CRAIG WIGGERS: Good afternoon, Cornell employees. Good afternoon, everybody. It's wonderful to see a full house here. And we also are live streaming this afternoon to our Agra Tech partners in Geneva, so for those of you that are there, hello. And to the many folks among the employees that might not have been able to attend this afternoon's event and are Zooming in, we appreciate your participation as well.
My name is Craig Wiggers, and I am the current chair of the Employee Assembly here at Cornell for the 2018 and '19 academic year. And I represent the veterans groups here on campus as the veteran at large. And within the Employee Assembly, we have 28 members representing each one of the college's large units and several of the affinity groups here on campus. And the first thing I'd like to start with is to say you all are absolutely welcome to join us. We are looking for folks to participate in our committees that take a look at everything from benefits to education, welfare on campus, policies, transportation, which has always been a big issue.
And so each one of you can play an active role in participating with your Employee Assembly. The assembly itself is part of a larger shared governance here at Cornell. And we're very fortunate to work with our partners in the faculty senate, with the graduate students, the student assembly, as well as the office of assemblies, who are located in Day Hall and serve as kind of our conduit for information sharing and collaboration with the president's office, as well as the several vice presidents that we have on campus. And we're very privileged to have that open line of communication with the president's office in representing you all as an active voice for the Cornell staff.
This coming year, we have several things that we're going to be taking a look at in terms of priorities. But one of the things that our assembly-- currently, our number one priority is reconnecting with staff and ensuring that all of you know that you have somebody that you can turn to assist with addressing questions, bringing concerns forward, or sharing accolades of others, because we also do awards recognition as well. And one of the things that I'd like to start with is an awards recognition right now. And I'm going to turn the floor over to our executive vice chair, Hei Hei Depew and Andrea Haenlin-Mott. Who is the representative for facilities and campus services. So please join me in welcoming them to the stage.
HEI HEI DEPEW: Good afternoon, everybody. I'm Hei Hei Depew, the executive vice chair of the Employee Assembly.
ANDREA HAENLIN-MOTT: And I'm Andrea Haenlin-Mott. I am the representative for facilities and campus services.
HEI HEI DEPEW: And we're here to present the 2018 Employee Assembly appreciation award. On behalf of the entire Employee Assembly, it's my pleasure to recognize engineering and project management within facilities and campus services for their dedication and commitment of outstanding service to the Cornell University community. If you've been at Cornell for one year, 30 years, or someplace in between, you're aware of the complications of what summer construction season can bring to our campus-- road closures or parking disruptions or maybe even, like me in Human Ecology, being displaced from your workspace or building for a short or even a long period of time, dealing with noise outside your workspace, the list goes on.
ANDREA HAENLIN-MOTT: We can all appreciate the complications that summer construction can bring to us. But have you ever thought about the Cornell employees that are behind that summer construction season, or construction season in general beyond summer? Many may not know that a small or large project can take a year or multiple years to get to the point of construction. There are many phases involved in a project. It could be scoping-- from scoping, schematic design, design development, construction documents, and budgeting all along the way to make sure that there are adequate resources to allow the project to continue. And there are project managers, project coordinators, support staff, construction managers, and people who work in contracts and finance who all help to guide the process.
What many people may not realize is, often, summer construction season cannot start until after reunion, which is that first week in June, and have to be complete by mid-August, when the students return. That's approximately 10 weeks to handle a number of projects in a very short period of time. Within this past year, we have seen many projects on campus that I know have impacted all of us in some way, shape, or form, be it the East Avenue Rehabilitation, Forest Home Drive, Kite Hill slope stabilization project, and projects that have started but will take years to complete, such as Rand Hall, moral roof project, and of course, MVR-33. It's important to note that the large projects that have been recently completed under this leadership, including that Tang Welcome Center, community practice service building, as well as Cornell Health. In addition to--
HEI HEI DEPEW: In addition to these large scale projects, many maintenance and smaller scale projects happen during these busy summer months. And we want to recognize all of the staff who help play a role in making them happen, and thank our broader Cornell community for their unending patience in the process. We want to recognize Rick Burgess, the vice president for facilities and campus services and Andrew McGray, the associate vice president for engineering and project management, and all their staff for a job well done.
RICK BURGESS: Thank you. May I say a word?
ANDREA HAENLIN-MOTT: Yes, of course.
RICK BURGESS: Well, I just got here, so I'm not taking the credit. I want to give the credit to Andrew and his team and to all the folks that have helped him out on this. We've got a team at FCS. So while the project managers take the lead, they're supported by a whole group of folks, and I appreciate everybody's patience. We've taken on a lot of work, and it's turned out great.
We just walked up East Avenue on our way here. I know that was a big inconvenience, and we're the ones here over the summer, right? Not everybody else. So thanks for your patience as we make the campus better.
CRAIG WIGGERS: Thank you all very much, and that type of recognition is so important and special. And so many of us, whether it's with facilities and campus services, working in the academic departments or laboratories, you name it, we do so many things behind the scenes and in front of the scenes for Cornell and making this place a wonderful place for the academic mission that it has. Before I introduce President Martha Pollack, I'd like to ask, is anybody pretty pleased about the day off we get right before Christmas?
What better way to say "welcome, President Pollack," to the President's address to staff? So thank you very much.
MARTHA POLLACK: I'm micced.
Hi, everybody. I want you to know I'm also looking forward to taking that day off. It's not just all of you. But thank you, Craig, for that wonderful introduction. Andrew and Rick, I don't know where you went, but congratulations, and congratulations to the entire engineering and project management staff for the very well-deserved staff recognition award. And really, thanks, too, to all of you, whether you're here in Klarman Hall or whether you're watching on the live stream for participating in today's events.
Craig, I also want to thank you and your colleagues in the employee assembly for sponsoring this annual event, and for your service. You give of your time to represent the interests of all the employees as part of our shared governance structure, and I really do appreciate that involvement.
Resolutions from the EA as well as from the student assembly, the graduate and professional student assembly, the faculty senate, and the university assembly are really very valuable to me and my team in bringing concerns and potential solutions to our attention. And my goal is really for us to consult and collaborate with each other more effectively before the point at which the resolution is developed. Craig and I have discussed this, and I believe that this approach will make our work more efficient, and it'll yield better outcomes for everyone. And I'm really looking forward to collaborating with all the assemblies this year.
Now, the most important thing I want to say to you in this packed room and on the live stream is thank you. Thank you to every Cornell staff member. We really can't say that enough. Without you, none of the research, education, and outreach that Cornell is known around the world for could possibly happen, and I am sincerely grateful to each and every one of you.
I want to take a little bit of time today to talk about my priorities for the university as a whole, because you, like every member of the Cornell community, have an important role to play in our success. And then I'll leave plenty of time for questions.
As a campus and as a set of campuses, we're focusing on four broad priorities, and the first of these is always academic distinction. We have to continue to attract outstanding faculty, students, and staff, and we have to build on the qualities that distinguish Cornell. As all of you know, we're both an Ivy League school and a land grant university with a mission of public service, and our faculty and staff have an extraordinarily wide range of expertise.
We continue to be very attractive for prospective students. This year, we had over 51,000 applications for the class of 2022, the class that just started last month-- actually, almost two months ago now. That's an increase of 9.1% over the previous year, and it follows earlier years of similar increases.
The students who came are coming from 47 different states and 43 countries. And since I know you'll ask, the states not represented are North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Any of you from those states? OK, good. We need you to go on a recruiting trip for us. Talk to me after this. 14% of the incoming class are first generation in college, and 27% identify as members of underrepresented groups.
We also continue to attract remarkable faculty members, and they're extraordinarily successful in their teaching and research. As just one indication of that, our funded research is up 10.4% last year across our three campuses. And the provost's radical collaboration program continues to connect our faculty to one another across a broad range of disciplines. So that's academic distinction.
The second priority is what I know many of you already know I like to call educational verve. Alongside traditional lectures, labs, and studios, we increasingly use new approaches to teaching and learning, including new technologies, approaches that are proven to get students actively engaged and help them learn more. The Active Learning Initiative is one example of this. This is a program that flips the classrooms so that students do reading and/or watch videos with core material outside of class time, and then, during class, they work together on challenging problems under the supervision of their professor or their TA.
We've been studying the impact of these programs. We don't just do them. We look to see whether they work. And the early evidence is that students enjoy the experience, and importantly, they also have better learning outcomes. This year, I'm pleased to say, with a generous gift from a donor, the Active Learning Program is moving from a program that sits within the Arts College to one that is campus-wide.
Third, as large and complex as this university is, we are one Cornell, working together across all our units in Ithaca and across all three of our major campuses here in Ithaca, at Weill Cornell Medicine, and at Cornell Tech. Our small town and big city campuses have complementary strengths that we can leverage to create opportunities for Cornellians and to develop innovative solutions and innovative approaches to many of the world's major problems.
Cornell Tech continues to grow. It now has more than 300 students, and its many links back to Ithaca include joint programs with the law school and the Johnson College of Business. Its faculty and staff, like those at Weill Cornell Medicine, are also involved in research collaborations with many of our faculty, staff, and students in Ithaca.
We're also developing more opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in Cornell Tech activities. The inaugural cohort of students in the Millstein Program in Technology and Humanity began this fall. So these are undergraduates who are here on the Ithaca campus. They're studying the liberal arts, but they spend a summer at Cornell Tech, where they both develop their own computational, technological, and entrepreneurship skills, but also, very importantly, bring a liberal arts humanistic perspective to the New York campus.
As some of you know, our New York City Visioning Committee made its final report last May. I asked them to dream big, and they did. They sketched a picture of how we can capitalize on our presence in New York City, creating opportunities that enhance and expand, rather than duplicating or replicating what we do in Ithaca. That vision will guide us in the coming years.
And one more example worth mentioning is the new Midtown space that we will occupy on Lexington Avenue starting in January. ILR is moving its New York City activities into this space, which will also house programs based in other units, such as Engaged Cornell and the College of Human Ecology. Co-location is, of course, one way of breaking down barriers among all parts of the university, and that's what One Cornell really means.
The fourth and final priority that I want to mention is civic responsibility, which in my view has three major components-- defending the notion of knowledge and truth, protecting freedom of speech, and creating a diverse, inclusive, egalitarian, and just community. This last is especially important here at Cornell, which was, as everyone knows, founded on the idea of being open to any student. Our Presidential Task Force on Campus Climate produced a long list of recommendations, and last month, I sent all of you and the entire campus community an update about our progress.
We have a web page that we're going to regularly update which shows all the diversity and inclusion programs we have underway as well as those that we have slated for the future. If you haven't seen it yet, go and take a look. You can find it on the Cornell home page by searching for Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives.
As just a few examples of what we've already put in place, starting this year, the new first-year students participated in an inter-group dialogue project experience. This was designed to help provide them with tools to communicate more effectively across difference. There's also now an online course that trains faculty and teaching assistants to teach more effectively in multicultural classrooms and to address difficult topics in their classrooms. This course will be available starting next week. We're devoting more funds to hiring diverse faculty, and a new office offers services to first generation and low-income students.
All of these can have a ripple effect of making our entire campus more inclusive, but there's also some initiatives with more direct relevance to staff that I'd like to mention. The Bias Reporting Form, which is available online, has been improved, and we're reviewing the procedures for handling bias reports.
The Employee Excellence Awards now include a Culture of Belonging Award to recognize staff who foster an inclusive workplace. Many units are using staff surveys to assess workplace climate. The Division of Human Resources is engaging the colleague network groups in planning and carrying out diversity and inclusion strategies. If you don't know what these are, these include, among others, the disability, men of color, women of color, veterans, and LGBTQ groups.
The Inclusive Excellence Academy for Staff has been revamped, and I encourage you to take a look at its offerings. Also, there is now an Inclusive Excellence Podcast with good information. You can find out about both of these and the annual Inclusive Excellence Summit being planned for next summer on the HR website.
I greatly appreciate the hard work and commitment of the many staff members who have been working on all of these initiatives, and I thank all of you for the many ways you as individuals help to make our campus more open and welcoming. Vice president Mary Opperman and Craig Wiggers, your EA chair, will be holding staff conversations around campus starting this month and on into December. I hope you'll take advantage of those opportunities and contribute your ideas to make Cornell an even better place to live and work.
So that's my update. It's really great to see all of you again, and I am open for comments and questions. Thank you.
And does someone have a mic for questions? Oh, we have mics. So raise your hand, and they'll bring you a mic. Oh, come on. I know this group is not shy.
SPEAKER: Why don't we start with an online question?
MARTHA POLLACK: Sure.
AUDIENCE: Here's an anonymous question. How do you measure effectiveness of innovation in education? How is the university balancing the need to be at the cutting edge in education with the need to ensure effectiveness and improved learning?
MARTHA POLLACK: Great. That's a great question. I am a huge believer in what I call evidence-based learning. When you go to the doctor these days, all doctors practice evidence-based medicine. And that means they don't just say, oh, we think that this therapy works or that this medicine works. They've actually tested it and determined that it works and it works in cases like yours. Now, they're still learning and they don't always have it exactly right, but it's always based on trials-- in their case, randomized control trials.
When we innovate with new technologies and new approaches to teaching, which don't always involve technology-- flipping the classroom may not involve technology-- we need to do the same thing. So I gave the example of flipping the classroom. We have studies that have been done where we've looked to see both do the students report more or less satisfaction, and even more importantly, how do they do in that class and in subsequent classes?
And what we've seen-- and you know, there needs to be more study, but in the initial results, what we've seen is that, in fact, when you flip the classroom, students are more satisfied, and even more importantly, they do better. In fact, one other thing we've seen is that students who come in from less well-prepared high schools and in the past would have had a performance gap with students who come from better prepared high schools, you close the gap. So that's one example.
And one of the ways we do that, and one of the things I think is so wonderful about the Cornell faculty, is that they've been a leader in this-- is by hiring what are called DBERs, Discipline-Based Educational Researchers. These are tenure track faculty. In two cases, they're tenure track-- the third we have right now is a lecturer-- whose research is on how to teach in a particular discipline.
So we have a professor who sits in economics or in physics, but their research is on, how do you most effectively teach that? And they gather the evidence, and they do this data analysis of the kind I've just described. So great question, and thank you to whoever it was online that asked that. There's someone. And then you have someone down here next.
AUDIENCE: All right. Thank you, guys. My name is Trevor Suk. I'm with facilities maintenance here. My question is, what can we do as employees and community members to encourage Cornell to use local labor in its projects? And how do you personally feel about collective bargaining?
MARTHA POLLACK: So we are very committed at Cornell to the use of union labor. I think as Mary Opperman has said in her public statement, we have a contract for the new North Campus project, which is a how many million dollar project? $200 million? North Campus. North of $200 million campus.
There is an agreement with the developer to use our policies and our agreement with the Tompkins County-- help me out here-- Tompkins Cortland Buildings and Trades Council. We have another $20 million in utilities also scheduled. We are very committed to that.
AUDIENCE: Hello. Theresa O'Connor. I wanted to spin off the North Campus expansion project. Could you give us a little update on that, Martha, and sort of tell us how that's going to affect enrollment across the campus and classes, and what the goals for that project are?
MARTHA POLLACK: Yes. So the North Campus project will bring online 2,000 additional beds for students. Over a period of four years, once the buildings have come online, we will also be increasing undergraduate moment by 1,100-- so about 275 a year.
That increase is really important, both to relieve the pressure on applications in certain areas. The Dyson School is one example where the admissions rate is in the single digits. There is enormous demand for that kind of an education. And to make good on our promise as a university for any person that we are trying to meet this demand with the top-notch students who want to apply here.
Now, so 1,100 new students, 2,000 new beds-- so that's 900 incremental beds beyond the new students. And the goal there is to do two things. One is to relieve some of the pressure on housing in Collegetown, and the other is to ensure that not just our freshmen, but our freshmen and sophomores get an on-campus experience. We think that is so important to their maturation, to their development, and to helping create the kind of community we want to have here. So once we have this housing up, we'll be able to say not just to freshmen, but freshmen and sophomore, you have to spend that time in Cornell housing.
I don't know about [INAUDIBLE]. I don't know the answer. I'm getting the answer. Hold on.
JOEL MOLINA: Why don't I just answer?
MARTHA POLLACK: Please. Does everyone know Joel Molina, the vice president for university relations?
JOEL MOLINA: I'd answer it--
MARTHA POLLACK: Well, you need a mic, or the people who are not here won't be able to hear you.
JOEL MOLINA: I'd answer it two ways. Number one, one of the new buildings, the sophomore village, is going to be in the current location of CC lot. So that lot will go away. There is an ongoing transportation study that Rick Burgess and Bridget Brady are undertaking that very much is looking not just at those near-term needs, but also long term. How can we ensure that there's sufficient parking for all who will need it?
MARTHA POLLACK: There's a question way up in the back there.
AUDIENCE: I know this sounds a bit more personal, but for staff, where do we fit in in all the scheme of it as far as even compensation and staff increases, which have been pretty low for a number of years? And I know you've reached out and have been increasing faculty and doing many other projects. But the bottom line, what about us?
MARTHA POLLACK: Yeah, so as we increase, as we grow the number of students, there is absolutely a plan not just to grow faculty, but to grow staff. That is, we're not just going to grow faculty and leave the staff with extra work. The plan is absolutely to increase the number of staff as well. That is built into the plan.
AUDIENCE: Hi. Now with the selection of Kevin Hallock as the new dean for the College of Business, I'd be curious to hear about what you see that he will bring and the direction for the College of Business.
MARTHA POLLACK: Oh, yeah. So I am thrilled about the selection, absolutely thrilled about the selection of Kevin Hallock as the Dean of the Johnson College of Business. The provost makes that decision, brings it to me, to my concurrence, but I wildly, wildly support it.
I think Kevin will bring a number of things. One thing he will bring is really, a deep knowledge of this university. He's been here. He knows how it works. He knows the people. He knows the stresses that the college went through, and I think he's going to be incredibly well positioned to lead it because of that.
Another thing he brings is a vision. You know, if you listen to Kevin talk about the college, I think he is spot on when he talks about the benefits of having those three units together, the benefits reputation-wise, how already we're beginning to hire just even more extraordinary faculty than we have in the past, how we are beginning to reap some efficiencies that can be put into making it even better, but also recognition of the fundamental importance of continuing to honor the amazing strength of the Hotel School, the Dyson School, and the Johnson Graduate College of Management. I think he brings that vision.
And the third thing I think he brings is just a really good set of leadership skills. I've watched him run ILR, and I think he's got just the right skills. So I am thrilled about that.
And by the way, just for people who want to know, the provost is already pulling together the search committee to start the launch for the new ILR dean. There's not going to be a long delay until that happens.
Anything else? Do you have anything else online you want to ask? Maybe there's another online question? Oh.
AUDIENCE: How do we address the need for more analytical people in our central offices, such as finance and HR, versus the traditional paper pushers of the past? Is it possible to train someone to be analytical to support our newer technologies or better to do a more strategic approach to replacement? And what would that look like? That's an anonymous question.
MARTHA POLLACK: I can't imagine why it's anonymous. Look, I think people are incredibly talented, and I think that the staff that I've met at Cornell are incredibly talented. And I think in many, many, many cases, upskilling is a-- I hate that phrase, but that is the phrase-- "upskilling"-- as technology changes, as the needs change, providing people with the education they need to do a slightly different job very often
Is a win-win. It's a win for the university, and often, it's a win for the staff member who maybe is bored in what they're doing and gets to learn new things. In some cases, someone may not want to learn, and then I think we're a large enough university-- I'll defer to Mary. But I think we're a large enough university that in most cases, you don't have to let that person go. You can move them into another job. Not 100% of the time-- the world changes, and sometimes you have to change. But I think our goal is when we have good employees, we want to keep them, and we want to provide them the tools they need to continue to succeed. Mary, did you want to add anything?
AUDIENCE: I agree and I would say in HR that's exactly what we're doing. We have an analytics division now of HR all pulled from people that were already in that function.
MARTHA POLLACK: Anything else? There's one there and there is one in the back there.
AUDIENCE: Are there any initiatives in place to involve the Cornell Tech and all of their resources and talents to improve the Cornell systems here, particularly with regard to classes? There is no one place where all of the data on classes is stored. Like for descriptions, that's held in one system. That's incredibly redundant. And other course information is held in a different place. The process of entering courses involves one person at the department entering it and then there's some amazing people in OUR that then have to hand enter that into another system, which seems in this day and age with all that technology can do kind of insane.
MARTHA POLLACK: Yeah.
I mean, I have to tell you as someone who's graduate-- who's PhD is in computer science-- I find that painful to hear. Yeah. So let me separate two questions. One, if we have that kind of a problem, we have absolutely got to fix it. We've got to fix it. It's ridiculous.
Now, that does involve some of the kind of upskilling that was discussed in the previous question, because what you're going to be doing is changing the workflow and changing what people do. But one has to think that most of the time, people don't really want to be just keying data back in. So I think-- I wasn't aware of those issues. I'm sure other people are and we should absolutely address them.
As far as Cornell Tech goes, yes and no. I mean, so here's the thing. I was-- I guess I still am-- but I used to be full time a computer science professor. And people used to always come to us and say, oh, you're a computer scientists, why don't you fix this particular technological problem? And, of course, that's not what we do when we do our research. I'm not sure that the Cornell Tech folks are the right people to address that, but I do think you identify a really important problem that we ought to address.
And Mary is taking notes on this, so thank you. And there was someone over there.
AUDIENCE: Yes. In an effort to support the healthy work life balance, do you think Cornell would ever consider adopting the European model of a 35-hour workweek?
MARTHA POLLACK: I can't even begin to answer that question, because I don't know enough about it. We'd need to look into it. I mean, it's an interesting question, but I'm just not prepared to answer it. Sorry. Yes?
AUDIENCE: I'm just curious with having the AgriTech in Geneva and having the station or having Cornell in New York City, has Cornell thought more about doing online programs for students? Online programs degrees. I get asked that question a lot as a grad field assistant. And I know my students in Geneva have always asked for courses to be taught more online to be easily accessible for them.
MARTHA POLLACK: Yeah, so it's a real-- it goes back to this question of evidence-based learning. It goes back to this question of educational innovation. We do have eCornell. eCornell does put programs online. For the most part, they are not programs for our own students. For the most part, they are executive education kind of programs. Although, there are increasingly, particularly at the master's level, some online courses available through eCornell.
One of the things I'm trying really hard to do is to bring eCornell in closer to Cornell, and have it more closely connected with CIT-- the Center for Innovation and Teaching. I think if we can get that connection working, we'll be able to do more of this. I don't think we want to do undergraduate programs online for a whole variety of reasons, because I think there's a lot more to getting a degree as an undergraduate than what happens in the classroom. But I do think that for certain kinds of master's programs, we probably should have more of that. And we are beginning to see that within eCornell, but there's definitely more room for growth there.
Anything else? Here's someone in the front. Right here. What time?
AUDIENCE: Hi. You talked about housing for first years and sophomores, but I'm wondering about transfer students and exchange students. I'm the undergraduate housing coordinator. So this summer it was really difficult to turn away so many students that wanted to come to Cornell and have that experience. And because they were transfer students, we weren't able to provide them with that. So I'm wondering what your thoughts are on guaranteeing housing.
MARTHA POLLACK: Well, it's a really important question. And I think part of the hope of taking 900 students out of the off-campus housing market is that that will open up significant spaces. I think it'll do two things. One, I think it will put some pressure on the landlords perhaps to increase the quality of some of that housing, which is quite poor. But it should also open up spaces for additional students.
The Maplewood, which just opened, is also taking students out of the local market. So hopefully, over time as we provide housing for more students, there's more opportunities for that. It is certainly a concern. One more question, I apparently have time for. Who wants to go last? Come on. Here we go.
AUDIENCE: I have a follow-up question around inclusion and diversity is an initiative for Cornell. I think the IDP for incoming students this fall fantastic. I think the free online course or the course for faculty about inclusion in the classroom is great. For those of us who directly touch on students' lives, who advise them, or have colleges where there's particularly a faculty advisor that talks directly to students, I'm wondering your thoughts around inclusion in how we talk to students.
So it's not just the opportunities that are available to all students. We know that inclusion and diversity gets at how we advise. And so I'm wondering if there are opportunities down the line for staff around inter-group dialogue. I know there are some existing opportunities. And for faculty.
MARTHA POLLACK: Yeah, that's a really interesting question. I know that there is discussion-- if you look at this big spreadsheet that we put out, there were things we said we were doing right away and then there are things-- just cause you can't do everything all at once. You can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. There are things we said we would do in a year and there are things we said were more aspirational.
And I know there's at least one entry around providing more training and opportunity for student-facing staff, which I think is what you're talking about. Now, I hadn't really thought of it in terms of IDP, and I don't really know whether IDP-- I mean, it might be, but I don't know whether that's the most effective such program. But I do think that providing more opportunities for staff, particularly those who are student-facing, to get more training about how to talk to students is an important thing.
The online program that I mentioned, which is going live on October 15, is available to anyone. I mean, it's set up to be for faculty and TAs, and focus on how you teach in a classroom. But honestly, I think in the short-run, if there aren't other opportunities, it could be a very powerful thing for staff to sign up for as well. And it's free and you just sign up and do it.
I have got to run, but thank you all very-- seriously. I say this all the time, but I mean it. The university could not run without all of you, so thank you so much.
CRAIG WIGGERS: Thank you very much, President Pollack. And thank you to you all for being here this afternoon and for sharing your wonderful questions. We also want to remind you that the Employee Assembly has lunches out in the back and so please feel free to grab a lunch. And last pitch-- we want you to participate with us. Heard a lot of topics that come up during our Employee Assembly meetings, and part of the efforts towards making our campus a better place for staff, students, faculty is to be a part of the solutions. So I appreciate all of you. Those of you that are at AgriTech, thank you for joining us, and have a wonderful afternoon.
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President Martha E. Pollack delivered her annual address to staff on Tuesday, Oct. 9 in Klarman Hall Auditorium. The event was hosted by the Employee Assembly.