FROM: Dr. Melik Peter Khoury
DATE: June 23, 2018
SUBJECT: Unity Works: Summer Edition
Unity College Colleagues,
I hope this note finds you well as the spring gives way to early summer. In some ways, it feels like winter is only just ending, but we all know that fall will come quickly! It’s only been a short time since we enjoyed that fine weekend in May with our most recent graduates and Jeff Corwin, but I wanted to provide you with a brief update as the fiscal year closes on June 30.
College-Wide (Enterprise): Enterprise organizational and visioning work received a significant boost during the recent three-day leadership retreat here on campus. The hard working participants included all of Senior Staff as well as the faculty moderator and Dean of Curricular Innovation. Board of Trustees Chair who shared the board’s perspective on why the enterprise model is a foundational piece of Unity College’s future and encouraged us to continue to think creatively about expanding our service to new audiences of learners. In addition to talking leadership, expanded service to student audiences, and strategies for the year, we also did significant planning for the next Strategic Plan process and framework. Participants in the retreat drafted foundational Strategic Planning components like a strategy screen, decision-making matrix, and communication plan, all of which will be discussed at the August professional development meetings. Next school year – and especially fall – will be spent developing the next plan, and exploring the potential of our Portland Property so we’ll need all employees on hand for professional development, Unity Works, Community Meetings, and other planning sessions to provide your valuable input. With the continued efforts in leadership in abundance, and your feedback, we also just completed the second round of the three day management training certification for College wide, Flagship, and DE managers by Dale Carnage Training group – bringing the total employees to go through this program to about 50 + – people this academic year. We will continue to invest in training and professional development as we continue to transition and serve new audiences who deserve the best we have to offer.
Unity College: Distance Education – The year is ending well for Distance Education with them meeting their academic and operational KPI’s, in part, to high demand for individual summer undergraduate course offerings. This only underscores the importance of these kind of offerings. To that end, we have recently added Dr. David Rogers as Unity College’s first dean of Distance Education undergraduate programs to support CDEO Arnett and the DE team in the development of new programs.
Unity College: Flagship – Current focus is on securing the strongest possible fall enrollment for Flagship. Our projections have not changed much since May professional development: meeting goal for the fall flagship incoming class will be a challenge. I remain optimistic that through the continuing recruitment and summer retention efforts, thanks to all of you who are doubling your efforts to maximize our potential. On a very positive note: Brian Dorre, our new Chief Student Success Officer and Brian Hull, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, are now in place and fully engaged with student recruitment and retention efforts.
Unity College: Sky Lodge – The transition is nearly complete with regard to the facility, its personnel, operational priorities, licenses, utilities, etc. To this point 90+ Unity College faculty, staff, and students have visited Sky Lodge, and orientation trips are still being organized. Sky Lodge has been assigned to the portfolio of Chief Sustainability Officer deHart. Several candidates are being considered for the position of Sky Lodge Director and the position should be filled soon. A save the date notice for a fall ribbon-cutting and celebration will be going out soon. Keep an eye out for that!
Summer Programs: May term courses at home and abroad concluded successfully, including trips to Ecuador and Curacao. A new anchor summer program, Camp Alsing, a summer camp for young people with autism, is starting very soon and we are excited to host them. The Public Safety Institute is finishing as I write this and early indications are that it was an effective treatment of a timely subject.
Physical Plant Projects: Summer is a good time to complete key facilities projects. The UCCPA renovation and renewal as the college’s fine arts center is on time and on budget. As you know, the project includes drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, and media production studios, as well as faculty office spaces. The theater and gallery spaces will retain their functions and continue to serve both campus and community. The new Distance Education space is up and running. The DE team hosted an open house so that folks from campus and community could get a look at what’s been done. Community leaders have expressed their enthusiasm for having greater college presence right in town. Other projects are moving along.
Thank you all once again for you service to Unity College, our students, and our critical mission. I want to also thank many of you who are seeing the value in our transition to serve new students in new ways during this era of disruption in the higher education landscape. So I leave you with a quote from Thomas Kinkade “The No. 1 quote critics give me is, ‘Thom, your work is irrelevant.’ Now, that’s a fascinating, fascinating comment. Yes, irrelevant to the little subculture, this microculture, of modern art. But here’s the point: My art is relevant because it’s relevant to 10 million people. That makes me the most relevant artist in this culture.”
Dr. Melik Peter Khoury
“Skill can be taught; loyalty can be garnered, confidence can be instilled; but attitude & integrity are inherent! So teach skill, garner loyalty; instill confidence; but never compromise on attitude & integrity.”
“Integrity, by its very existence, rekindles the belief that as a people we can live above the level of moral squalor. We need that belief; as a cynical community is a corrupt community.” John Gardner