Richland > Center for Renewal and Wholeness in Higher Education > Whole People, Organizations, & Communities

Whole People, Organizations, & Communities

Whole People

Whole people live life to the fullest-balancing personal, professional, and community-service commitments-and work productively, with passion and integrity. CRWHE's approach to renewal and wholeness in education involves creating space for personal identity and integrity to flourish. The rigors of academic life and the projections of others can cause educators to become cut off from their own emotions, beliefs, and values. By participating in retreats, dialogue groups, and other renewal activities, individuals rediscover and affirm all of who they are. Whole people-renewed in heart, mind, and spirit-are more effective in their work and more authentic in their relationships with students and colleagues.

Renewal activities provide opportunities for contemplation and solitude, away from everyday pressures and distractions. Poetry and stories from various wisdom traditions, as well as movement and the arts media, are explored in silence and in dialogue with others who listen deeply, without judgment. Retreats and retreat series are organized around themes related to renewal and wholeness. Retreats for faculty and staff contemplating retirement and retreats for students are two of the newer offerings created by CRWHE-prepared facilitators.

Whole Organizations

Whole people form the heart of whole organizations. Although CRWHE's approach focuses on personal/professional renewal and wholeness, it does so in the context of reflection and dialogue in a safe, trusting, healthy community of colleagues. In settings where colleagues listen deeply, respecting each others' confidentiality and neither invading nor evading the other, individuals flourish and a strong esprit de corps emerges.

CRWHE's program of renewal and wholeness is not a quick fix for institutional dysfunction. Yet the investment in whole-people development can contribute significantly to a climate for organizational transformation. Whole people grow and thrive in well-run organizations that value all of who they are. Educators who are valued and affirmed will pay it forward to their students, their colleagues, and the communities they serve.

Today more attention is being paid to the importance of whole people in vital, successful, whole organizations. Two examples are the article on "Inner Work Life" that appeared in the May 2007 issue of Harvard Business Review as well as the book, Harvard Business Review on Bringing Your Whole Self to Work, published in 2008.

Richland College, CRWHE's host institution, was recognized in 2005 for its whole people, whole organization culture as the first community college recipient of the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. That same year Richland was also honored with the Texas Award for Performance Excellence.

Whole Communities

Whole, sustainable communities promote the development of social equity and justice, economic sufficiency, and a healthy planet-the triple bottom line of sustainable living. It is a fact that many sustainability activities focus on the environment. CRWHE embraces a more holistic approach that emphasizes all three elements of the triple bottom line. This holistic emphasis is central to CRWHE's mission.

Colleges and universities are asked increasingly to provide leadership in sustainable community building. Organizations such as the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) assist leaders in taking positive action.

CRWHE is dedicated to the renewal of whole people who form the heart of whole organizations that are vital to sustaining whole communities. Inherent in this mission is a focus on relationships that bridge the individual's inner life of mind and spirit to the outer world of community action and service.