1. Grateful for: A year of working with some of the best people on the planet. It is an honor and a joy to come in each day and to be energized and inspired by the collective warmth, intelligence, humor, creativity, skill, patience, and phenomenally hard work you bring into this building every day. To your families and friends – thank you for sharing the person in your life with all of us! To our newest colleagues: thank you for taking the leap to join us in this adventure together.
2. Excited about: The challenging idea that President Armstrong shared with his leadership team last week: he has asked leaders to consider the potential for Cal Poly to move to a year-round quarter system, with a full summer quarter. By allowing the campus to bring in more in-state and out-of-state students, this could generously fund diversity scholarships, and create new flexibility and capacity in our high-demand programs. This would be a big deal, as others have found in considering it; and would have obvious implications for the campus master plan. President Armstrong suggested we look to the University of Waterloo (which has a huge co-op program and has always been year round; and Brigham Young Idaho, and others that have already gone there. (And yes…if this were to happen, we would certainly need to get building-wide AC.)
3. Thinking about: How things work out. We plan, list, scheme, and nudge the people and things around us but are rarely rewarded with submission…though frequently rewarded with how things work out anyway. It reminds me of a book I’m reading (A Process Theory of Organizations) that is about “how processes contain potentiality for becoming otherwise.” For most of this year several of us have been planning, plotting, and worrying about the fate of Julia Morgan’s beloved children’s playhouse. Just this week, we learned that it had been successfully relocated in San Luis Obispo to a family that loves it, with children who are playing in it. It seems a lovely note to end the year on.
Happy holidays, and a wonderful new year to you, and to your families and friends.