President’s Update April 2017

April 5, 2017

Dear CF Family:

It has been a GGRRREAT month for the college! OK, that’s my Tony the Tiger from days gone by.

I am pleased to share that at the March 29 CF District Board of Trustees meeting, the board supported adjusting summer hours to 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Employees will work a 30-hour week beginning the week of May 8 and ending the week of Aug. 4. We recognize the value that you bring to the college and this measure allows us to give you the gift of time to focus on family, friends and yourselves!

The board met at our new Vintage Farm Campus and toured the facility, which will house our Agribusiness and Equine Studies programs. Many of you have asked if the farm is open for departmental meetings. Until we get a plan and resources in place to support its operation, the farm will remain closed to the public. There are active electric fences for livestock, a working veterinary clinic, and limited parking spaces. There are some events taking place for program-specific functions. We will make sure there is opportunity soon for faculty and staff to tour the farm. Meanwhile, you can get a birds-eye view in this video. Thanks to CF retiree Mac Dismuke, who captured the footage via drone, and Darin McClain, who created the video.

During the meeting, Mr. and Ms. CF Morey Lewis and Shelby Willard shared their experience with board members. Mr. and Ms. CF embody the spirit of the College of Central Florida with academic achievement, involvement in campus and community organizations, and volunteer experiences.

More good news! The Marion County Hospital District has committed $6 million for a state-of the-art health sciences center at CF. The commitment puts the college in a much better position as we request another $23.7 million from the Legislature for the building. We just had our largest gift ever at $2.95 million with the farm, and now we have doubled it with this gift from the hospital district.

We also recently learned that the college is ranked No. 30 on the 2017-2018 list of “50 Best Colleges for Adult Education.” The ranking was developed from U.S. News and World Report’s list of 100 colleges and universities with the highest percentage of students over the age of 25. The factors that made CF stand out on this list include affordability, small class sizes, online programs, baccalaureate programs, student retention, special service programs, and awards. Congratulations, team!

Mark your calendars for the Career and Professional Employees Council/Association of Florida Colleges Employee Appreciation Breakfast Thursday, April 27. Also, our annual college Employee Recognition and Gabor Awards will follow Friday, May 5, the same day as graduation.

The March of Dimes campaign is in full swing and the March for Babies will be held April 29 at the Baseline Trailhead in Ocala. Lace up your walking shoes and join the CF team to show your support.

As we near the end of the semester, please know how much I appreciate your dedication to the college, our students and the community. The great news mentioned earlier isn’t possible without a dynamic and passionate team focused on our students and community. When I asked the donor of Vintage Farm why he chose CF for his gift, he said it was the passion of employees he interacted with as well as the level of quality and attention to detail that staff put into the campus and facilities. Translation – he knows CF is a quality organization with great people! Thank you for all you do to make us shine. Together, we are changing lives.