Happy Thanksgiving! I wish it was possible to be with you in person today as we celebrate Thanksgiving together as CSP faculty and staff.
However, I give thanks for all of you and the work you do to prepare our students for “thoughtful and informed living, for dedicated service to God and humanity, for enlightened care of God’s creation, all within the context of the Christian Gospel.” What we do here at Concordia is a team effort where everyone is a significant contributor to our collective successes.
Our theme verse from Psalm 23, “He restores my soul,” is serving our community well this academic year. I pray that each of you have a personal sense of how God is restoring you individually, just as He collectively restores our community in service of our students, our community, and our world.
Each of you has had your own personal and professional challenges as we’ve navigated the past 18 months. Yet, despite what seems like constant pivots and disruptions, you’ve led and served our students graciously and thoughtfully. I commend you for your good work and want you to know that our board, executive leadership team, and I see, appreciate, and commend your hard work and diligent efforts.
Laurie and I were grateful to meet and get to know many of you better at the social hours we hosted this fall at the President’s Residence and through other in-person events. God has blessed Concordia with people who are both professionally gifted and talented and personally caring and engaging. You are our greatest resource, and God has blessed CSP and most importantly, our students, through you.
Last week, you may have seen a summary of the Great Colleges to Work For survey results in the CSP Digest. I appreciate each one of you who responded to the survey. Thank you for your constructive, honest, and thoughtful feedback. Your responses detailed many of the things we do well here, like clarity of roles and responsibilities, how well we collaborate and work together, and how well managers and department chairs support and lead their teams.
At the same time, you identified areas in which we can improve, including communication, appreciation, transparency in governance, and decision-making. We take your feedback seriously, and, working together with you, will use it to continue leveraging our strengths and improving our growth areas. We are committed to making CSP a great university at which to work.
Finally, for those who work in St. Paul, please make plans to join Laurie and me for the President’s Christmas Reception on Friday, December 10 at 5 pm. For our colleagues in Portland, we are working on an event in conjunction with commencement. It will be wonderful to celebrate Jesus, the one who restores our souls, as we conclude a successful semester together. More details on both events to come soon.
I thank God for each one of you, and pray that you have a blessed Thanksgiving.
Brian L. Friedrich