Monday, November 18, 2019 Seattle Pacific University

From the President

President Dan Martin
Digital transformation plan: A roadmap

I spoke at the State of the University about the future of higher education that we will be encountering and our need to digitally reinvent ourselves to stay relevant and successful.

As we think about Digital Transformation @ SPU, beyond the work that Paul Yost is leading as we move through our strategic planning process, Margaret Brown, Micah Schaafsma, and Michael Paulus have been working to provide us a roadmap (PDF). I am grateful for their efforts in refining the goals from the Strategic Framework and outlining a process for cross-campus engagement in this crucial area.

The last line of their intro narrative on their approach to Digital Transformation @ SPU says, “As a Christian university, exploration and implementation of these technologies can inspire us to consider how our new technological creations may participate in Christ’s transformative work of new creation.”

Their work and leadership provide an opportunity to extend the definition of “teaching for the future” that was emphasized in our very first catalog in 1893. I believe the future strength and state of SPU, and our commitment to our identity as a comprehensive Christian university grounded in the liberal arts and liberal education, will be enhanced by how we navigate this path. Margaret, Michael, and Micah provide us a great framework for moving forward.

Campus News & Events

spu homecoming weekend 2019-2020
Save the date: Feb. 7–8 Homecoming and Family Weekend

SPU faculty and staff: Save the date for Homecoming and Family Weekend, Feb. 7–8, 2020. Bring your friends and family and enjoy fun and entertaining experiences on campus, including the Alumni Awards Dinner, Falcon men’s and women’s basketball, Urinetown: The Musical, a live taping of the SPU Voices Podcast, and more. Save money on admission prices and get the All-Access Pass for individuals or families up to six members. Tickets are sold separately for the Alumni Awards Dinner. For more details and to register for events, visit

logo for the Standard
2020 voluntary life and AD&D open enrollment

Important announcement from Human Resources: The 2020 voluntary life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance open enrollment takes place Nov. 20– Dec. 4.

SPU will transition on January 1, 2020, to The Standard as our provider for Life and AD&D Insurance, and guaranteed issue coverage is offered for 2020.

This special open enrollment is significant because guaranteed-issue coverage is being offered anew to all eligible individuals — even if they do not have coverage currently. Health underwriting normally applies to this kind of coverage, meaning that any enrollment or increase in coverage is only accepted for those that the insurance company underwriters approve of. If you request coverage greater than the guaranteed-issue amounts, or apply for coverage outside of Open Enrollment, the health questions apply. That means based on your health, you might not be approved for the coverage you apply for based on your health.

  • Current coverage will roll to 2020.
  • Premiums for 2020 coverage match current coverage.

For more information, watch for upcoming email announcements from Human Resources.

News and Nachos Title
News & Nachos: Gun Violence and the Second Amendment, Past and Present

The History Department is hosting a brownbag series titled “News & Nachos.” Move past sound bites and headlines for substantive conversations about current events in historical perspective. The theme for the next event on Thursday, Nov. 21, is "Gun Violence and the 2nd Amendment: Past and Present," with a faculty panel of Bill Woodward (history), Caleb Henry (political science), and Karen Snedker (sociology) answering the following questions:

  • What did the authors of the 2nd amendment originally intend when they drafted this text?
  • What political factors have made it difficult to pass stricter gun control legislation in the U.S., even in the wake of mass shootings? 
  • What are some of the impacts of gun violence on society today? 

The event will be held in Demaray Hall 150, 11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Chips, salsa, and cheese dip will be served.

office of safety and security
Commute Trip Reduction Survey thank you (and a congratulations)

From the Office of Safety and Security: Thank you to all of our faculty and staff who recently participated in the Commute Trip Reduction Survey. We are happy to announce that we met our goal, which means that SPU will not be penalized by the Washington State Department of Transportation. As promised, those who completed the survey were entered in a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift certificate. The winner of our prize draw is Peter Moe, assistant professor of English and director of campus writing. Congratulations to our winner and thank you all once again!

Arts and humanities autumn newsletter

Exciting news from the Arts and Humanities! In the autumn issue of Exhibit, a design student creates art in the laboratories of Harvard, alumni pursue outstanding scholarship at the graduate level, and award-winning novelist Chigozie Obioma shares his inspiration. We also celebrate the 10th anniversary of the music therapy program.

Parents and families in the loop
November 2019 In the Loop parents e-newsletter

More than 2,800 SPU parents and families recently received the November In the Loop parents’ e-newsletter, which included a message from Vice President of Student Life Jeff Jordan, a video about diversity at SPU from Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Sandra Mayo, a recap of the campus evacuation drill, information about applying for 2020–21 financial aid, and more.

Men On Boats
Mainstage production: Men on Boats

The Theatre Department presents Men on Boats, Nov. 21–23, 7:30 p.m. in McKinley Hall. One matinee performance will be Saturday, Nov. 23, at 1 p.m.

This new production is loosely based on the true story of a group of early explorers charting the Colorado River. This delightful adventure follows the group of insane yet loyal volunteers down the river, spinning historical, theatrical, and gender conventions on their heads. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors (age 60 and over) and students (age 25 and under) with a valid ID. Tickets are available for purchase at the door, online at the Theatre Box Office, or by calling 206-281-2959.

Shelter/Unshelter Art Center Sculpture
Now at the Art Center Gallery: certain/uncertain

Stop by the SPU Art Center Gallery at 3 West Cremona Street to see certain/uncertain by Alison Stigora, assistant professor of sculpture. Her installation is crafted from coastal driftwood and geometric, galvanized steel structures. The exhibit ends Friday, November 22. The gallery is open 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and you can use your key card to enter the building.

Alison writes about her installation.“The spaces we inhabit influence our daily existence. Whether places we choose to live, or locations passed through without thinking, every space has a form that impacts us consciously or subconsciously. Since moving across the country to Seattle from Philadelphia in 2017, I have been confronted with the Pacific Northwest landscape. Seattle includes numerous manifestations of humble handmade dwellings as divergent as coastal driftwood forts to homeless encampments under I-5, which are part of the environment I am responding to. The presence of these cobbled together structures, despite their extreme differences, reflect our universal desire and basic need for shelter."

Thursday deadline
Faculty/Staff Bulletin deadline

The Faculty/Staff Bulletin is published every Monday (or Tuesday if Monday is a holiday) during the academic year. If you have information or event news, send it as soon as possible to Bulletin editor Tracy Norlen at Submissions may be edited for clarity. The next deadline is Thursday, November 21. The next Bulletin will be published on Monday, November 25. 

Faculty & Staff News

professor matt benton
Benton gives talk

Matthew Benton, assistant professor of philosophy, gave a Philosophy Colloquium talk at Reed College on “The Epistemology of Interpersonal Relations” on Nov. 8. He explored the relationships between different kinds of knowledge we have when we know someone personally, and he developed new applications of such knowledge to issues in moral psychology.

Volume #46 , Issue #39 | Published by: University Communications

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