Faculty Voice Newsletter: December 2017: President’s Report: Cabrillo’s Internal Economy and Pathways for Faculty

by Karl Ewald

Cabrillo’s Internal Economy

The College Planning Committee (CPC) has had several discussions in recent weeks around the idea of forming a Budget sub-committee. No specific structures have been identified. Mostly the discussion has centered around what role this committee might have. What problems would it solve? What benefits might come? Ultimately CPC will work to determine these things, but in trying to wrap my head around it, a few thoughts come to mind. In a true sense, the college has an internal economy. There are rules about how it works and who decides what. Like any economy, those trying to function within it have varying degrees of understanding how it works. In general, those who know more about how it works feel more empowered and confident acting within it. Sometimes frustration stems more from not understanding how something works rather than with the specific ways it actually does work. My hope for a budget committee would be that more people understand how this internal economy works so they feel empowered to navigate it with purpose.

Pathways for Faculty?

There can be so much value in trying to find some simpler, more unifying way to think about things. It can, at times, allow us a simpler way of evaluating complex situations and see them in a broader context. In the Guided Pathways effort, students become this unifying concept. Change almost always has cascading effects on people and processes. The prospect of this cascading change can be scary. Some of the effects will be expected and some unexpected. In facing these unknowns, it can sometimes help to return to basics: If this change works, how will it affect our students? Will that be a net positive? How do we mitigate any negative effects?

I wonder if we might find a simpler, more unifying way of thinking about CCFT’s work? Is there a “Pathways” approach we might adopt? In talking with faculty throughout my time at Cabrillo, there is a common theme: How can faculty make a long-term home here? We have faculty at all stages of adult life. Some just starting in their post-college careers and those nearing retirement. Our needs and concerns vary throughout our lives. Can we imagine the pathway a faculty member might take through their careers here? How might they move up and across the salary schedule? How might that effort be aligned with the colleges broader goals. What will retirement look like? These are challenging questions, but they have been challenging us all along. Is there a pathway for all our faculty to make a home here? Would this viewpoint help us make better decisions?

Taking Stock, Taking Care

If you’ve talked with me one-on-one in the past six months, I’ve probably shared with you something I’m struggling with… My father is ill. I generally wear my emotions near the surface and it would be easy to catch me feeling these emotions in nearly any quiet moment. It would also be easy to read these emotions as rooted in our shared moment, but, more than likely, they are emerging from my inner state of mind. In essence, don’t read too much “between the lines” from me right now. Those “lines” might be coming from a completely different book. In understanding this about myself, I realize how often I must catch others in the middle of their own inner thoughts and feelings, and how important it is to temper my own internal assumptions with actual, direct communication.

In any large organization, there will always be some who are struggling. Struggle can take on many forms and vary from day to day, week to week, and month to month. If you are struggling, please take the time to care for yourself and seek out help when you need it. Others may not be able to transform the challenges we face, but they might be help us handle them better. A big thank you to all those that have taken the time to listen and helped me.

There is much to be excited about in our shared future at Cabrillo. When my mind is focused there, I feel that excitement. There are challenges but I know we can make tomorrow better than today. We just have to remain curious, brave, and focused.

Campus Updates

CCFT Executive Director: Our hiring committee has been working diligently to evaluate job applications and we are planning interviews for mid-December. We’ll keep you posted on our progress.

Bond Feasibility Committee: The committee has been exploring options and has been working with consultants to survey the community. The group will meet again shortly to evaluate the results and consider a recommendation for CPC and ultimately, the governing board.

Faculty Senate/CPC:

Guided Pathways: