September 1, 2022
Brock arrived at a pivotal moment in CIIS’ history. For more than 50 years, CIIS has been making transformation in the service of self, society, and the planet. We have become a beacon for radically curious and committed individuals who are seeking meaningful growth, academic rigor, innovative research, and collaborative community. Our programs and offerings are unlike any found in higher education today. Radical curiosity, fearless inquiry, values-based education, transdisciplinary approaches, multiple epistemological approaches, cutting-edge scholarship, and pioneering curricula undergirds everything we do. We have reached our plane in terms of distinction.
And yet for all this growth and maturation, CIIS’ light has still not been able to cast as far and wide as it deserves. To be sure, our leaders and stewards over the decades have worked hard to ensure that our founders’ vision, mission, and commitments endure, but efforts to rachet up its prominence have been hindered by financial and structural challenges. The COVID pandemic, economic instability, and social unrest has introduced its own challenges, both to higher education generally, and CIIS specifically.
In one year, we have restructured the institution into four new divisions each with a new division head, elevated the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with the University’s first Chief Diversity Officer at its head, brought Kathy Littles back to CIIS to serve as Provost, instituted the Restoration and Reinvestment Action Plan, including a much-needed equity audit and salary adjustment process, and kicked off a new six-year Strategic Plan — “Building on Commitment: CIIS@60” — that doubles-down on (and updates) our Seven Commitments and includes building a University endowment.
As evidenced by the overflow of positive energy and tributes of thanks expressed at the Faculty/Staff retreat this Tuesday about the future of CIIS and the renewed enthusiasm from the Board of Trustees who have made unprecedented donations to support our work and community this past year, it is not a stretch to say that CIIS has undergone its own radical transformation, thanks to Brock’s leadership.
Change is never easy, but the palpable ways in which we have witnessed our community come together, support one another in new and exciting ways, and plan together for a shared and sustainable future has breathed new life into CIIS.
Please join us in wishing Brock a wonderful first CIIS Anniversary. We are excited to see where year two in his tenure takes us.