A Letter from Dr. Jake Bucher

“Place Matters”

As a Sociologist, when I talk about “place matters,” it is in reference to income inequality, access to resources (education, health, food, etc.), and social determinants of health. As the Provost for Regis, I have been reflecting on “place matters” in reference to our community.

First, as we continue to try to find ways to do our work with significant budget limitations for this year, while implementing substantial structural and operational changes for future budget navigation, the perceived impossibilities are not exaggerated, and the felt pain is very real. Still, every colleague I talk to at other institutions, and every article I read related to higher education, this is not a Regis-specific problem or situation. If you work in higher education at this time, budget cuts and structural and cultural changes to our way of working are inevitable.

A second inevitability is one that has been discussed these last few weeks as we all process the violence and loss, and that is the inevitability of loss and grief along the human journey. While the confluence of tragic events in a short span of time is somewhat unique, each of us experiences and navigates trauma in and throughout our lives.

I share these two examples as things we have faced that can feel very specific to Regis, that if we could have done this differently or had more of that, that we could have avoided these hardships. Yet, the realities that are changing higher education, and those leading humans to encounter tragedy, are unavoidable inevitabilities, and so the question is not how we could have avoided them, but how do we get through them. And my answer is “place matters.”

Every institution is trying to figure out how to do their good work with fewer resources, and every person and community deals with loss. Not every institution or community has our heart, lives our mission the way we do, and not every place has members that are truly for each other (as we are for others). For me, the work is the same everywhere – but the place isn’t – and I want to do this work here and go through it with you all. Place matters, you all matter, and it is you and this place that will get us through these and other inevitabilities.