South Florida Community College to Become South Florida State College
During its Sept. 29 meeting, the South Florida Community College District Board of Trustees (DBOT) unanimously voted to change the name of South Florida Community College to South Florida State College.
Though the vote was originally slated for the November meeting, it did not come as a surprise that the DBOT made a motion to vote immediately. “After the approval of the baccalaureate degree last week, the SFCC DBOT was ready to continue moving forward,” said Tim Backer, chair, DBOT.
During the meeting, the DBOT was presented with a list of the top 12 names agreed upon by a survey of SFCC employees. The results of the survey showed that two-thirds of SFCC’s employees preferred “South Florida” and two-thirds of employees preferred a name with “State” in it.
“The board liked ‘South Florida State College’ as well as the choices with ‘Heartland’ in the name, but we were also interested in what SFCC’s staff and faculty wanted,” Backer said. “After reviewing the employee survey results, which showed so many were behind ‘South Florida State College’ as the new name, we decided not to wait, made a motion to vote, and agreed upon the name unanimously. We are happy to continue moving forward.”
The main reason behind the name change is the addition of the new baccalaureate program. “By adding ‘State’ to the name, the transcripts of students who earn their bachelor’s degrees from our college will show that they earned it from an institution that is authorized to offer bachelor’s degrees,” said Dr. Norm Stephens, SFCC president. “The new name will be a clear reflection of the expanding mission of our college.”
The name will now be presented to the legislature. A bill will recommend that the date for the official change be effective on July 1, 2012. “The legislature must approve the name change because there are laws in which South Florida Community College is specifically named, and these laws will have to be updated to reflect our new name,” said Dr. Stephens.
Internally, branding and marketing of the new name is set to begin immediately, and a taskforce will be established to identify all of the possible consequences the name change will have on the college including changes to documents, student records and transcripts, signage, and the college web site. While the design of the college logo will likely change, the panther mascot and school colors will remain the same.
“This will be the third name for the college,” said Dr. Stephens. “In 1965, we originally were named South Florida Junior College and then became South Florida Community College in 1984. Becoming South Florida State College is the next logical step in the college’s mission to serve the people who live in DeSoto, Hardee, and Highlands counties.”