Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles – October 23, 2015
I held our first affinity group meetings this week. About 130 faculty and staff attended the sessions, which provided an unstructured time for us to talk about whatever is on your mind. I viewed these meetings as a way to focus on our college culture and elicit more direct communication with me and with each other.
One thing is clear from these meetings: you have a lot of great ideas and you’re looking for the best way to share them. I’m energized by your enthusiasm and your willingness to join your colleagues as thought partners as we advance Westchester Community College’s position as a premier national model for community colleges. I am always willing to hear new ideas, and I’ve appreciated the email responses I’ve received from my weekly emails. But one of the best places to pitch new ideas is within your department or with your supervisor. Don’t hold back and don’t wait for an invitation. As Nike says, “Just do it!”
And when you hear a new idea, remember Stephen Covey’s habit, “First seek to understand, then to be understood.” Achieving our ambitious goals needs everyone’s brain power. Let’s keep our culture as one that values new and diverse perspectives and collectively works toward common goals.
I look forward to the administration affinity group next week and the all-campus Town Hall on November 12.
I spent time this week strengthening connections in the community. County Legislator Ken Jenkins visited campus and expressed support for the important work we do for the county. I met with district leaders at Yonkers schools, which is a big feeder for us, seeking ways to improve pathways for Yonkers students. And I visited the College of New Rochelle where President Judith Huntington praised Westchester Community College students who transfer there. I can’t help but to beam with pride every time I hear about how much people love our graduates.
Thanks for making it a great week.
Dr. Belinda S. Miles