I had wanted to send this out a few days ago, but I'm still a bit behind in getting all the details sorted out in this new role of Acting Chair for EE. I should have things smoothed out in a few more weeks or so.
1. First, welcome back from Summer! I hope everyone took good advantage of the unusually spectacular weather this Summer had to offer and were able to get out and enjoy the Pacific Northwest. The rains have started again, but it's only water...
2. As you know, we are in the midst of a transition period. Howard and I are working together to insure a smooth hand-over of responsibilities, and thanks to his great organization, much of this is already complete. With at least a thousand details to cover, inevitably some will fall through the cracks. If you find that this has occurred, please let me know and I'll make sure we take care of it.
3. As a way of setting the tone, I want to state first out that while my role as Acting Chair is a temporary one lasting only until we get a permanent Chair, my foremost task is to maintain the rate of growth and quality improvement that Howard set in place. In other words, we as a department are not going to merely idle or simmer for a year while we search for our new Chair. To keep us moving ahead, I of course will need the help and guidance from everyone.
4. Dean Denton is hosting a special meeting today to address the issues of the Chair search. It will be in room 125 of EE1, 12:00 - 1:00 for staff, and 1:00 - 2:30 for faculty. I strongly encourage everyone to attend and contribute your views to this process.
5. Our faculty retreat is also scheduled for Tuesday of next week, Sept. 23. This will be an all-day working meeting, and I also strongly encourage everyone to attend and participate in the discussion. Much of the afternoon will be devoted to an open workshop on where and how to steer our department to the next level of excellence. Please give some thought to this beforehand and arrive with some views that you can share.
6. Over the course of the coming quarter, it is my goal to meet individually with each and everyone of our staff and faculty. This is my method for learning more about everyone, their goals, their problems, and the things that the department can do to make everyone successful. I will be starting with our new faculty and working my way upward through the ranks, so if it takes me a while to get to you, just be patient; your opinions are valued, too!
7. As urgent matters arise, I would like to encourage everyone to let me know about them. Please don't fume in silence. It may take me a while to munch through all of them or identify the resources needed to fix them, but I want our whole department to be very customer service oriented. In that vein, I will try to maintain an open door policy to everyone throughout the day. Please feel free to stop by the chair's office if something is bugging you, and if everything is going swell, then just stop by and say hello!
8. I think we are off and running on a brand new academic year. Do good things, take the high ground, and most of all, have fun!