- Author: Wendy Powers
The U.S. is in a strange place. If it weren't enough to have a pandemic we can't seem to get under control because we can't stay away from crowds, now we can worry about what might happen between now and Inauguration Day. I don't know what to make of the assault of the Capitol. I can't describe how disturbed I am by the overt displays of racism by those who see the incoming administration as a threat to White culture. I sometimes wonder what rock I live under in that I can't even imagine feeling that way towards another person. It doesn't have to be that some lose while others advance; all boats can rise together if we make the commitment to implement appropriate practices and policies.
I echo the sentiment of others that the work of UC ANR is needed now more than ever. Just take a look at this recent video put together by the Strategic Communications team, outlining UC ANR accomplishments despite the pandemic! The Governor's budget brings hope that our efforts are recognized and valued by state decision makers. Our work with small farms and fire, in particular, were acknowledged. While it is early yet in the annual budget process, I have high hopes that UC will do okay in this year's budget discussions, despite the economic challenges brought on by the pandemic.
This week we made strides to finalize the strategic plan update and prepare to present it to President Drake on February 1st. I need to work on my comments and get them under 1 minute in length – time goes faster than you would think! We talked about metrics today and identification of key performance indicators (KPI) for the plan as a whole. I came across an interesting metric in my reading over the last week - authentic laughter is a metric for measuring inclusivity of an organization. I don't know how one measures authentic laughter, but perhaps this is something to think about in the future when we aren't primarily on Zoom.
Conversations to explore new partnerships, with new and existing partners, present exciting opportunities for us. I enjoy these conversations and look forward to further discussion and brainstorming. I have had a couple of such conversations this week and last, with more to come in the next couple of weeks. Thanks to all who have spent time putting ideas onto paper as either logic models or concept notes. Some of these concept notes yielded results when the Governor released his budget. I fully anticipate there will be continued return on those investments of time.