President's Blog

18th Blog – 2020 Policy Initiatives 

State Government News – 

The Kansas Legislature convened January 16, 2020 for Governor Laura Kelley’s State of the State address. A number of initiatives surfaced for discussion; along with new ones, prior initiatives continue to percolate and receive ongoing evaluation. Governor Kelley unveiled her proposed budget which included several points of emphases:  Medicaid expansion, tax amendments, food sales tax relief, State Highway Fund, Foster Care, Corrections, re-amortizing KPERS, and rural economic growth. 

17th Blog – Diversity

As I sit here on this icy morning I am reminded that February, the month we recognize the history and contributions of African-Americans, is fast approaching, Observance of Black History Month gives us an opportunity  to consider what a profound effect African-American heritage has on American culture. This month long celebration of achievements by African Americans is a time to recognize the central role of blacks in U. S history. Observing Black History Month also allows for self-reflection and an opportunity to consider whether we as a society promote the value of diversity in this nation. Accepting diversity ask us to make a conscious effort to live in an inclusive and equitable manner toward all. 

16th Blog – Looking Ahead

With the onset of spring courses before us, I welcome your return and trust that your holiday leave rejuvenated your spirit and renewed your energy.   

In looking back to fall 2019, there were many internal communications that provided you with a broad array of information and updates concerning topics ranging from student matters to faculty/staff support, Barton administration and governance, and State/Federal funding and policy implications.

15th Blog – Best Neighborhood

It is likely that you have taken notice of the new screen play, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks, and that you are familiar with Fred Rogers contribution to televised children’s programming. The Mr. Rogers series was an outstanding televised production that resonated with children and parents.  The themes in the Mr. Rogers series and themes that are played out in the movie is that regardless of age, all people deserve respect, love, and positive attention.  Mr. Rogers’ messages were real and filled with happiness.  The themes present are deserving for all neighborhoods.

14th Blog – Communication

An age old criticism cited by employees within any work setting is that communication needs to be more effective and/or inclusive.  You and I have heard this comment over the years and I believe there is a core recognition that yes, communication can always be more effective.  I also believe that our actions of the past eight years has reinforced the recognition and desire to continually improve and establish effective lines of communication within offices/division and within the overall College.  A document that has been commonly referenced since 2012, has been the PACE Survey (Personal Assessment of the College Environment).

13th Blog Entry – Accreditation Progress

Barton is entering year eight of a ten-year Higher Learning Commission Accreditation Cycle. Barton is accredited using HLC’s Open Pathway model. The Open Pathway is unique in that its improvement component, the Quality Initiative, affords institutions the opportunity to pursue improvement projects that meet their current needs and aspirations.

12th Blog Entry – Barton Governance

Over the years, College constituents – internal and external – have expressed their understanding concerning the governance of this College.  It is not unusual during the course of a discussion where understanding has gaps or inaccuracies of understanding.  With the election of three Barton Trustee members this week – Mike Johnson, Gary Burke, and Mike Boys – this is a good occasion to review the guiding factors in directing the duties of Barton’s six member Board of Trustees.