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Seminole State College
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Presidential Report April 26, 2010
Thank You to our Trustees
Many thanks to Cindy Drago for attending the first Annual Service Recognition and Retiree Luncheon on April 9th at the Heathrow Country Club. We honored our retirees and employees who have reached milestones from 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 years. I heard comments from many that the luncheon and small gift made them feel especially appreciated. Many thanks to Dr. Claudia Salvano and her HR staff for spearheading this! We definitely need more celebrations like this in our future!
Also, many thanks to Cindy for agreeing to present the District Board of Trustees' Scholarship Awards at the local graduation ceremonies.
And many thanks to Scott Howat for testifying on our behalf at the PECO Hearing in Tallahassee last Thursday evening. Scott was given 3 minutes to tell the Legislators why their additional allocation of $10,250,000 for the Altamonte land is a good investment. Scott, I understand that you were incredibly eloquent. Thank you!
Professor Michael Hoover recently appeared on "Central Florida Matters" in an interview about local politics and three funding issues that face the Governor and the Florida Legislature: public school funding; affordable housing; and restoration of funding for the Florida Forever conservation trust fund. Congratulations, Professor Hoover!
Professor Bobbie Bell competed nationally and was selected for not one, but two, National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Landmark study grants. Since Bobbie can only accept one, he has chosen to study Native American Culture this summer and will be studying and visiting Native American historical sites in Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota. Congratulations to Professor Bell!
Professor Maurice Terrell was admitted to the PhD program in Music Education at the University of South Florida. He was offered a $10,000 annual stipend for an assistantship position, but graciously declined the offer in order to continue his full-time employment at Seminole State. Congratulations, Professor Terrell!
Dean Angela Kersenbrock was elected Vice Chair of Central Florida Regional Hospital's Board of Trustees. Congratulations, Dean Kersenbrock!
During the Preliminaries for the Board meeting, you heard about the many awards that our students received this spring. Yes, it has definitely been an amazing year for us. And, can you believe that we have our Fifth Jack Kent Cooke Scholar!
Many congratulations and thanks to all of our great faculty and staff who work so closely with these students and who dedicate long hours -- above and beyond -- to help our students succeed! You definitely inspire our students to greatness!
Seminole State's Student Government Association at the Sanford/Lake Mary and Oviedo Campuses were recognized at the FJCCSGA Conference in Tallahassee for having the 2nd and 3rd highest number of community service hours respectively in the district. Santiago Ossa was recognized for his service as FJCCSGA's State Elections Chair and Kayla Smith was recognized for her service as FJCCSGA District II Community Service Chair. While they were in Tallahassee, the students got a lesson in politics from Don Payton. Many thanks to Mauricio Garcia and Randy Pawlowski for the hours that they dedicate to our students!
ACCT Diversity Initiative
Seminole State was asked by The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) to provide information on our Diversity and Inclusion Program to be showcased with other community colleges' best practices. Our program now appears on ACCT's website. Many thanks to Yolanda Williams and her staff for their efforts on behalf of our diversity initiatives!
Jacob Knott was recognized as the Florida Community College Activities Association (FCCAA) Baseball Pitcher of the Week; Hope Bitzer was recognized as the FCCAA Softball Picher of the Week; and Seminole State ranked 7th in the FCCAA Softball Coaches' Poll with a game record of 31-9-1. SSC Softball team also ranked 16th in the nation in the NJCAA poll for the first time this year. Congratulations to Coaches Mike Nicholson and Courtney Miller and our students!
Chairman Lisa Greer has agreed to represent the Board at all three ceremonies. Please let Linda know which ceremonies you will be attending as they are always inspiring evenings!
Summer Work Hours
As a reminder, we begin our 4-day work week on May 14th until July 30th. We still work 37.5 hours during the week, but the days are compressed so that we conserve energy and provide Fridays off to most of our staff.
With only 5 days remaining in the Legislative Session, I received an email from Don Payton on Sunday evening at 9 p.m., that the budget negotiations were complete for the Florida College System. The news for the System, and for us based on our growth, is VERY GOOD. Because of the growth of our System, it appears as though there will be an operating budget increase of approximately 5% over the current year. In recognition of the rapid growth being experienced by schools such as Seminole State, one half of the $36 million in new dollars will go to fund growth specifically with the other half added to the regular funding formula. In addition, Seminole State is expected to receive $181,000 in baccalaureate funding, up from our current $100,000.
On the capital side of the budget, our PECO request is actually being funded ABOVE our request and includes an additional $10,000,000 for the purchase of the Altamonte property. Scott, you must have done an AMAZING job last week on our behalf!
So, while our unprecedented growth is not fully funded - given the layoffs that are being felt in most of the other segments in our community - and based on where we were at the start of the Legislative Session, we came out HUGE winners. Now, we just need to make sure that the Governor approves the budget and related bills. An increase in tuition is still undetermined. We expect that the Legislature will recommend 8% for the Florida College System, keeping in mind that the University System has already received approval for an increase of 15%. However, speculation is that the Governor may veto any tuition increase for us.
I have been involved with Phi Theta Kappa since my days as a student at St. Petersburg Junior College. That involvement extended to being an advisor for PTK, the Florida Ambassador, and now a member of the PTK International Foundation raising money for the national organization. Two weeks ago, I was privileged to attend the PTK Convention in Orlando. Being with 4000 spirited college Honors students was amazing. At the alumni dinner on Saturday evening, PTK International surprised me with the first ever President's Council medallion. I will be wearing it proudly at our Graduations, even as our PTK students will be in their gold stoles.
And this Friday, at Duke University, I will be inducted into the Higher Education Roundtable otherwise known as the "Lamplighters." Founded in 1958, membership in this group is by invitation only and includes representatives from Notre Dame, Brandeis, Georgetown, The Carnegie Foundation, the American Council on Education, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. It appears that I may be the only community college representative who has been invited to join a group of higher education communicators "concerned about the issues and challenges confronting higher education in the United States." The dialogue over the weekend should definitely be interesting given all the national focus on community colleges!
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