Spring keeps trying to arrive, and I hope it does so soon so that those of you who are away for Spring Break can enjoy some well-earned rest and relaxation! In the meantime, there are a number of updates I wanted to offer to you regarding initiatives on campus.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
I am pleased to announce that SUNY Brockport has invested in a partnership with the Center for Dispute Settlement to offer Restorative Practices Training and Implementation. This training will be available in May. We have been investigating the opportunities for training for some time, and I am grateful to our CDO, Damita Davis, for her tireless efforts in securing this wonderful opportunity, which will be jointly funded by Presidential Priority Funds from the Brockport Foundation and funds held by the Provost to promote equity, diversity and inclusion. More information will be available shortly, including how you can personally get involved and trained, should you be interested in doing so, as well as the three-year plan for full implementation of a program that will benefit our campus for years to come.
In relation to our campus climate survey, we have received the initial quantitative data from HEDS, the company that conducted the survey. They will release the data from the open-ended questions to us by the end of March. HEDS has unsurprisingly found that interest in climate surveys is high across educational institutions, and they found themselves in a position of having more surveys to conduct than they had initially anticipated, with a declining staffing base. As a result, the release of our data has been delayed. However, the good news is that they have a wider base from which to draw regarding comparative schools, and we will get those results, hopefully by the end of May. The Presidential Campus Climate Committee (PCCC) will be sharing additional information in the coming weeks.
Shared governance survey
The Shared Governance Committee is hard at work on a shared governance survey, which will be distributed after Spring Break. In preparation, we would be grateful if you could review the current Shared Governance Website, and in particular, the Statement on Shared Governance document, so that you can provide informed feedback regarding our endeavors. We are aware the Shared Governance document is in need of an update, and we are in the process of doing so; a process that was delayed by COVID.
Our educational partner, REOC, has recently been in the news! The Rochester Business Journal put the REOC on its front page of the February 24, 2023 edition. The article highlighted the strong partnership between the REOC and SUNY Brockport. Like SUNY Brockport, the REOC is invested in creating new programs to attract students and meet our region’s needs. Two recent developments include a new Phlebotomy Program in partnership with the United Healthcare Workers East Union, with a second program starting in April and open to the public, and the addition of more Sterile Processing Technician sections this semester.
Open Office hours
I want to encourage anyone with concerns or even good news to attend one or more of the upcoming Presidential Open Office Hours which are held in Seymour 220:
- 3/23 with VP Andriatch at 12:20
- 4/26 with Provost Abraham at 11am
- 5/4 with Provost Abraham at 11am
- 6/8 with CDO Davis at 11:30am
In addition, in a room yet to be confirmed, I will be holding open office hours on 4/11 at 2pm with Executive Director and Dean Mareus at REOC/Brockport Downtown.
Please note that these dates may be subject to change if events require it, but they will always be rescheduled.
I also wanted to share some of the recent outcomes of open office hours, because things do change as a result of the issues that are raised.
- Discussions have been had regarding how to support community building and rebuilding after COVID. These conversations are ongoing and I would welcome further input, as would the Care and Celebration Committee which is working hard on community building activities.
- To improve communication links, I’ve been invited to attend the Full Professor Forum and all full professors were invited to take part in the Campus Leadership Summit.
- A review of the ROTC murals was undertaken, with plans to fix them.
- Discussions have been held regarding updating and streamlining annual reports.
- Some health and safety issues have been raised and addressed.
- We recognized that not everyone is aware of who their building managers are and how to report problems, so we’re working to resolve this. We are sending two messages each semester via the Daily Eagle on how to contact the Service Center with issues. We have also produced and distributed cards with instructions on how to do this to all buildings/departments.
- Restrooms were provided with labels that show people how to report issues such as lack of supplies or cleanliness.
- We discussed second quarter courses and some of the opportunities for departments around offering such sources. Departments with a demonstrated need to add a second quarter course can email Eileen Daniel to discuss their ideas and needs.
- Specific items have been asked of each VP, and as a result, their regular newsletters include items that need to be addressed.
And this is just a list of issues that we have arisen this year. Please note: my Cabinet colleagues and I take your concerns seriously, and we seek to address them. There’s also the Hey Heidi button on the website if you prefer to ask questions more privately.
From now until the end of the semester, I know that things get very busy on campus and sometimes it feels like time is going too quickly. A friend of mine recently posted her favorite quotation from a Buddhist teacher she follows, Pema Chödrön: “Welcome the present moment as if you had invited it. It is all we ever have so we might as well work with it rather than struggling against it. We might as well make it our friend and teacher rather than our enemy.” In this way, we practice kindness towards ourselves as well as others, which is the first step in leading a better life.
If you are able to take a few days off over Spring Break, I wish you rejuvenation. If you remain on campus during that week, I thank you for all you do to help our campus thrive. In either case, know that I appreciate what you do and that you are part of our community.