President's Monthly Reports
“If you are renewed by grace, and were to meet your old self,
I am sure you would be very anxious to get out of his company.”
Charles H. Spurgeon
By the time you read this “Report,” my wife Rita and I will be in Puebla, Mexico, trying our best to learn Spanish and seeking the renewal that will better equip me to continue in my serve as LBCC’s president. I’d like to use the “Report” to share with you some of that What and the How and the Why of this adventure. I’ll “start with why.”
A couple of years ago, we as a college set our sights on being a place where all students, regardless of their demographics, their backgrounds and life circumstances, could experience the success of completing the education that would truly prepare them to “participate in, contribute to, and benefit from the cultural richness and economic vitality of our communities” (LBCC Mission Statement). At the same time, we began analyzing the 2010 Census data and noticed that, over the next decade, we should anticipate an exponential increase in the number of college-age people of Hispanic descent in our region. As both a practical and symbolic indication of our commitment to becoming the “College of Choice” for this growing population, I determined that my learning Spanish would be a great way to use my Professional Development Leave.
Three years ago, the LBCC Board recognized and affirmed the need for renewal in their President’s ongoing development by providing me with a 2-month Professional Development Leave, once every three years. This Leave provides me with continued salary for these two months, while I am personally responsible for any travel and programmatic costs associated with the Leave. In my absence, Beth Hogeland will serve as Acting President. I am extremely grateful to the Board, to Beth, and to the whole LBCC community for this opportunity to continue in my professional development.
Rita and I will be enrolled at the Spanish Institute of Puebla for seven weeks of immersion in the Spanish language, including 6 hours per day of individual and small group instruction, and field trips specifically designed to let us practice our newly acquired language skills. You can take a look at this program at http://www.sipuebla.com/.
The city of Puebla is Mexico’s 4th largest city and metro area, home to 2.7 million people (for comparison, Portland metro is home to 2.3 million). Puebla is a UNESCO World Heritage City and the home of the Poblano chile, and Mole Poblano, an amazingly delicious sauce made from a blend of chili peppers and chocolate.
We leave for Puebla on November 5th and return to Oregon on Christmas Eve.
Thanks to all of the LBCC community for this great opportunity to learn and to be renewed!