Eduardo J. Padrón
Office of the President
300 N.E. Second Avenue
Miami, Florida 33132-2297
Message From the President
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Taking Control of our Future
We have a mission to accomplish at Miami Dade College, one that has never been quite so important. That core mission is very straightforward: serve the needs of students and enhance their learning, and protect the jobs of the faculty and staff who are the backbone of the institution.
Because of the steps that we have taken to ensure MDC’s financial stability, we have been able to preserve our core services and protect jobs to this point. But the realities of the state economy and funding prospects for MDC make it eminently clear that each and every one of us will need to participate in a college-wide effort to secure the future of the College.
Our challenges seem to grow with each new semester and each session of the legislature. Our recent history is summarized as follows:
- Began the 2008-09 school year with $13.7 million less than the previous year.
- Funding losses grew to $21 million following the January special session of the legislature, which mandated an additional 4% cut.
- Overall, MDC has lost 10% of its funding.
- College is presently hosting 12,000 unfunded students.
Recognizing the severity of the looming financial crisis, our earlier preparations have buffered us, but we have taken additional steps to protect our basic services. Instituting hiring and travel freezes and a reduction of overhead costs have saved crucial dollars, but without additional faculty and support staff, we are stretching our resources in the face of a 15% enrollment increase since last year.
This year’s budget and legislative proposals
All indications to date suggest another round of dramatic cuts to education budgets. Community colleges are bracing for an additional reduction in funding from 10-15%. At the same time, our local legislators have introduced local option referendum bills in both the House and the Senate. (Stay tuned for the legislative update for the progress of these bills and other legislative matters.)
What you can do
We have already felt the impact of home grown initiatives in reducing overhead and increasing productivity. Just a couple of examples speak volumes:
- By purging rolls, faculty members can save the College $.5 million. It only takes a few minutes for each person but the cumulative value of the faculty’s effort is enormous.
- Eliminating bottled water from offices across the college will contribute to saving several positions.
- Share your cost saving and productivity ideas. Undoubtedly, there are many more creative approaches to eliminate waste and use our resources more productively. Please e-mail your ideas to me at email@example.com.
Communicating with legislators
Our collective voice is the most powerful in all of higher education if we choose to make it heard. Each of us has to make the effort. This is our duty as citizens to ensure that the will of the people is understood and recognized in Tallahassee.
- The message is simple: 1) Protect funding for MDC and community colleges throughout the state, as our institutions have never been more crucial to our economic stability and growth; and 2) Support the local option bills that will give our community the chance to support MDC.
- Encourage friends and relatives to communicate with legislators. The community’s 62% vote in favor of Amendment 8 is a clear demonstration of support.
To identify your state senator and representative: click on www.myflorida.com/ and scroll to the bottom right corner of the page to “Find Your Legislator.” (Zip + 4 will identify exact House district when Zip has more than one legislator.) Please keep in touch with campus legislative contacts listed below for additional information as the legislative session unfolds.
The recent visit by Secretary of Education Duncan and Dr. Biden confirms that community colleges must play a crucial role in retooling the American workforce and turning around our economy. That enterprise begins with our effort to reaffirm MDC’s mission and ensure that our students have the best possible chance to succeed.
James Watson – Homestead: firstname.lastname@example.org; ext. 7-5075
Ana Maria Demahy – West: email@example.com; ext. 7-8919;
Malou Harrison – North: firstname.lastname@example.org; ext. 7-1565
Gloria Baez – Kendall: email@example.com; ext. 7-2992
Bob Wilcosky – Medical: firstname.lastname@example.org; ext. 7-4014
Maria Jofre – Hialeah: email@example.com; ext. 7-8749
Arnold Munoz & German Munoz – Wolfson: firstname.lastname@example.org; ext.7-3604; email@example.com; ext. 7-3024
Brian Stokes – IAC: firstname.lastname@example.org; ext. 7-6286