Greetings, once again, from China!
I write to you today from Xi’an, China, where I am pleased to report that I had a highly successful and productive meeting with the college’s housing partners earlier this afternoon. Mr. David Lee and Mr. Xie Gang were hand-delivered a letter from SCC Board Chair, Phil Barrett, in which he reinforced the college’s "strong commitment to you, our partners, and to the visionary student housing project at Shoreline Community College." I updated them on the progress of the college’s master development plan with the City of Shoreline, and we discussed terms of a pending ground lease that is currently being drafted by our special Assistant Attorney General. I promised that the ground lease will be submitted to the housing partners for their review within two weeks. Both partners emphasized their continued commitment to moving forward as quickly as possible, and they assured me that "the funds are available and in place."
One of our partners, Mr. Hou Baolin, was unable to attend our meeting due to the untimely death of his father several days ago. I extended my deepest condolences on behalf of the college, and offered to return to Xi’an to meet with him in the very near future.
Overall, the partners were extremely grateful that I took the time to personally visit so soon into SCC’s presidential transition. While I was hesitant to be away from campus only one week after assuming the role of Acting President, I am confident that it was the right decision. We have sent a strong and important message to our Chinese partners – that we are intensely committed to bring housing to our campus, and anxious to see this project move forward without delay.
An Unexpected Surprise
During my visit to Tsinghua University on Friday, Director Yan surprised me by announcing that several of the students coming to Shoreline this fall wanted to meet with me. I was thrilled to greet them, and to have the opportunity to personally thank them for choosing Shoreline Community College (see photo). One of our most industrious partners, Director Yan pledged to continue working hard to promote SCC and to grow the number of students he recruits for us in the months and years to come. Our relationship with him and with Tsinghua is an important one, because our association also portends great potential to expand opportunities for our own domestic students and our faculty to study and teach in one of China’s most prestigious universities.
The Journey Home
I am now looking forward to getting back to Seattle, and rejoining you all on campus on Tuesday. Though only a few days, this has nonetheless been a very successful trip. Until then…