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Checking in With Dean Forbes -- December 2020

The end of the year is nearly here and for many it won’t be missed. We’re all hoping for better days to come in 2021. While things won’t return to normal any time soon, we have cause for hope that this year will be the inverse of the last one. I am incredibly grateful to all of you for going above and beyond to deliver on our mission in spite of it all. 

The restrictions made necessary by the pandemic had a profound impact on educators everywhere. Our faculty and instructors worked extremely hard to not only adapt to this reality but to use it as an opportunity to innovate. They’ve done an outstanding job developing and delivering engaging and effective instruction. 

Staff members have demonstrated flexibility in taking on unanticipated new responsibilities even as we make the collective sacrifice of ongoing furloughs and pay reductions. I know many of you will agree that despite these hardships, we are fortunate to have jobs and are able to do them in a relatively low-risk environment unlike many front-line workers who come into direct contact with the virus every day. 

Our amazing students
As we end the year, we have much to be grateful for including the generosity of our donors, many of them once students. If you haven’t seen it already, I encourage you to watch this year’s scholarship recipient video. It’s a poignant reminder why we do what we do. 

Active Learning Lab naming
In good news, the Board of Regents approved a request to name our new lab on the third floor of BioSci the Dr. Denneth Dvergsten Active Learning Lab. A longtime supporter of the College, Denny Dvergsten was a science teacher and Minnesota's Teacher of the Year, among his many accomplishments. He was also the College’s first outreach coordinator and he and his wife Joan are longtime supporters of the College. It’s a wonderful tribute to an outstanding person.

Anti-racism efforts
Over the course of this fall, we convened two groups to explore steps the College can take to address systemic racism. Our Alumni Anti-Racism Council delivered its recommendations earlier this month. You can see them here. The collegiate anti-racism working group is finalizing its recommendations. We will announce a date for a college-wide town hall to gather input from the broader CBS community early in the new year. 

I hope you are able to enjoy the winter break and find space and time to relax and recharge.

December, 2020