Innovate Knox Initiative Update

Dear Knox Community,

Earlier this year, we asked you to share with us your ideas on ways to improve Knox. We called this initiative Innovate Knox. We received numerous submissions and have selected four proposals. As stated in the submission guidelines, preference was given to initiatives that will lead to revenue enhancement, improve efficiency and productivity, and/or lead to significant cost savings. Funding for the Innovate Knox initiative was provided by a one-time $100,000 endowment draw authorized by the Knox College Board of Trustees.

We received 12 proposals from members of the Knox community, ranging from ideas on how to improve operational efficiency to new areas of potential growth in our admission efforts. Throughout February and March, we reviewed the proposals, sought additional information when needed, and reviewed them once again, ultimately choosing to move forward with four:

Energy Audit—Knox has had two energy audits in the past 20 years, with the most recent in 2006. Suggestions from those audits have been implemented on campus resulting in successful reductions in energy costs, but updates in energy-efficient technologies and the effects of time on our buildings mean that an updated energy audit could lead to new opportunities for energy cost savings.

Knox GROW—a program to engage the more than 100 hourly and salaried supervisory staff and their roughly 600 student workers in ongoing dialogues designed to identify and reinforce transferable skills learned by students on the job. Its intent is to promote job productivity and satisfaction for both Knox staff and students. Planned implementation of the program will begin with the Seymour Library staff.

Human Resources Software—this is a cloud-based software system that will help streamline a host of record-keeping processes within Human Resources, including applicant tracking, time-off requests and tracking, electronic signatures and document completion and storage, employee onboarding, workflows, and performance management (future), saving the College both time and money.

International Recruitment—the College currently has one full‐time admission counselor to work with more than 600 international applicants each year (up from 250 applicants 10 years ago). By adding an additional international admission officer, we will be able to more fully realize the potential of the international market, especially in growing areas like China and Southeast Asia, with the goal of enrolling 5-10 more students each year.

While there are four proposals that will be funded, we are exploring the implementation of some of the other proposals through other avenues. We will keep you informed on the development and progress of the four proposals that received funding.

Thanks to all who submitted proposals. The imagination, creativity, and ingenuity of the Knox community never fails to inspire us.


Senior Staff

Creating Inclusive Organizations: invitation to participate in trainings

Dear Staff and Faculty,

The Senior Staff and the Center for Intercultural Life encourage you to come together for two opportunities focused on creating an inclusive, socially just campus community. The presenter at these opportunities will join us online but the Knox participants will be together in a room to be designated once we know how many people have signed up.

On Thursday, April 26 and Thursday, May 17 (both from 11am-2pm) social justice educator Dr. Kathy O’Bear will facilitate two virtual trainings that will provide us with knowledge and skills needed to create meaningful and sustainable organizational change. Obear has over 30 years of experience as an organizational development consultant and trainer specializing in creating inclusion, team and organizational effectiveness, conflict resolution, and change management.

Specifically, participants in these virtual institutes will:

–use an Inclusion Lens to engage in authentic dialogue about the current climate on campus;

–apply the Multicultural Organizational Development Model and identify critical Inclusive Indicators of a multicultural organizations;

–identify fundamental multicultural competencies for students, staff, and faculty;

–review and consider specific strategic actions that support organizational movement toward becoming a more inclusive and socially just campus; and

–determine next steps for creating greater inclusion and social justice within one’s spheres of influence.

You may participate in either or both of these virtual training institutes. Please RSVP to Tianna Cervantez at by Thursday, April 19. Meeting locations will be shared soon, and lunch will be provided. If you have any additional questions, please ask Tianna.

Additionally, free 70-minute introductory webinars are available two weeks prior to each institute (Thursday, April 12 and Thursday, May 3–both at 11am). The webinars–which you may listen to on your own at any location–provide a useful primer for those of us participating in the institutes. You can also participate in the webinars if you are unable to participate in the institutes. Register on your own for the April 12 free webinar here. (Registration for the May 3 webinar will be available soon.)

In order to provide this opportunity to all who wish to participate, supervisors are encouraged to accommodate this important request.