November 10, 2008

Volume 3, issue 12
November 10, 2008
The Fountain

Faculty meeting and staff coffee recap: budget, holiday days off and more

At meetings last week with faculty and staff, President Bridges addressed a range of topics. Here’s a recap:

College Budget/Trustee Meeting

  • Overall position of the trustees and the budget strategy is to preserve the core academic mission of the college and protect the people who work here.
  • Eliminating jobs is not on the table.
  • In spite of serious budget challenges generated by the global economic downturn, Whitman is in a far better place than many other colleges in the region. Our outstanding reputation is as vital to our position as is the financial balance sheet.
  • Still, we face a $500,000 shortfall for the current fiscal year. Any and all cost-savings ideas are welcome; please submit ideas to President Bridges, CFO Peter Harvey or your supervisor or budget officer.
  • We are looking at and managing the budget in a three-phase process: current year, short-term (next 2-3 years) and long-term.
  • Trustees cautioned to be conservative yet delivered an imperative to create annual budgets that allow for salary increases, although the amount of increase will be less than in recent years.
  • Commensurately the amount tuition will increase also will be lower, understanding that many families have lost assets meant to help pay for college.
  • Since June, Whitman’s endowment has lost approximately 25 percent of its value. The effects of this will be felt in 2011-12. The good news is that we can plan for this now and prepare in advance.
  • For the long term, we need to look broadly at programs and operations that may not be as valuable to the core mission as they were at one time and change course if needed.

Campus Holiday Party

  • It’s on! Perhaps not as lavish, maybe more basic food and beverages, but it will happen. Watch for details later this semester.

Holiday Days Off

  • The president’s announcement that, again this year, the college will give staff extra days off was met with a relatively thunderous ovation. Winter break begins Thursday, Dec. 25. With the bonus days, we return to work Monday, Jan. 5, 2009.

Football Reunion

  • Kudos to the alumni relations staff for a very successful event that helped bring a number of alumni back to their alma mater.


  • The speaker will be Ryan Crocker ’71, ambassador to Iraq, who said in a recent interview that among the things he looks forward to when he retires is reconnecting with Whitman.

Town-Gown recipient

Amber R. Dobbs-Woodworth, communications operations manager, received the 2008 Town-Gown Award at the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce annual banquet Wednesday, Nov. 5. President George Bridges presented the award, which each year honors a member of the Whitman faculty or staff whose service to the greater Walla Walla Valley enriches the lives and strengthens the ties between the two communities. President Bridges thanked her for her tireless efforts to help people in need and told her “We need more people like you.”

Amber’s community service activities include coordinating programs during the holidays to provide for families in need (since 1995) and during the fall (since 1996) to provide back-to-school supplies to children who would otherwise go without them. She has volunteered at the Christian Aid Center and in the Blue Mountain Action Council’s adult literacy program, where she won “Volunteer of the Year” award in 2002. Active in the Dayton High School parent association, she was a strong force behind the 2008 graduating class’s “safe and sane” graduation party, and her most current efforts include fostering homeless cats and kittens until Purrfect Pets can find them permanent homes.

“I’m overwhelmed to receive such an honor for doing the things that I enjoy. Helping others makes me feel alive,” she said.

Library announces changes to Summit borrowing system, effective Dec. 1

Major changes are in store for Summit, the popular library system used by Whitman students, faculty and staff to borrow resources from other academic libraries.

Currently, Summit provides access to more than 28 million items from 34 college and university libraries throughout Oregon and Washington. This fall, the Penrose library staff is working with other members of the Orbis Cascade Alliance to upgrade and improve Summit. When the project is completed in 2009, you’ll be able to access more than 107 million items from libraries around the world — with one easy search.

Dalia Corkrum, library director, reports that “Summit services will continue without interruption until the upgrade is completed, but users will want to be aware of several important things during the transition.” Among them:

  • Courier service between Orbis Cascade Alliance member libraries will remain as is and will continue to be fast and reliable.
  • There will be some temporary changes in Summit’s ability to process renewals. For a limited time, Summit borrowing will be restricted to the initial four-week loan period. However, as soon as feasible, the capacity for renewing will be restored.
  • Continue using Summit as you normally would to find and request materials you need from other libraries. The address,, will remain the same.
  • Library material from Penrose will appear in your Penrose Library account, while material from other libraries will appear in your Summit account.

“Penrose Library staff will be on a learning curve as programming is tested and workflows change, and as we implement the new Summit. Your patience and flexibility during this time of change are appreciated,” Julie Carter, interim access services coordinator, says. “We’re confident that you’ll appreciate the enhancements in store for this important service.”

Watch The Fountain and e-mail for announcements about new Summit training sessions. For more information about the new Summit, read the Questions and Answers file or ask a library staff member.

Faculty accomplishments

The article Juli Dunn, associate professor of sport studies and head athletic trainer, wrote for the 2007 Whitman Magazine "In Their Words" column was reprinted in Olympic Coach magazine. Dunn's column described her research on how athletes learn. Read the article online here.

Gary Rollefson, associate professor of anthropology and esteemed New East archaeologist, received mention (as did Whitman College by association) in this month's Smithsonian magazine. Prof. Rollefson was called in to offer expert opinion on the work of Klaus Schmidt's work on megaliths in Gobekli Tepe, Turkey.

Pat Henry, Cushing Eells professor of philosophy and literature and foreign literatures, emeritus, wrote an opinion piece that was published in the Nov. 5 Seattle Times. “Wisdom of the monks: a vow of dialogue” tells of Henry’s meeting with monks and suggests the presidential candidates do the same. The piece can be read online here.

Horizon Air: bigger planes means allow more time

The staff of Horizon Air has asked the college to notify campus community members that you should plan to get to the airport earlier than you might ordinarily, to help ensure on-time departures — especially for holiday travel. Horizon’s new aircraft leaving from WW have twice the capacity as the older ones, but the company has not added staff to process travelers or to handle baggage. This means that more time will be needed to get planes loaded for departure. If you have questions about this, please contact Horizon Air.

Benefits information sessions announced

The Office of Human Resources will host two information sessions on changes to the 2009 medical/dental/vision plan: Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 4 p.m. and Thursday, Nov. 20 at 10 a.m. Both sessions will be held in Maxey Auditorium.

Important note — Open enrollment will take place during the month of December. Materials will be sent out near the end of November.

If you’re looking for a way to make veggies more appealing…

This recipe for a healthful cauliflower-potato dish, comes from the Live Well, Work Well Newsletter from Parker, Smith and Feek, Inc.


  • 3 lbs. potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut
  • 1/4 cup skim or soy milk
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Bring potatoes to a boil in a large pot with water. Reduce heat and simmer (covered) until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain and mash. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in another pot and add cauliflower. Reduce heat and simmer (covered) until tender. Drain and cool slightly. Place cauliflower in a blender with milk and butter (you may need to do in several batches), blend, and combine with potatoes. Serves 6-8. For an even healthier twist, use sweet potatoes.

Read the November wellness newsletter here.

Coming Events
All free unless otherwise stated

Tuesday, Nov. 7
Lecture: “Cicero’s Communitarian Politics” will be presented by Professor Anthony Long. Annual Kimball Lecture, 4 p.m., Maxey Auditorium

Tuesday, Nov. 11
Lecture: “Going Upstream: Boot Causes of Immigration.” 7 p.m., Olin 130.

Tuesday, Nov. 11
Concert: Whitman College Department of Music presents the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors. 7:30 p.m., Cordiner Hall.

Wednesday, Nov. 12, through Sunday, Nov. 16
Play: Harper Joy Theatre presents “Perfect Pie” by Canadian playwright Judith Thompson on the Freimann Stage. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. Call the Box Office at x5180 for tickets. --A rhubarb pie and a cassette tape reunite two childhood friends, estranged for 30 years, who confront the terrifying event that separated them and rediscover the grace of friendship.

Thursday, Nov. 13
Reading: Visiting Writers Reading Series presents Cara Diaconoff. 7 p.m., Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory.

Thursday, Nov. 13
Lecture: “Nabataean Nuances: Filling Gaps in a Trade Empire” will be presented by Gary Rollefson, associate professor of anthropology. Sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America. 7:30 p.m., Olin 130.

Thursday, Nov. 13
Visiting Educator: Brian Tucker of Geohazards International. 7:30 p.m. Maxey Auditorium.

Thursday, Nov. 13
Recital: Guest cello artists William and Linda Wharton in recital. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall.

Friday, Nov. 14
Recital: Fridays at Four presents the Whitman Flute Choir. 4 p.m., Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory.

Friday, Nov. 14
Pageant: The seventh annual Mr. Whitman Male Beauty Pageant. Eight senior men will compete for the crown. The competition is a two-hour event, meant to entertain, that includes talent, question and answer session, swim wear and formal wear sections. Proceeds go to charity. 7 p.m., Cordiner Hall. Tickets $5 in advance; $8 at the door.

Friday, Nov. 14, and Sunday, Nov. 16
Movie: “The Secret Lives of Others” (von Donnersmarck, 2006). 7:30 p.m., Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory.

Friday, Nov. 14
Concert: The Whitman Wind Ensemble Concert, Peter Crawford, conductor. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music.

Sunday, Nov. 16
Concert: Whitman Symphony Orchestra Fall Concert, Edward Dixon, conductor. 7:30 p.m., Cordiner Hall.

Save the Date — Dec. 11-14
Theatre: Harper Joy Theatre presents "The Shadow" by Yevgheny Shvarts, translated by Elisaveta Fen. From Soviet Russia, this play is a darkly comic fable of innocence and corruption. A young scholar visiting a kingdom where "all they tell you in fairy tales happens every day," longs to marry its princess but is betrayed by his own shadow. Details are online here.

Parting Shot

For this week’s Parting Shot, Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer, takes us back a couple months to cut through the recent dreary, foggy days with a reminder of sun, warmth and color beyond the autumnal palette. This beautiful flower was found in the bed outside Maxey Hall.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Staff breakfast
Town-Gown Award
Library Changes
Faculty Accomplishments
Horizon Air News
Benefits Info Sessions
Health Newsletter
Coming Events
Parting Shot

Past issues

The Fountain is published by the Office of Communications. Send news to Editor Lenel Parish at Photos are accepted. Submissions are due by Tuesday at 5 p.m. for the following week's issue. Director of Communications: Ruth Wardwell. Online: