April President’s Update

April 24, 2019

Good morning, team,

We are just days away from the end of the semester and we have much to celebrate!

I had an opportunity to share some of our successes at the American Association of Community Colleges Annual Convention in Orlando last week. Dr. Jillian Ramsammy, vice president of Institutional Effectiveness and College Relations, and I reported how CF has embraced the national challenge for community colleges to educate an additional 5 million students with degrees, certificates, or other credentials by 2020. Our work – which includes everything from centralized advising to creating more than 140 academic pathways – is making a difference for our students and our community. Thanks to all of you!

I am excited to share that our Radiography program earned accreditation by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. The JRCERT accreditation is effective immediately and will apply to the upcoming graduates of the Radiologic Technology program. Congratulations to the Health Sciences team for ensuring a quality educational experience for our students.

A few questions have come to me about employee raises for the coming year. It’s too early to know what our available revenues are going to be for the next fiscal year. The legislative session is still underway and they will determine our state appropriations and performance funding. In addition, enrollment is projected to decline again by 1% for next year which will reduce tuition revenues. Please know that senior staff and I place a high priority on providing our team members with raises when funds are available. We are monitoring Tallahassee daily and working our delegation members to support increased funding for the college. I will keep you updated as soon as we get a clearer picture of revenues. Let’s send our positive energy to our legislative leaders to support our college and system!

Last week, I participated on an education panel with the school board superintendents from Citrus, Levy, and Marion counties at the first State of the Workforce Conference: Cultivating Your 21st Century Workforce hosted by CareerSource Citrus/Levy/Marion. Topics covered included state and regional economic and labor market growth projections, creating an intergenerational work place, and effective business and education partnerships. It was a great opportunity to showcase the fabulous work we are doing in preparing students for work and life.

Please join us on May 3 for our annual Employee Service and Recognition Awards. We will recognize service anniversaries, Patriot PRIDE honorees, faculty advancements and more. The program will culminate with the CF Foundation Gabor Awards. We will begin with breakfast in the Patriot Café, 7:30-8:45 a.m. Our program starts at 9 a.m. in the Dassance Fine Arts Center.

Also on May 3, we will honor our students in two graduation ceremonies at First Baptist Church of Ocala. This semester we have 1,592 graduates, with 674 graduates participating in commencement! The 3 p.m. ceremony will celebrate our bachelor’s degree, Associate in Science and certificate students. The 6 p.m. ceremony is for Associate in Arts students, the largest group. Our student speaker is nursing student Loida Beatriz Garcia Flores, and our community speaker is Kevin Sheilley, president and CEO of the Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership. To ensure that every graduate has someone in the audience to celebrate their milestone, we will require tickets for graduation. You can learn more about the process here.

We will begin our summer schedule the week of May 6. Once again, we will follow an 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. schedule during the four-day work weeks. We will resume our five-day work week on Aug. 5. Enjoy the extra time with family and friends.

As we wrap up the semester, please know how much I appreciate all that you do for our students, your teammates and the college.