To CFR Community:
I wish to update everyone on planning activities involving Pack Forest. The email, circulated on April 27, 2003, communicates the status of our budget planning following receipt of John Calhoun's report of April 24, 2003. Since then I have asked John to take a second look at the entire Pack Forest operation. His second analysis and presentation of alternatives was submitted to me on May 28, 2003. Based on these two reports, the following decisions have been made and will be in place by July 1, 2003.
April 24, 2003 Report:
Alternative B will be used to manage Pack Forest operation reserves. A new account will be established within Pack Forest to be expended on College and Pack Forest activities at the discretion of the Dean.
Alternative #2 will be used to manage the Pack Forest Conference Center.
May 28, 2003 Report:
Alternative #1 for Forest Operations will be followed. Further examination of Pack Forest's mission and vision is expected to occur during the next fiscal year. For the next year, no change in the basic forest management plan is planned.
Alternative #2 for the Fiscal and Personnel Section will be followed.
Alternative #1 for Maintenance activities will be followed.
I approve the capital improvement plan as described in the April 24, 2003 Report. Needed funds will be drawn from the Pack Forest Land Acquisition Fund.
A brief summary of each selected alternative is contained in the attachment to this email.
As further background it is important to note that the shift in philosophy characterized by these decisions is to begin to use Pack Forest resources to support the broader mission of the College. Both Forest Operations and the Conference Center are self-sustaining units and receive a very small state subsidy. Thus, their revenues and costs must be kept in balance. It is also appropriate to use excess revenues to support other functions within the College that support our vision and mission. It is our intention to examine the appropriate role for Pack Forest as we transform the College's programs. The College Lands Committee is engaged in this review and is expected to provide guidance and advice in the coming months.
In addition, I request that Pack Forest operations seek certification under the most appropriate forest certification system. I would like to receive a status report evaluating the costs and benefits of certification under appropriate systems; how a third party audit and assessment will be financed; whether the records system used by Pack is sufficient for an assessment; and a probable time table for completion by October 1, 2003.
I believe that the steps outlined above will be sufficient to take us through the coming fiscal year. Given our goal of self sufficiency for all Pack Forest activities, we will monitor all operations monthly and, if warranted, take additional actions if necessary.
I recognize that these decisions impact the lives of many of our Pack Forest staff. I have attempted to balance all issues to ensure that Pack Forest remain a viable and important asset for our College in the long term. We will continue to study the mission and vision of Pack Forest this coming fiscal year.
I am still evaluating scenarios involving the future leadership for Pack Forest. I anticipate being able to report to you on this subject in a few weeks, in time for the start of the next biennium on July 1, 2003.
B. Bruce Bare, Dean
As you all know, John Calhoun submitted a detailed budget package to me on April 24. This came in response to my March 31 request wherein John was asked to provide assistance in preparing a 2003-05 biennial budget for both Pack Forest and the Pack Conference Center.
I wish to thank each of you who participated in preparation of the report. You did a thorough and professional job.
No preferred alternative has been identified. I will be studying the report for a few weeks during which time I may request additional clarification of the six alternatives presented. It is also possible that I may ask for additional alternatives to be put forth in the same format as those already submitted. My desire is to complete this phase of the Pack review as soon as possible -- hopefully by mid-May at the latest.
Because the report contains some confidential data it can not be released at this time. However, as John Calhoun stated in his April 25 email, the capital improvements recommendations are available for your review. Please ask Debi or Dale if you are interested.
I'll be back in touch as soon as events warrant. In the meantime thanks again and best wishes.
B. Bruce Bare, Dean
Acting Director Bob Edmonds and I have asked John Calhoun to provide assistance to you as your 2003-2005 biennial budget deliberations proceed. As you know, during this biennium, Pack Forest expenses exceed revenues -- a situation that we believe is unsustainable.
John is the Director of our Olympic Natural Resources Center in Forks. He came to that position after 28 years of natural resource and budget management experience with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. He will retain his ONRC position while he works with the Pack Forest staff to respond to my May 1, 2003 budget proposal deadline. He has the authority to lead you in the development of a balanced self-sustaining budget which satisfies the goals I communicated in my email of March 11, 2003.
I fully expect that John will contribute many creative and novel ideas to the conversation as you work on your budget proposal. In addition, he has been asked to consider the longer term organization of Pack Forest. Thus, he will also engage you in a discussion of long-term strategies for a self-sustaining operation and the most appropriate organization and staffing to achieve these goals.
Some of you recently attended a one-half day meeting at the College where Pack Forest and other somewhat similar field stations were discussed. I view this as the first of many such discussions as we contemplate the most appropriate role for Pack Forest as our College's academic programs undergo dramatic changes. Our College Lands Committee, faculty, and staff will all play a role as this discussion unfolds over the next several months. John will lead this discussion with the immediate staff who work at Pack Forest.
Please join me in welcoming John to Pack Forest.
B. Bruce Bare, Dean