum of our
Power of YOU program, who went on to graduate from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Electrical Engineering and is now gainfully employed in industry. Our students inspire us. The
Power of YOU program provides two years tuition-free college through federal and state grants and/or private scholarships to high school graduates immediately starting college in fall. For more information about the
Power of YOU program, please see
Our dedicated faculty and staff are game changers for our students. I am honored to work along these dedicated employees and team members regardless of their role at the College. Collectively,
we deliver on our promise, when our students start here, they can go anywhere.
I wish you all a relaxing weekend.
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College