January President’s Update

Students at the Ocala Campus enjoyed Welcome Back and Club Rush on Jan. 15.

Dear CF Team,

I am happy to share that we are now among the top 1% of colleges in the nation for affordability. CF is No. 29 among the four-year public or private colleges for lowest tuition on the U.S. Department of Education College Affordability and Transparency List. This is great news for our students.

We learned last week that Angela Martin, Associate Professor of Nursing, has been recognized by the American Association of Community Colleges with the Dale P. Parnell Distinguished Faculty Award. Recipients demonstrate passion for the students and the classroom; show willingness to support students, inside and outside of the classroom; are inclined to participate in college committees; and go above and beyond what is required to ensure that students are successful in their academic endeavors. Please join me in congratulating Angela!

Charles “Chuck” Prince joined us on Jan. 2 as Vice President of Administration and Finance. Chuck brings more than 20 years of combined experience working in finance at the Florida Department of Education Division of Community Colleges, Florida Division of Retirement, College Center for Library Automation, Florida Department of Insurance, the Florida Virtual Campus and most recently as the CFO of ISF Inc. in Tallahassee. He joins us at a critical time as we begin the budget planning process for 2020-2021. Special thanks to Steve Ash for all his great work serving during the interim period!

As we continue our budget realignment discussions, I would like to share that in addition to the downsizing of our athletics program, we have identified an additional $400,000 in savings across multiple areas; this will get us to our goal of approximately $1 million in budget savings without affecting additional faculty or staff positions. The savings will come from operational efficiencies, such as changing hours in some student service areas, open positions, cost savings provided by the CF Foundation and Appleton Museum of Art. Thank you for your input for this process.

As we align our budget priorities with our statutory mission, we are also identifying areas to reinvest in our students, team and community. Here are a few examples:
• We will allocate $50,000 in realigned annual scholarship funds to support new local access scholarships. We are developing criteria to increase access to the most needy students in our community.
• We are focused on critical health care workforce needs in Dental Assisting and Nursing. We can now expand our Dental program to include an Associate in Science in Dental Hygiene. A local donor has already provided an $800,000 gift to renovate and outfit the new lab at the Hampton Center. We can now launch a new Paramedic to R.N. program, which increases the number of nurses to help fill the more than 220 openings for qualified nurses at health facilities in our service district. A donor has also provided $300,000 for renovating a nursing skills lab for this program. The savings from our resource realignment will cover the recurring costs of these expenses while our generous donors have covered our one-time capital expenditures for renovations.

The quality of our faculty – as demonstrated by Angela Martin – and our new affordability ranking reinforce the value that we bring to our community and our students. Thank you for your role in making CF our community’s first choice for quality higher education.