Notes from Chancellor Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap

This page serves as an archive of email notes to employees from Chancellor Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap.

Dear Seattle Colleges colleagues,

It is with humility and also immense excitement that I step into the chancellor role. My huge thanks to the members of the search committee, the trustees, and the hundreds of you that participated in the tours, forums, and interviews last week for the three finalists.

Although my transition won't require a move or new introductions to the leadership teams and campuses, I have a strong desire to continue learning more about us: to gain a deeper understanding of how, and why, we operate the way that we do. I’ve had the opportunity to witness the energy and enthusiasm for improvement. It’s time we capitalized on the goodwill associated with these efforts.

There is strength and know-how in each of our colleges. When we work, explore, innovate, and serve together, we become a positive force for our students and community. As I shared in my interviews, I fully believe we can and should be excellent in anything we choose to do. Our students deserve nothing less. It will take work to reach excellence in all areas, but I am committed to seeing that through to reality with you all.

This is an opportune time. There is no doubt that there is much riding on how we evolve as the Seattle Colleges together. I am optimistic about our future together, and grateful to be continuing with you all in this role. I hope you are optimistic as well!

Dr. Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap
Chancellor, Seattle Colleges

Colleagues,

Earlier today the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap as the 11th chancellor of Seattle Colleges after a competitive national search.

“Dr. Rimando-Chareunsap has led Seattle Colleges over the past year – first as acting and then as interim chancellor – with courage, skill, and profound passion for students, faculty, staff and our Seattle community,” said Board Chair Louise Chernin. “Our organization was honored to have three stellar candidates for the permanent role, and it is our great fortune to be able to benefit from Dr. Rimando-Chareunsap’s unifying leadership and big-picture perspective going forward.”

“The Trustees all offer heartfelt thanks to the Chancellor Search Committee and the hundreds of others who attended the candidate forums,” said incoming Board Chair Rosa Peralta. “Their care, commitment, and thoughtfulness have set us up for long-term stability. In a rapidly evolving region, responsible stewards of the colleges’ people and resources are more important than ever.”

More information, including a full news release, will be posted to the Chancellor’s website as it becomes available.

District Communications 

Good afternoon, colleagues: 

It is a busy Spring Quarter, but you don’t need me to tell you that.

First, I offer congratulations to our talented students honored at the League Art and Literary Awards last week. And a special thanks to faculty leaders Jeb Wyman and Phillipe Hyojung Kim for coordinating this showcase each year.

I also want to offer another round of warm congrats to our newly tenured faculty, whom we celebrated at the annual Tenure Reception on May 24. It was wonderful to learn about you through the words of your colleagues and to hear from you directly about how the tenure process has impacted you. Our students continue to be in great hands in their classrooms.
 

Here are a few good things to know from around the district:

Commencement Is Thursday, June 22 – Ceremony Begins at 5 p.m.

My favorite event of the year is coming, and I hope to see as many of you there as possible! Commencement 2023 will take place at T-Mobile Park on Thursday, June 22. Please refer to the Commencement website for details about when to arrive, where to go, etc.

This event is ALL about our students and their incredible accomplishments. They deserve to see as many of us at the “finish line” as possible, as affirmation of their work, and to honor them alongside their families and friends. In fact, the commencement planning team is organizing “cheering sections” to keep the energy high throughout the event for every graduate and to show our grads how much they are supported.

If you haven’t yet participated in commencement, please consider it this year. Even if you do not “robe up” or volunteer, you can come as a supporter. I promise you will be moved by our student speakers, our graduates, and the energy that fills the stadium.
 

Annual Employee Survey Extended to June 9

The annual Seattle Colleges Employee Survey has been extended. This voluntary and anonymous survey will remain open through Friday, June 9. Your participation is vitally important to Seattle Colleges. It helps identify perceptions of engagement, areas of strength, and areas for improvement for our work environment. Your responses are important and valued, as they offer a true picture of where we are as an organization and what we need to do to become a better one. If you haven’t yet, please consider completing the survey.
 

North Leadership Transitions

As you may know, Dr. Chemene Crawford will become the next president of Everett Community College on July 1. I have been working with the North community to inform the plan for leadership for the college in the coming months. Jill Lane, Interim Director of Accreditation and Instructional Assessment and Political Science faculty member, will step in as acting president for two months while a search is launched for an interim president over the summer. I expect to have an interim president in place in September. My thanks to Jill Lane for stepping up, and to Drs. Jean Hernandez and Vashti Bryant for agreeing to lead the search.

Dr. Crawford was a true “pandemic president,” joining North in June 2020 after the departure of former president Dr. Warren Brown. Dr. Crawford focused on stabilizing the budget and addressing major capital/facility improvements. She took up the project of the new Northgate Station John C. Lewis Memorial Pedestrian Bridge, which opened up public transit access to North. She’s shepherded the major remodel of the library building which is due to reopen in Fall 2023. And she has fostered a groundbreaking (pun intended) affordable housing project, which will repurpose some of the state-owned property assigned to North to be developed into accessing living for community at large, including college students and employees.

Dr. Crawford certainly leaves behind a legacy at North and across Seattle Colleges. I wish my colleague and partner president the best as she transitions from Tree Frog into Trojan.

Thank you, and I look forward to seeing you at one of the celebratory events in the coming weeks!

Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap, Ed.D.
Interim Chancellor, Seattle Colleges

Hello colleagues of the Seattle Colleges!

We are well into Spring quarter, and the weather is finally living up to its name! For those who may be newer to the Pacific Northwest, this is the time of year we wait for the weather to catch up with the calendar. Personally, it’s the time of year I start to garden on a regular basis. Vegetables first. Then dahlias and other perennials later.

For my fellow gardeners across the district, be sure you check out the South Seattle College Garden Center sales, and consider bringing some Landscape Horticulture student plants into your own garden or into your home. (They have amazing houseplants too.) All sales benefit the program and the students directly.

Here are a few good things to know from around the district:

International connections

As we continue to emerge from the impacts of the pandemic, we are also seeing increased interest from international partners. On April 11th, our International Programs (IP) colleagues welcomed a group of 8 Fulbright grantees from the Korean International Education Administrators (KIEA) Program to Seattle Colleges. All the participants were involved in the supervision or management of international education activities in Korea, either through higher education institutions or non-profit exchange organizations.

International Programs is also hosting Ms. Linh, Ha Bui for the YSEALI (Young South East Asian Leaders Initiative) program sponsored by the Department of State and administered by the American Council on Education.  Ms. Linh is a Lecturer and Researcher at Hanoi Open University in Vietnam. She will learn about our work in International Programs; connect with our hospitality management faculty; and will be introduced to several of our local NGOs and indigenous groups per her interests. She will also work with our IP colleagues on developing an institutional partnership with Hanoi Open University for faculty, staff and student exchange. The YSEALI program supports a reciprocal trip for a representative from the host institution to go to Vietnam to follow up on the project development. Watch for further information as all of this unfolds.

North Accreditation Visit 

North Seattle College will have their 7-year Accreditation site visit this week (Monday, May 1 to Tuesday May 2). They have been preparing for months (years, really) to demonstrate to a panel of peer evaluators from other colleges how North achieves institutional effectiveness.  In recent weeks, our colleagues have been deeply engaged in ensuring that everyone across the college was prepared for the visit, from “Accreditation Jeopardy” to pop quizzes while walking around campus (to simulate when evaluation teams sometimes stop people on campus to ask institutional effectiveness/mission-based questions).

There’s more info about accreditation and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (our regional accrediting organization) at their website. It has some great resources and will help expand your understanding or to update yourself on how the standards have evolved recently.  

Throughout the seven-year cycle, every institution is reviewed by NWCCU staff, teams of peer evaluators, and the Board of Commissioners to confirm institution is working to fulfill its mission, addressing problems identified previously, continuously improving, offering high quality education, and supporting student success and closing equity gaps. (from NWCCU Accreditation Process)

We wish all the Tree Frogs of North a successful visit and look forward to celebrating the culmination of the visit later in May!

A Tree Frog leaping farther north! 

Speaking of North, I want to share a leadership transition coming later this summer. Dr. Chemene Crawford, who has been serving as president at North Seattle College since June 2020, has been selected as the next president for Everett Community College! Please join me in congratulating Dr. Crawford on this exciting new opportunity. She assumes her new leadership role on July 1, 2023.

We have a bit more time to celebrate Dr. Crawford’s accomplishments at North alongside the other college celebrations later this quarter. In the meantime, I will be meeting with North leadership and College Council to learn what the college community would like to see in a leadership transition, and to inform the next steps in filling this critical leadership role.

Though I will miss working in partnership with Dr. Crawford, I am very excited about her new leadership role, and will enjoy remaining connected to her in the region and in our statewide group as well.

If you have suggestions for something to highlight in a future email from me, please reach out and let me know. There is a lot to be proud of across our district!

With gratitude,
 
Rosie 

Dr. Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap
Interim Chancellor, Seattle Colleges

Good morning colleagues of South, Central, North, Siegal Center and districtwide departments:

This marks the end of the first week of Spring Quarter, and I hope that your classes have been starting up smoothly, and that our departments and services have been welcoming students back to our campuses and online services. Spring Quarter has a duality unmatched in other quarters. It’s a time of year that is busy and sometimes even a bit frenetic as we work to wrap up the academic year. It’s also a quarter full of celebrations: student recognitions, service awards and, of course, commencement.

While I thought I would be sharing a few good things to know with each of these emails, it is important to acknowledge the challenges that we started off with this week.

On Monday you received emails from the college presidents or from me regarding the shooting here in Capitol Hill. This took place near Siegal Center, where many support staff work on a daily basis, and down the street from Seattle Central, where there was an impromptu memorial gathering of Lewis’s family and friends over the weekend. As we learned more about Elijah Lewis, the victim of this shooting, we discovered that he was a former student at South. While I reached out to our districtwide and Siegal colleagues that day, I am grateful to Drs. Crawford, Hernandez, and Lane for reaching out to the college communities on Monday as well. We all were able to share support resources for our colleagues and students who may be touched by this tragedy either directly or indirectly at this time.

Op-ed calls for fully funding community colleges

Community college work is often misunderstood and not adequately appreciated by so many, from community members and potential students, others in higher ed, to even legislators who determine our funding levels.

The good news is that an op-ed cosigned by our Board of Trustees Chair Louise Chernin, Representative Vandana Slatter (48th District), and Chef Sabrina Tinsley of La Spiga was published in the Wednesday Seattle Times. In this letter, they emphasize the critical importance of the state legislature funding community colleges fully and ask to stop the gradual but persistent disinvestment of state resources from community college salaries over the last decade. You can read the online version.

Students advocating in Olympia  

Speaking of the legislature, there is a bit of good news I want to share. In addition to the college presidents and me, and our represented colleagues advocating with our labor partners in Olympia, our student leaders across the colleges have been strong advocates for their own needs as well. With the support of our Student Life/Student Development colleagues and some of our faculty members, they have also been civically active during all elections and during the legislative session. This session is no different.

South student government officers met with “the Joes of the 34th District” this session. In two separate meetings in February, Representative Joe Fitzgibbon and Senator Joe Nguyen met with our student officers to discuss their top priorities around mental health supports, financial aid, college affordability, childcare access and textbook affordability.  Central student leaders participated in WACTC Legislative Advocacy Day and travelled to Olympia on February 2 to discuss the same priorities highlighted by South students. Eight of our student leaders from Central went to the Capitol, along with Ricardo Leyva-Puebla, Dean of Student Development.

Many kudos to our students for being civically engaged, and helping to carry the messages we need our legislators to hear to better support our work.

Thanks for reading to the end of this, the second “Note from Rosie.” Wishing you all a great weekend after this first week of Spring Quarter.

Rosie

Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap, Ed.D.
She, Her, Hers
Interim Chancellor, Seattle Colleges

Greetings Seattle Colleges colleagues,

This message is sent to the employee distribution email lists of North, Central, South and the District office.

I had hoped to send this before the quarter ended last week. I am sending this today with apologies to our faculty colleagues who are between quarters, and may not be reading district emails at this time.

Since becoming Acting Chancellor in July 2022 and then Interim Chancellor in October, I have been busy addressing our most pressing operational challenges, namely our finances. Since January when the new legislative session began, I have also been deeply involved in working with our state legislators and other partners to support system-wide funding requests and advocate for support that addresses the needs within the Seattle Colleges, namely compensation increases and better funding for workforce programs, including the four programs at Central that were under consideration for closure last year.

And while we face so many challenges within and across our Seattle Colleges, what I can see clearly from this interim role is that there are SO many incredible things happening: successes (both big and small) achieved by our colleagues and our students, innovative work to improve student experiences, community engagement work, and accolades for the colleges and our colleagues from other organizations.

One thing that I miss from my work as President at South, however, was sending regular communications that connected us and shared good news and good things to know. I honestly miss this way of connecting and also speaking in my own voice across the organization. While I know emails have been a traffic jam in your computer or on your phones, I found it to be a great way to spread good news across the college and also to solicit feedback and suggestions for things to share from our colleagues.

To that end, I will start sharing via email messages like this: sharing happenings across the colleges and the district office, with an eye on the things that connect us and that improve the experiences of our students. These messages won’t replace official updates, announcements, or other types of district-wide emails that already come out.

So, to kick this off, I want to share just ONE thing this week that I am particularly excited about. And in the future you can expect a lot less preamble, and a few more “Good things to know” from me across the Seattle Colleges in each note.

“Discover Seattle Colleges” Success

A HUGE thanks goes out to many colleagues across the colleges and district office for putting together nine “Discover Seattle Colleges” events that highlighted our programs by Areas of Study across the colleges! There were four online Zoom sessions and five in person open houses at each college campus, as well as at the Health Education Center and Georgetown Apprenticeship & Education Center.

More than 150 faculty and staff participated by hosting and presenting, and brought their enthusiasm and love for their programs to life for prospective students to see. You can peek at the videos of some of these sessions on the Discover page on our website.

We were able to reach more than 450 prospective students and community members, and this annual event only continues to grow! As we really work to build enrollments for all of our colleges and all of our programs, this is a really valuable way to be available to interested individuals in our community.

I want to thank the many Tree Frogs, Tigers, and Otters involved: the faculty who presented about their programs and answered questions, the staff and planning committee who set up at the colleges, spoke with prospective students, and hosted the online events.

You’ll see more in the coming weeks on the Discover website as we get more videos uploaded and content added. It’s also a great website to refer people to who are interested in what programs we have to offer.

MANY thanks for this big districtwide effort, and congrats to all involved! It will certainly continue to grow and expand from here.

So, thanks for reading this to the end.  I also want to say: Happy Women’s History Month and also “Ramadan Mubarak” for our colleagues and students who are observing Ramadan right now!

With gratitude,

Rosie
 
Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap, Ed.D.
Interim Chancellor, Seattle Colleges