November is a month of recognition and thanks. We are more than halfway through the semester, and I am grateful to each of you for your commitment to the health and safety of our community. I am also grateful for your unstinting focus on our students’ needs and on their success.
This is also a month where we highlight our military and veteran community and our first-generation students.
In 1919, President Wilson declared November 11, as Armistice Day, to recognize the signing of the armistice ending World War I on November 11, 1918. In 1956, President Eisenhower signed a bill changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day in order to honor all US veterans. This year, we are celebrating our veterans with a flag rising on the Campus Mall on November 10, at 11:30 am. We are having this ceremony the day before Veterans Day in order to allow all members of our community to participate if they so wish.
You may know the history of Veterans Day, but are you aware of the significance of November 8? This day is important for any first-generation college student, as on this day, the Higher Education Act of 1965 created additional opportunities and access to post-secondary institutions for low-income and minority individuals. This year we celebrate its 56th anniversary. Please join our First-Generation Community on the Campus Mall on Monday, November 8, from 1:30 to 3 pm.
More than 1,000 of our students identify as first-generation and nearly 100 are veterans. You can learn more about what services we offer first-generation students and military/veterans students through our website.
Last week, we held a news conference to announce a new partnership between the ESL Foundation and the Brockport Foundation/College to provide 30 “closing the gap” scholarships for students in the six counties that ESL serves, with preference given to students of color. This $1.107 million commitment from ESL, along with academic support from numerous campus offices, will be life-altering for these students. A huge thank you to ESL and the campus team that worked on this proposal over the past two years. Below are some links to our coverage:
ESL Federal Credit Union website
Please note that our next EDI Brown Bag Lunch and Learn event will take place virtually on Friday, November 12, starting at 12:20 pm. Our last event had over 40 attendees and covered the topic of mental health. The November event will feature Assistant Director of Student Accessibility Services Nikki Hall and is entitled “The Asymptomatic Ableist, Are we Superspreading?” This lunch and learn series is part of the four projects identified by team members taking part in the Dale Carnegie training this past spring. In subsequent newsletters, I will offer further updates on the remaining three projects.
Thankfully, with our high vaccination rate, our COVID numbers remain low. Following SUNY guidance, we will continue to require masking indoors for the rest of the semester. I am hopeful that this mandate might be lifted next semester.
In case you missed it, here is the Budget Town Hall recording.
There is a Strategic Planning Town Hall this afternoon from 2:30 to 3:30 pm in the Ballroom. Goal Group leaders will provide an update on activities from the past academic year in relation to the 2017-2022 Strategic Plan. The Strategic Planning Committee will share information on progress on the next version of the plan, and we are requesting feedback on the work so far. The town hall will be held in person, and also as a Teams Live event. If you are not able to attend, the recording will be available on the Brockport website shortly afterwards. In addition, we will be collecting feedback via a survey. Please look for a Daily Eagle announcement.
Finally, I wanted you to know that for the last several years, we have been having twice a year Leadership Summits. These summits comprise all academic department chairs, deans, directors, AVPs and Cabinet members, along with union and shared governance leaders. The purpose of our leadership summits is to use our collective wisdom to help us be the very best academic community we can be. We have tackled topics such as strategic planning; equity, diversity and inclusion; enrollment management and retention trends; developing our own leadership potential; and preparing for our comprehensive campaign. The opportunity to meet and delve into big topics, and to engage with colleagues from across the college, has been instrumental in our development of collective solutions. The gift of time—and of feedback—are gifts that one should always be grateful for, because in most instances, it is given with the true intention of positive, meaningful change
At Brockport, we know that leadership doesn’t just reside in job titles. As Simon Sinek reminds us, “Leadership is a choice, not a rank.” Thus this year we will be welcoming others who wish to join in the summit, alongside those who hold leadership titles. If you wish to attend, please complete this MachForm giving a few details about yourself, your role, your supervisor and the contribution you’d like to make to the college’s collective decision-making. We may need to limit attendance due to capacity limits, but we hope not to have to do so and we wish to welcome as many new faces (or returning faces, if people have stepped out of formal leadership roles) as possible.
January’s Leadership Summit will take place on Wednesday, January 19, beginning at 9 am and will focus on the new Strategic Plan. Please plan for a full day event to finish at 3 pm. The final schedule is still under development, but note that our focus is on future success for the college, and we welcome your attendance and feedback.
Thank you again for all that you do to Build a Better Brockport.