College of the Redwoods

&

Humboldt State University

College Matters | CR offers thanks for Thanksgiving

This article was originally posted in the College Matters column of the Times-Standard.

Thursday, November 17, 2022 - 3:00pm

“Be present in all things and thankful for all things.” — Maya Angelou

As we approach this Thanksgiving and the end of the fall semester, I want to profoundly thank College of the Redwoods’ students, employees, and the community for a remarkable semester. We were able to provide a safe and successful learning experience for the students who put their trust in us and chose to attend CR this fall. Together we have accomplished a great deal and have reason to be thankful.

Our success in reaching Thanksgiving without a major COVID-19 outbreak was possible because of many proactive adjustments we made over the past several months. While, inevitably, some members of our college community did become ill, the college did everything possible to limit exposure and maximize the safety of our campus environments. I want to thank the faculty, staff, and student personnel for connecting with and supporting our on-and off-campus students during difficult times and for the additional work by frontline custodial employees to keep campus spaces clean and safe. Without this hard work, these highlights from the semester would not have been possible:

  • Our athletic teams have been very successful.
  • Our women’s cross-country team performed very well at the recent NorCal championships and advanced to the state championships.
  • The football team, with a roster made up almost entirely of freshmen, are 7-2 in the regular season and are expected to go on to the post-season.
  • Our men’s basketball team continues to excel and are 5-0 on the young season.
  • We hired twelve new full-time faculty in several mission-critical academic areas including agriculture, Native American studies, aquaculture, computer information systems, welding technology, forestry and natural resources/geomatics, kinesiology, English, adult education, and social work and human services.
  • We secured $10 million to create an innovative joint CR/Cal Poly Humboldt Healthcare Education Hub in Arcata.
  • College of the Redwoods and Cal Poly Humboldt have agreed to implement an innovative enrollment program that will offer CR nursing students an opportunity to engage in Associate Degree in Nursing and Bachelor in Nursing (BSN) courses concurrently at CR and Cal Poly Humboldt. This agreement provides a seamless transition to Cal Poly Humboldt for completion of the BSN degree without any interruption of coursework.

As we look forward to spring semester, I am equally optimistic about where we are heading as an institution. We recently announced that we will end our COVID-19 vaccine mandate effective for the spring 2023 semester.

We will continue to operationalize our extraordinary new education master plan that incorporates many strategic educational improvements and initiatives that we must prioritize in the next 10 years in order to create a nimble and adaptable institution. Flexibility and resiliency will be required to meet the demands of the future, and we will continue to weave these initiatives into the fabric of the institution.

In addition to continuing the work of the education master plan, our president’s council will engage with faculty in a discussion of the future of learning, and investigate how the council can support the college in preparing students for evolving workforce needs, while at the same time reinforcing the importance of a liberal arts education in our curriculum.

As we work together to ensure CR’s future success, our Academic Senate will engage in courageous ongoing conversations about how faculty can continue to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion in the curriculum, remove barriers to student learning, and rebuild a culture of community post-COVID. In addition, they will continue to talk about how we can provide general education pathways that meet the new ethnic studies requirement while providing students the maximum flexibility to transfer.

This spring, under the expert leadership of Dr. Crystal Morse, we will put our new Basic Skills and Wellness Center (BSWC) into action. The BSWC will focus on the mental and physical health of students — including referrals for food and housing assistance, mental health, and clinical health services to currently enrolled students at no cost. Equally as important, the BSWC will provide a variety of educational materials, host educational workshops, plan awareness activities, and provide students with referrals to off-campus partners and agencies as necessary.

I have only touched on the highlights of the exciting work that will position us well for the future. Of course, there are many other interesting and inspiring things going on at CR, but for now, I will close by expressing my gratitude for our community’s hard work, dedication to supporting student success, and commitment to CR.

Thank you for making College of the Redwoods — and the many lives it touches — successful.

Dr. Keith Flamer is the president of the College of the Redwoods.