Message from President Roberts: 2019 End-of-Year Communication 

Dear Colleague,

As we wrap up this academic year, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge your hard work this year, amidst challenges with our enrollment and budget. We’ve held difficult and necessary conversations to address issues of communication, budget transparency, and trust. I have addressed the financial and budget practices head on and our decreased enrollment collaboratively. I’m grateful for the engagement and know we can only move forward by having conversations that lead to actions. We’ve made progress through our Courageous Conversations and will continue them next year finding areas where we can improve the climate at the College in support of each other and our students.

Board Chair Clara Pellham asked that I convey the Board of Trustees’ appreciation for your work in engaging in the lives of our students. The Board is proud of the accomplishments shared in this message, acknowledges the many challenges we faced as a College this year, and considers our strong financial position going into these challenges helpful as we continue to address our decline in enrollment. The Board is fully committed to supporting the new financial processes that will provide clear, transparent information about the financial health of the College.

The Trustees and I would like to thank you for the many successes you’ve made happen this year. Your care helped our students achieve their educational goals and build their confidence in their future. Each of you has contributed to creating the Shoreline experience for our students, and for that, we are most grateful.

Here is some important information you need to know before the quarter ends.

STRATEGIC PLAN GOAL 1: We attract students and community learners and ensure successful attainment of their goals through our programs, services, and teaching and learning environments.

Enrollment Update
Below is an enrollment update as of Tuesday, June 18, 2019 compared to Tuesday, June 19, 2018.

Summer 2019

  • State-supported down 1.5% (1163 to 1146 quarterly FTE)
  • International down 15.9% (357 to 300 quarterly FTE)

Fall 2019

  • State-supported up 1.3% (980 to 960 quarterly FTE)
  • International down 7.5% (466 to 431 quarterly FTE)
  • Running Start up 18.3% (89 to 109 quarterly FTE)

Staff in several areas across campus are reaching out to continuing and potential new students by email, phone, and internet advertising to boost enrollment.

Accreditation Update
Last fall, Shoreline submitted an ad hoc report to the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) following up on four recommendations (paraphrased below):

  1. Strengthen alignment between vision, mission, Core Themes, and strategic plan
  2. Assess all programs and services
  3. Maintain updated policies
  4. Clarify Core Theme indicators

After a visit from a single evaluator, the Commission indicated that two of these recommendations (#1 and #3) had been fulfilled and warranted no further action. Shoreline will submit an ad hoc report (with no visit) in September of 2019 to follow up on recommendations #2 and #4.

In addition, on April 23, 2019, the NWCCU approved the change in Shoreline’s Core Themes to align more closely with our mission. As discussed at campus updates throughout the past 18 months, the new Core Themes are Transfer Education, Professional-Technical Education, Basic Education for Adults, and Community Education. Expect additional information about these new Core Themes and the associated indicators during Opening Week 2019.

Intense preparation for our comprehensive accreditation self-study will commence in fall 2019; the report will be submitted in September of 2020, with a visit from a team of evaluators to occur in October of 2020.

Personnel Changes in the Office of Student Learning
As announced at the start of spring quarter, this summer we will welcome Phillip King to serve as our Vice President for Student Learning. Beginning June 24, Phillip will step into the role and Bayta Maring will resume her role as Executive Director of Institutional Assessment and Data Management. Additionally, Janelle Lavin has joined Shoreline as the Executive Assistant for the Office of Student Learning. Please join me in welcoming both Janelle and Phillip to campus this month and in thanking Bayta for serving as Acting Vice President these past six months.

This year’s ceremony will be held on Thursday, June 20th at 6pm.  It will be a very memorable day for all. Rehearsal will take place in the Gymnasium on Wednesday, June 19th at 4pm. This year’s Gonfaloniers are Torrey Stenmark and DuValle Daniel. Our student speaker is Azia Kelikoa’elakauaikekai Jaelyn Lualhati, an Honors graduate and Editor-in-Chief for The Ebbtide. Our faculty speaker is Dr. Laurel Ecke, an associate faculty member in Psychology. Faculty Emeritus will be awarded to Sue Christenson, Grace Rhodes, and Molly Morse. If you have any questions regarding transportation, accommodations, or directions for participants, you may consult the commencement website or email

Health, Science & Advanced Manufacturing Classroom Complex (HSAMCC)
After 30 years without a new instructional building, the HSAMCC building was funded in the state’s 2019-21 biennial budget. This project has been a priority for Shoreline Community College for many years and, when constructed, will be instrumental to the College’s continued evolution and success.

All affected stakeholders were invited to an update meeting last week. As those at the meeting heard, we are working through some project budget challenges. We are not alone in this. Seattle is one of the hottest and most expensive construction markets in the country. Our original funding request for the building was submitted in 2011 and did not include associated storm water infrastructure work, so the request was somewhat low to begin with. Since 2011, construction costs have escalated at over 5% per year but, unfortunately, the state only allows cost escalation of approximately half that rate. In short, the project started off with a modest budget gap and, over the past eight years, that gap has grown by 2%-3% per year.

To address this gap, we have had to economize and reduce the square footage of the building from approximately 70,000 to 51,000 square feet. Although the HSAMCC was always viewed as a replacement building for 2500, 2600, 2700, and 2800, it’s always disappointing to see the scope of a building reduced. Even with the reduced scope, we are facing an approximate $8M budget gap for the construction project.

As promised, we did pause and look at alternative locations for the HSAMCC to see if we could build 70,000 square feet at a comparable cost. The primary alternative site we explored (directly behind the 2500 building) unfortunately resulted in much higher site development costs due to grade and infrastructure challenges. This alternative resulted in a $21M budget gap, which we simply do not have the resources or debt capacity to consider.

Conversations around the altered scope of the HSAMCC are difficult, and I want to thank those who attended the meeting last week for the constructive questions and input. Ultimately, we are all focused on achieving the best outcomes for our students in the short and long term.

Foundation Scholarship Awards
The 2019-2020 Annual Scholarship Awards were announced at a ceremony on June 5 to a packed Main Dining Room. Students, families, and friends attended to share in the celebration of receiving the honor of a scholarship. This year 118 annual scholarships were given to 103 deserving students representing $149,731. Over $50,000 will be given in quarterly scholarships next year as well as $25,000 in Emergency Support from the Foundation and $75,000 from United Way of King County. Please support the Foundation by attending the Student Success and Scholarship Breakfast on November 7, 2019 because it helps to fund these awards!

In addition, the 1964 Society Faculty Professional Development Scholarship was awarded to associate faculty member, Dr. Laurel Ecke. Dr. Ecke is making plans to attend a conference with the $1,100 award. Congratulations, Laurel! Watch for a request for applications for the 2019-2020 award in the fall.

Faculty Published in Crosscurrents
The most recent version of Crosscurrents, a literary publication of the Washington Community College Humanities Association, features work by Shoreline faculty in poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction categories. Contributors included Vince Barnes, Katie Johansen, Stephen McCloskey, Davis Oldham, Michael Overa, and Amber True. Professor Sean Rody has served as the editor-in-chief of Crosscurrents from 2016-2019.

STRATEGIC PLAN GOAL 2: We continually strive for disciplined excellence and focused improvement in all that we do.

ctcLink Update
ctcLink is coming and Shoreline is off to a great start! ctcLink is a multi-year statewide project to move from our legacy HP system to a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system called PeopleSoft – a modern, web-based, mobile-friendly software system. This is a major effort and we began by working successfully with the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) to move from Deployment Group 5 to 6, giving us eight more months to prepare. We will be implementing the project in the last group of colleges, after many of the early kinks have been worked out. Our ctcLink Organizational Change & Project Manager will be hired soon, and we are on track to go live with PeopleSoft in October 2021. Over the next few years, we will be working hard together to review and transform our processes, clarify data definitions, test the new system, and prepare for a new way of approaching our work. We know there will be challenges along the way, but the new system will bring major benefits, such as a greatly improved online student center, online advising center, integrated financial aid, and mobile-friendly web registration.

Steering Committees
We are concluding the third year of our strategic planning work at the College. The summer work of the Executive Team (ET) will be to review the recommendations made by the Steering Committees. As we look ahead to the next academic year, most Committee work will shift from making recommendations to helping staff implement many of the recommendations moved forward for ET approval.

I want to thank the Steering Committee members and their focus on work that will attract, enroll, retain, and help our students complete their educational goals. We are also putting in place the important infrastructure to move forward our 3E’s of social equity, ecological integrity, and economic viability. There will be a call for new members beginning now through the first week of October. You can go here to see committee updates and to find out more about how to get involved.

I hope you will consider lending your perspectives and talent to this work.

Summer Operating Hours
As noted in the President’s Spring Communication DAAG article found here, the College will shift to summer hours beginning July 1, 2019 through Friday, August 30, 2019. During these dates, the College’s public operating hours will be Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. – 5: 00 p.m., and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Supervisors are responsible for working with their teams to confirm summer schedules that meet the business needs of the College, as well as helping to inform the general public and the Shoreline community of the upcoming change in our summer operating hours. Please discuss and confirm your summer work schedule with your supervisor and ensure your updated summer schedule is entered into the TLR system by the first week of July 2019.

Questions regarding the change in College summer business hours and/or with summer staff schedules can be directed to Human Resources via email at or by phone at 206-546-4769 at any time.

Innovation Fund Grants
The Strategic Planning and Budget Council (SPBC) and Executive Team reviewed 10 proposals for limited Innovation Fund Grants and awarded over $250,000 to a variety of projects supporting increases in enrollment, retention, or revenue. Results of the project review and all decisions are posted on the SPBC intranet page.

STRATEGIC PLAN GOAL 3: We ensure that a climate of intentional inclusion permeates our decisions and practices, which demonstrate principles of ecological integrity, social equity, and economic viability.

Budget Process for 2019-20
The following external pressures on the College have contributed to our sharp decrease in enrollment (7.4% domestic and 3.8% international): low state unemployment (under 3%) as well as federal tensions around immigration and international student visas. We took a proactive approach beginning fall term to address this trend and made adjustments to provide an additional year to engage in a process to build a budget that aligns more closely with predictable patterns of enrollment, revenue, and expenditures.

The final preparations are in place for presenting the 2019-20 budget to the Board of Trustees on Wednesday, June 26. As presented at our fourth Budget Conversation on June 11, we are taking the following actions to present a balanced budget given our steep enrollment decline this past year.

Ways to close the gap for 2019-2020:

  • Reducing $750,000 by holding vacant positions open
  • Reducing operating budget overall by 2% (from goods and services) $500,000.00
  • Additional discretionary allocation from the State $567,929.00

Cash Balance would fund any shortfalls for the fiscal year 2019-2020. During spring quarter, we prepared the framework for our 2020-21 budget conversation that will commence fall term.

Courageous Conversations
Follow this link to questions that came from the comment boxes.

At the end of fall quarter, we held Courageous Conversations to begin making progress on difficult subjects between employee groups and the Executive Team (ET). This approach was selected to strengthen the relationship through these conversations. We first held listening sessions where the ET listened to each employee group. We then held sessions for the ET to reflect on what was shared from each employee group. During the spring quarter, additional Courageous Conversations were held to identify and prioritize areas where we could work toward solutions. Below are some of the areas identified by employee groups and actions that have been put in motion.

Admin Team Conversations:
A small group of Admin Team members are working on a new annual assessment for Admin Team to review this summer for implementation next academic year.

Classified Staff Conversation:
We solicited for building liaisons to help with evacuation or any emergency situation, and now have building liaisons for the following buildings: 1000, 1400, 1900, 2500, 4000, 5100, 5300, and 9000. We’re also working on janitorial and facilities concerns to be addressed.

Faculty Conversations:
A request was made to identify Committees, Councils, and Taskforces on campus to determine workload and seek efficiencies. Work on this list is under way. The most current Committees list may be found here. Please feel free to edit this list by Monday, July 1. To edit, click on the link, sign in, and add edits to the shared document (it will auto save). Please reach out to Pilar Corder ( in the Office of Employee Engagement, Equity & Organizational Development if you need clarification or have any questions or comments.

Capital Campaign
The capital campaign is on track for success to raise the $3 million match for the state funding of $36.6 million for the Health, Sciences & Advanced Manufacturing Classroom Complex.  The campaign, currently in the “silent phase,” has completed preparations and recruited and trained the Campaign Cabinet. The “silent phase” will continue until 90% of the goal is raised, at which time the campaign will go public and raise contributions from the community. Solicitations begin this month from campaign, College, and Foundation leadership and will continue over the summer from corporations, businesses, and individuals as well as private and public foundations. Look for the Campaign Newsletter on Day at a Glance (DAAG) for more details.

Student Housing Update
Our first on-campus student housing building is nearing completion and will be ready for occupancy fall quarter 2019. In the weeks to come, the scaffolding will come down and the entire campus community will get a first glimpse of the attractive brick exterior and dramatic curved façade. The building, called 7000 Campus Living, will feature 68 fully furnished apartment units with 239 bedrooms. One unique feature is a reflection room, which will be used by the College community who have needs for prayer or quiet reflection, complete with foot washing stations in a private and welcoming environment. There are multiple areas for community building throughout 7000 Campus Living, including a landscaped courtyard with a bbq grill, fire pit, and “Great Room” for the entire campus to enjoy.

Research indicates that students who live on campus have significantly more social interaction with peers, which can help them feel connected and more confident in their goals, leading to graduation at significantly higher rates than students who have not had this on-campus experience. Tours of the building will occur during Opening Week.

Comments from the Budget Conversation and Budget Comment Boxes.
Continuing our budget communication, here are the written comments to questions that were not answered during the Budget Conversation on June 11, as well as the latest written responses to questions employees have asked via the online and physical comment boxes.

We will continue to respond to questions received through July 1, and then we will recommence with responding to questions on October 1, 2019.

Residential Life Assistant Director and Resident Assistant Roles Filled
We are proud to announce that M.J. Avery Whittington, has accepted the position of live-in Assistant Director for Student and Residential Life. Avery recently served as a Resident Education Director at Washington State University and received their Master of Arts degree in Student Development Administration from Seattle University. Avery has previous experience working with college and corporate housing, worked as a Behavioral Health Technician with Magnolia Behavior Therapy and as an intern with the UW Brotherhood Initiative. Avery begins their role on July 1, where they will directly supervise the 4 Resident Assistants and the Residential Life program at the Building 7000 Campus Living, which opens mid-September.

VP for Business & Administrative Services
The recruitment process for the Vice President for Business & Administrative Services (VP-B&AS) has concluded without a successful candidate identified for hire at this time. After carefully considering the specific needs of our College, and based on feedback from the screening committee, Executive Team (ET), and campus community through the open forum comments, I plan to review any late applications received and (as needed) repost the position for recruitment over summer quarter with on-campus interviews occurring in Fall 2019 after faculty and staff have returned to campus.

My sincere thanks to the screening committee members for their work in the recruitment process, and to the campus community for your comments and feedback following the VP-B&AS open forum session.

Upcoming Events – Mark Your Calendars!
Please check the College Calendar and the Employee Calendar regularly for more information on these summer and fall events:

  • June 20 – Commencement
  • June 29-30 – Shoreline Arts Festival on campus
  • July 1 – Summer Quarter Begins
  • July 27 – NW SolarFest on campus
  • September 19-24 – Opening Week and Fall Convocation (September 20)
  • September 25 – Fall Quarter Begins
  • September 26 – All Campus Food Truck Lunch

A hearty thanks to each of you for all that you’ve done to help our students engage to achieve. And, in the midst of all the enrollment and budget challenges this year, thank you for engaging with me, the Executive Team (ET), and each other to create the special experience we call Shoreline for our diverse students and communities.

I look ahead to the summer and the beginning of our new academic year.

Warm wishes,
Cheryl Roberts, Ed.D.

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