Dressed for Halloween as Star Trek's Capt. Kirk, SCC President Lee Lambert gestures during the Oct. 30, 2009 all-campus meeting.
In response to a question at the Oct. 30 all-campus meeting, SCC President Lee Lambert said that state budget cuts could force a longer look at consolidation and collaboration in the community and technical college system.
“It’s no secret that UW Bothell would like the entire campus they now share with Cascadia,” Lambert said. "We just hired David Cunningham, from Lake Washington Technical College, as our new workforce dean to replace Berta Lloyd. I’ve had talks with (LWCC President) Sharon McGavick about possible areas of collaboration.”
Lambert also said that meetings with state lawmakers and other officials have occurred and are scheduled to discuss cross-campus collaboration ideas.
Change coming to the world of higher education isn’t an “if” question or even a “when,” according to SCC President Lee Lambert.
The real question, Lambert said at the Oct. 30, 2009 all-campus meeting is, “How?”
“I’m hoping we will try to shape these things that are coming,” Lambert said during his presentation.
“Things are happening at the local to national levels and money is being thrown at them. You can engage these things or try to stand as a barrier. I believe if you stand as barrier, you’re not going to win. I’m not saying you’ll win if you do engage, but wouldn’t you rather have a say? I would.”
Lambert noted that President Obama’s American Graduation Initiative calls for $12 billion invested in community and technical colleges over the next10 years and increasing the number of Americans attending college by 5 million by 2020. He cited the accountability project jointly funded by the Gates and Lumina foundations that has eight colleges across the country looking at establishing trackable performance criteria.
SCC has its own example of the national conversation in the Gates funded National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) grant. That project is showing how national certifications can be integrated with existing programs, in SCC’s case, the CNC machining program.
Lambert presented information from NAM that outlines the challenge for the U.S., including many baby-boomers retiring, global competition and many of those targeted by President Obama’s plan facing education barriers.