President, Finger Lakes Community College
Years in current role: 5
What do you enjoy most about your role?
There are two things I enjoy the most. First, interacting with students, faculty and staff where I have the pleasure of watching students learn and grow, and to observe just how dedicated our faculty and staff are in serving our students and supporting them in achieving their dreams and goals. Second, participating in commencement and graduation activities where we get to celebrate our students’ success. Spring commencement is my absolute favorite day of the year!
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?
Obviously the pandemic and trying to provide the best overall support for our students to learn in virtual modalities, dealing with resource constraints, and working to keep our entire college community safe. The biggest overall challenge was dealing with all of the unknowns and uncertainty. There is an acronym for that kind of environment that I learned about many years ago that aptly fits the pandemic environment we all faced last year, and in some ways as we begin this school year. That acronym is VUCA, which stands Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. I think that neatly sums up the kind of environment we all faced last year.
What do you see as the biggest changes in the higher education industry in the next 3-5 years?
Declining enrollments within our region, providing better health and welfare support for our students, and evolving learning modalities to support changing student needs and preferences.
What college class that you haven’t taken would you be most interested in taking and why?
Foreign language classes. The world is far more globalized these days. The best class I had during my entire education was a Humanities class that covered the art and literature of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance Era. I learned so much from that class that I still apply in my life today!