Dear Nevada State Community,
It’s hard to believe that I’ve just completed my third full week here at the college. It has been an action-packed journey filled with a blend of internal and external engagements and activities. I’m learning so much from my Listen and Learn Sessions with a number of college stakeholders. I had two robust sessions with students and alumni this last week that provided so much deep and rich perspective. I very much appreciate everyone who has attended and shared their observations, experience, and recommendations. My Presidential Boot Camp sessions go into a lot of detail and depth as well. I had the opportunity to have a briefing on government affairs and enrollment this week while also participating in the Council of Presidents and meeting with Chancellor Rose.
I’ve met with nearly every member of Nevada State Higher Education Board of Regents to reintroduce myself and start building meaningful relationships. I also had the wonderful opportunity to share space and place with the legislative Black Caucus to discuss areas where we can collaborate on impactful policy. It is clear they value the work of NSC and the students we so proudly serve.
I attended my first Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance Board meeting. We discussed federal funding opportunities and upcoming advocacy platforms. The College held a robust virtual town hall and fielded several questions mostly pertaining to COVID-19, protocol, and vaccinations. If you did not have an opportunity to tune in you can find the broadcast here.
I continue to simply be blown away by the heartfelt and genuine welcome my family and I have received since we arrived to Nevada. I had the honor of attending two more receptions this week. One with the LGBTQ+ community leaders and one with non-profit leaders from around the Southern Nevada. We live in an outstanding community and I am so grateful to be here.
Campus Issues: As the pandemic is ongoing, the moment we are all in is critical. If you haven’t already, please take a minute to read the email sent by HR earlier this week.
Observations: As we progress into more of a traditional semester, I find I’m wondering more and more what will higher education look like in a post-COVID world. How do we deliver our mission while recognizing students want high-touch and high-tech? How do we intentionally and boldly continue to redesign ourselves in a way that drives the advancement of our mission? Should our schedule of classes look different? Should hours of operation look different? How do we evolve and keep students at the center of our work?
Ask: My ask for each of you this week is to attend to your spirit. These are especially trying times and with that comes long days and much frustration. We are all experiencing a difficult moment collectively and perhaps individually. I encourage you to take proactive steps to nourish and protect your spirit. Maybe that means going for walk, taking a quiet moment alone, turning off the television, and/or spending time with family. I’ve been working hard on conscious breathing—noticing when I am holding my breath and why—and working to exhale more.
Grateful Spirit: Speaking of spirit, Spirit Week is just around the corner! The welcome back activities we had were magnificent. We have so many things to celebrate! We must take the time to rejoice about who we are and build on our culture of engagement. Our culture of true ownership of the college by our students and employees is what makes us different and makes us Scorpions!
Dr. DeRionne Pollard