The last few weeks have been intense and invigorating.  I have spoken to many people in the EHHS division about efficiencies and opportunities and have appreciated the willingness of everyone to engage in difficult discussions.  We have made great progress.  The term “efficiencies” sounds somewhat benign, but sacrifices often are necessary to achieve them.  This requires change and change is rarely easy.  The culture in some programs allows for more change than others, making efficiencies less painful and the development of new revenue streams a welcomed challenge.  Regardless of the degree to which change is part of a department’s culture, most people are not overly afraid of change; rather, they are afraid of what might be lost.  

In order to combat the fear of what might be lost, we must continue to deepen our communication. In fact, deep communication is one of the key factors for success in the face of change.  When the teacher education programs were being completely redesigned, part of what allowed such a significant change in culture was improved communication.  Dr. Linda Black was brought in for a retreat and people learned to work together and communicate as never before.  She taught us to “start with the heart” and emphasized that we are collectively responsible to each other.  She also taught us that people are free to “stay stuck” but they can’t hold the process and others hostage.  These lessons and many more improved interactions and helped everyone with a complete cultural shift in teacher education, one that led to national accreditation.  I appreciate what it takes to make changes, small or large, within departments. 

This week, I will be discussing efficiencies that have been found in the EHHS division with the President’s cabinet.  Most importantly, I will present a document detailing new revenue streams realized through programmatic change and development of new programs.  The changes and new programs have been discussed with faculty members and chairpersons/coordinators of affected programs.  First and foremost, the changes will have a positive impact on the lives of students and on society once students have jobs.  While I am not comfortable presenting budget numbers in a blog, I will say that we will be able to achieve a significant increase in revenue if the program changes and new programs are achieved.  This speaks to the future and speaks of hope.  My feet are grounded firmly in the reality of today and I trust we all can feel the hope that will allow us to evolve in ways that make a difference in the future for us, our students, the College, and society.