HSU and College of the Redwoods form partnership for mutual benefit

Agreement aimed at making transfer process seamless

Humboldt State University President Tom Jackson Jr. and College of the Redwoods President Keith Flamer shared a smile Friday as they signed an agreement forging a partnership between the two schools. (Shomik Mukherjee — The Times-Standard)
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Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods have agreed to partner on future academic, athletic and campus-related programs, the presidents of both institutions announced in a news conference Friday.

The schools’ official agreement doesn’t make clear what specific programs are anticipated to emerge from this new partnership but promises collaboration on “joint academic programs, admissions, intercollegiate athletics, university housing, campus safety,” and a commitment to discuss future partnership opportunities.

With fanfare, HSU President Tom Jackson Jr. and CR President Keith Flamer exchanged ceremonial gifts and posed for photos as they touted the agreement’s importance.

“We both firmly believe in the role that our two institutions play in serving not only students but changing the workforce of this particular area for the betterment of the future,” Jackson said at Friday’s conference.

Staff, faculty and possibly students from both schools will serve on a steering committee built to determine what specific joint programs will look like, according to the agreement.

With the agreement, the campus’ relationship has “grown much stronger,” Jackson said, adding that he feels personally connected to the partnership as a former community college student himself.

The presidents’ ultimate goal, they said, is to continue creating pathways for CR students to transfer to HSU and obtain four-year degrees.

“I would love to get HSU involved in our strategic plan,” said Flamer, who joined CR as president in 2015, “so that we understand what they want to do and they understand what we want to do.”

Flamer said he and Jackson began speaking about a potential partnership almost immediately after Jackson arrived in May as HSU’s new president.

Jackson, the former president of Black Hills State University in South Dakota, was immediately receptive to collaboration, Flamer said.

Of the students who want to transfer from CR, the majority are set on going to HSU, Flamer said. He praised former President Lisa Rossbacher’s recognition of community college’s value but said Jackson’s direct knowledge of community college systems will be an important key to the partnership’s success.

Shomik Mukherjee can be reached at 707-441-0504. 

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