It has been a wonderful first year for me at Columbia Basin College (CBC) and in the Tri-Cities, both personally and professionally. I am humbled to see the strong and ongoing support CBC receives from our community.
It has been a privilege to get to know CBC’s faculty and staff and learn about the important work they do to better our students’ lives and improve our surrounding communities. I have had the opportunity to meet many students and hear their diverse stories, personal dreams and aspirations. I am confident our future is in capable hands.
Although we have accomplished much over the last year, we look forward to the continued opportunity to positively impact thousands of students’ lives and help them meet their future academic and career goals. Here are a few areas we will be focusing on in the upcoming year:
1. Continue to attract and hire top-tier talent
We are in the search process for at least 16 open faculty positions to help us strengthen and diversify current academic offerings to meet our students’ needs. Our values of diversity, equity and inclusion are incorporated throughout all our search processes.
In response to vacancies created by retirements, resignations, and organizational restructuring, we have filled several key positions:
▪ Vice President for Institutional Advancement
▪ Dean for Math and Science
▪ Dean for the Business and Computer Science
▪ Director for Workforce Education
▪ Associate Dean for Agriculture and Culinary Arts
We continue to search for candidates to fill several other key openings including:
▪ Director for Career and Technical Education
▪ Director for Emergency Management & Campus Safety
▪ Director for Facilities and Capital Projects
▪ Director for Library Services
2. Improve, add and upgrade facilities
▪ Dental Hygiene Clinic – The clinic will be relocating to our Medical Science Center in Richland. This will significantly increase clinic operating space, enrollment and patient visit capacity.
▪ New Student Recreation Center – We are awaiting legislative authority to move forward with design and development work.
▪ Culinary Arts Facility – With a strategic new hire just completed (i.e., Associate Dean for Agriculture and Culinary Arts), we will take the next steps toward the development of a Culinary program and new facility.
3. Offer new Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degrees
CBC will continue to respond to the needs of our industry partners with new four-year degrees. As of 2018–2019, there are 415 students enrolled in six baccalaureate programs in Project Management, Applied Management, Computer Science, Cyber Security, Dental Hygiene, and Nursing. We are currently working on developing our seventh program in Teacher Education to address the severe teacher shortage.
4. Provide students with more support services
▪ Emergency Support Fund – The fund will assist students facing critical financial barriers to ensure they can successfully complete their education.
▪ Vets Boots to Books Program – This program will offer financial assistance to military connected students toward tuition, books, housing, gas, groceries or other emergency needs.
▪ Increased Academic Counseling – CBC is hiring more Retention Specialists to provide educational planning and assistance for students. We are also launching a Career Center to offer personal and career counseling and work with undecided students.
▪ Pathways – We are working to streamline the academic pathway for students from entrance to completion.
4. Launch new logo and website
We are excited to launch a new CBC logo and college website, along with a fresh branding strategy in summer 2019. The new branding strategy will capture our desire to be innovative and forward looking while remaining true to our roots.
CBC will continue working hard to meet future educational and community needs. Please contact me if you have questions or comments. Go Hawks!