Board Report – June 2010
It's hard to believe we're about to close another academic year, but it's a privilege to do so with a most heartfelt and meaningful announcement. I'd like to call your attention to Resolution 551 Honoring Ed Ragozzino. Ed founded Lane's performing arts program and ran it for 18 years. He was a major figure in the local arts community and helped establish the Eugene Festival of Musical Theater and the Hult Center as well. We were very saddened to lose him to cancer earlier this year, and many of us wanted to do something to pay tribute to him. Resolution 551 officially names our main theater, which Ed personally helped design, as the Ragozzino Performance Hall. Roxy Ragozzino, Ed's wife, is here with us tonight, and I'd like to ask her to come to the podium and share her thoughts.
B.1. Public Comment on Resolution No. 551 Honoring Ed Ragozzino
Rick Williams, Dean of Music, Dance, and Theatre Arts Division, did not know Ed, but he feels like he did. In meetings, classrooms, galleries, and performances, he has heard Ed’s name and stories regarding his tenacity. We owe him a great debt. It is impossible to live in Eugene without experiencing his influence. The resolution to rename the performance hall after him has the full support of the Music, Dance, and Theatre Arts Division.
Fred Craft, avid supporter of the arts community, gave his support for the resolution. Ed brought quality productions to Lane Community College that were the talk of the town. He used the theater to its absolute potential. Ed was a friend, mentor, and teacher. The arts community is full of his disciples. Ed saw things in people that others could not see.
Barbara Myrick, music instructor, noted that Ed was a fabulous leader. He cared about the students and pushed them beyond what they thought that they could do. He would hold theater retreats, and amazing bonding would happen during those retreats. He gave sessions on humor in the classroom during inservices and sessions for the community on how to use dramatic techniques on the job. He was a tireless advocate for the arts and for Lane.
Patrick Torelle, theatre instructor, said that even the theatre students supported the resolution to name the performance hall after Ed. They didn’t know him but have heard about him because of his widespread influence. Ed hired Patrick 25 years ago, and Patrick will always remember the sign on his desk that simply read: “Commitment.” Commitment to theatre arts, to teaching, to education, and to the community. He preached it, lived it, and expected it of others. Ed gave Eugene the idea that high quality productions can be achieved with our own talent base. He felt a genuine duty to the community.
Karen Scheeland, community member, was hired by Ed in the fall of 1983 when Karen was a graduate student at the University of Oregon. Eventually they would become friends and colleagues. It is fitting that the theater be named after man it was built for. Ed was the kind of person who knew what he wanted and how to get it. Challenges were always met and surpassed. He was respected and admired by all who worked with him. There is no one else one like him. He was classy, charismatic, and witty—a quintessential teacher. His philosophy has guided our lives through today. His life is a legacy that will continue to be passed on to others.
Craig Wasson, actor, said that Ed was a catalyst for him in becoming a professional actor. Without him, Craig would not have had a career in acting or even the chance of it.
McCown stated that he never had the chance to work with Ed, but he has experienced the program and the theater. He thanked him and his family for the commitment and time invested in Lane.
Johnston had moved to this community about twenty years ago, and Ed Ragozzino’s name was one of the first big names she heard. She feels deeply honored to have had the opportunity to meet him and Roxy a few years ago.
B.1.a Resolution No. 551 Honoring Ed Ragozzino
McCown moved, Seconded by LeClair, to adopt Resolution No. 551 Honoring Ed Ragozzino.
Motion passed unanimously.
Roxy Ragozzino noted that Ed saw potential in everyone and delighting in helping them release it. Ed was like a pebble dropped in a pond whose ripples go on and on. His legacy will live on.
Spilde presented a framed print of Jerry Ross’s "Road to Lane" to Roxy Ragozzino.
President's Report (Continued)
I’d like to welcome new ASLCC president Mario Parker Milligan to the board table and congratulate him and vice president Wesley Smith on their victory. I look forward to working with you in the coming year.
The state announced a $577 million revenue shortfall and the governor ordered a 9 percent across the board cut that will cost Lane about $2.6 million. We are working on a plan to adjust for this. This creates a problem for next year and takes the community college base from 450 to 430 million for the biennium. In talking with legislators, I am not hearing a lot of confidence that it won’t get worse, even in the next year. There is some good news at the state level: employment is up; corporate profits are up; personal tax withholding revenues are up; and even lottery revenues are up. However, these are not translating into funding in the near future.
In Washington, the Senate passed the Supplemental Appropriations Bill, but without the Keep Our Educators Working Act, which would have included education jobs funding. Nonetheless, the bill could bring $270 million to Oregon, and there is some hope that Congress will extend the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage, which has the potential to bring an additional $200 million to Oregon. That might free up some money that could come to education, but probably not for next year.
We are still working on the tuition funding rebate. James Manning has been working with Kate Barry, and we will have a process in place to be able to refine and come up with some numbers to bring to the board in July. A former ASLCC President, Jeremy Riel, has been working with Manning and Barry on open educational resources, and he will be submitting a report this week.
The Eugene City Council voted to expand its urban renewal district, which secures $8 million for Lane’s Downtown Campus. The board’s public forum brought more good feedback and helped engage more citizens. Thanks to Board Chair Pat Albright and Vice Chair Tony McCown for leading the discussion, and to Brett Rowlett and Tracy Simms for coordination and getting our new downtown campus website online.
Last month, we updated you on perimeter planning. We shared proposals with staff which stimulated dialogue on whether to adjust current athletic field bond projects to accommodate future development. We were able to reach a compromise that meets the needs of the Health and PE Division and students and allows production to remain on schedule. I am grateful to the Bond Leadership Team, Facilities Council, Bond Management Leadership Team, Vice President Sonya Christian, and the Project User Groups for their vision and flexibility.
Other business on my calendar this past month included American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) interviews of semifinalists for the president’s position; will hold finalist interviews next month and hopefully be able to select a CEO.
I interviewed with a Chronicle of Higher Ed reporter for a future story on community colleges and downtown development, a topic stimulated by our project, and I interviewed with our own Mark Harris for his cable channel diversity show. I also was interviewed by Community College Times on international students and immigration.
There were several notable events on campus this past month including US Poet Laureate Kay Ryan, who captivated everyone with her insight and humor and true regard for community colleges. Lane also hosted the Oregon Community College Green Summit and shared both operational and curricular best practices. Last week we held our annual Employee Gala to celebrate long-time employees and say farewell to our retirees. Also last week, Phi Theta Kappa held a music and arts festival called LaneStock that rocked the campus despite an inch of rain; even though I personally was not on campus, I could still hear the music. We also hosted the annual Gift of Literacy, the Springfield School District reading event for first graders.
I’d like to end with a reminder to everyone to please attend our capstone event of the year, graduation, on Saturday, June 12, at the Lane County Fairgrounds, beginning at 4 p.m. I hope you can be there. It’s a testament to why we work so hard and what we’re trying to do here, and it’s a great way to start the summer with inspired students who have completed their goals.
Now I would like to recognize Kate Barry, who is retiring from Lane after over 30 years of service.