Eduardo J. Padrón
Office of the President
300 N.E. Second Avenue
Miami, Florida 33132-2297
Message From the President
Monday, August 25, 2008
2008-2009: A Year of Opportunity
Welcome to the 2008-09 academic year. This year will be one of great challenge, but also of great opportunity -- opportunity to make history, opportunity to make strides towards our numerous goals, and opportunity to celebrate. Here are some of the College's most important projects and priorities for 2008-09:
The economic challenges we face have never been more imposing. Forecasts, both state and national, suggest that the worst is yet to come. The state's inability to fund the College appropriately is having an enormous impact and there is no way to sugar coat our dilemma: we are stretched to the breaking point in serving our students and this community. While we did see the crisis coming, our efforts to economize are only a stopgap. We are at a crisis point and more than ever, we need to make the case for the essential importance of this institution and the necessity of college learning in today's workforce environment.
That's the reality, but as important as it is to face facts, it is just as important to keep our heads up and continue to fulfill our mission. We will get through this. Continuing to be creative and determined is our best armament, and as I see it, there is no reason that MDC can't continue to be the groundbreaking institution is has become. Together, we have the talent and commitment to make it happen.
In fact, we are poised to make great strides. As reported in April, MDC won two major victories in Tallahassee during the 2008 legislative session. The Florida Taxation & Budget Reform Commission approved our proposal for a constitutional amendment that would allow for local support of community colleges, and just as importantly, the College was selected to participate in the new State College Pilot Project.
This November, Amendment 8 will provide Florida voters an unprecedented opportunity -- the choice to offer local support to their community colleges. The power of each person’s vote can mean a new era of educational opportunity for our community. You will hear much about this important initiative in coming weeks as we unfold a plan to clearly communicate the meaning and possibility contained in Amendment 8.
The State College Pilot Project also offers unparalleled opportunities for the College and our community. Over the coming year we will be developing a plan that expands the scope and responsibility of this institution as never before. Becoming a state college, in essence a four-year institution, is an immense undertaking. Our plan will include new bachelor's degree programs with all the necessary curriculum, faculty and support development required. We aim to be the best for our students and community as we have always been, retaining our basic philosophy, our open door, our existing associate degree programs and our commitment to opportunity. Our work will shape the recommendations to the state for the continuing development of the State College system. Teams are being formed and your input will be essential in getting this project up and running effectively.
The pilot project, along with Amendment 8, offer a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to change the face of the College and expand higher education for our community.
Last year, the College signed the Learning Outcomes covenant, aimed at strengthening student performance. We will continue to integrate the learning outcomes throughout our curriculum, and ensure that graduates of MDC have every opportunity to realize the 10 MDC learning outcomes.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Miami Book Fair International, Nov. 9-16. In the weeks ahead, we’ll be unveiling the poster by renowned artist Art Spiegelman, as well as our silver-anniversary array of authors and events. Cultura del Lobo will celebrate 18 years of groundbreaking performances and March will bring us the 26th annual Miami International Film Festival.
These are but a handful of initiatives in progress for the new academic year. Several exciting educational activities will be unveiled throughout the year on various campuses. As we begin the fall semester, I wish you all the rewards of hard work, intellectual pursuit and active participation in this unparalleled learning community.