- Author: Wendy Powers
I saw a message on my LinkedIn account from Bill Frost congratulating me on my second anniversary at UC ANR. Normally when I see Bill he asks me if I am still having fun. The truth? I'm having so much fun in this position, I think I must be doing it wrong. What's not to like? For example:
Recently, Kathy Nolan shared that the Q318 Quarterly Award Update from UCOP showed for the first three quarters of the 17-18 fiscal year compared to the first three quarters of the 16-17 fiscal year, ANR increased awards at ANR by 16.7%. Congratulations to all of the contract and grant awardees! And to keep the momentum going, the Office of Contracts and Grants is offering a grant writers workshop to help us all write winning grant applications. Be sure to register today!
While in Guam, Dan Munk, on behalf of CASI, received the Western Extension Directors Association Award of Excellence. Congratulations to the CASI team! Overall, the meeting was far better than I had anticipated, primarily because our hosts devoted much effort to ensuring that we learned about the Pacific Island communities throughout the week. One of many sessions was about invasive species to the islands, including the brown tree snake who has eliminated over 7 species of song birds thus leaving the forests on Guam silent. To hunt out snakes at ports, Jack Russell Terriers are trained to find the venomous predator. We had a chance to see one of the 17 units in action. A nice change of pace from the customary leadership meeting.
When I get back to California, I spend my first 2 days back with the Central Sierra offices. It will be my first trip to those offices. And while Scott is on sabbatical leave, I believe he is planning to join us for the visit. It will be good to hear from JoLynn how her first few weeks as the interim County Director have been.
The following day, the Peer Review Committee and the Academic Assembly Personnel Committee meet to talk and reflect on this year's merit and promotion process and consider improvements/clarifications to the e-book. I will meet with the group for about an hour and share my thoughts with them for consideration. I appreciate the fact that the process is geared towards continuous improvement as opposed to assuming that the process has run long enough that it must be perfect.
So really, what's not to like about this position? Sure, there are things that could be changed or improved. There are even things that we may lack. But as Robert Underwood, President, University of Guam told us during his keynote talk at our recent Western administrators meeting, “If you are always focused on what you don't have, you never get around to taking advantage of what you do have”. While President Underwood was speaking from the perspective of challenges that Guam faces, it's a good thought for all of us to keep in mind.