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Employees keep on giving

Submitted by on October 1, 2009 – 8:26 amNo Comment

Dr.-Norman-Stephens-wideDear Colleagues,

It’s campaign season at the college. We have a capital campaign, Just Imagine . . . , for our exciting new Theatre for the Performing Arts. We are continuing the effort of providing scholarships and other financial assistance to our students and employees through the SFCC Foundation; and the United Way’s 2009 plea for support continues through October. It’s not too late to join your colleagues in supporting these worthy causes. Thanks to the generosity of our employees, we are close to achieving our goals in each of these campaigns. As of the end of September, we’ve reached 93 percent of our $12,000 goal for the United Way, which amounts to a significant increase over last year and makes us a top-performing organization in our region. The Just Imagine . . . capital campaign has surpassed the 90 percent level toward our goal of $1.5 million. The community support for the renovation of the former SFCC Auditorium has been overwhelming and heartwarming. This is especially true when you consider these difficult economic times. We’re well on our way.

The Panther Spirit pins are going fast. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been personally delivering these unique and attractive pins to employees who are members of the Florida Association of Community Colleges and who support both the SFCC Foundation and the United Way campaign. It’s been gratifying to see a colleague smile as I hand him or her a pin. In several cases, I’ve had to explain the reason for presenting this token of appreciation. That makes it even more meaningful, because it shows that these employees support the college and United Way willingly, not because they are getting a pin. It is a nifty pin, and it is not too late to get one.

We’re trying something new this year, and it will require the participation and support of all SFCC employees. Friday, Oct. 16, has been designated Assessment Day 2009. This will be a time for us to evaluate our effectiveness in serving our students and communities. We will also review our strategic planning to ensure that we are focused on our core mission, and that we set priorities and allocate limited resources appropriately toward that end. Most employees will be involved in the Assessment Day 2009 program, but some will be asked to help keep the college open for basic services for students and others who come to our campuses. We plan to conclude the day with a special lawn party commencing at 3 p.m. with lots of good food and entertainment for everyone. We’re going to work hard and then have some fun at the end of the day. 

It’s time to begin thinking about the 2009 President’s Awards. To continue this wonderful tradition, I’m asking for your assistance in identifying those outstanding employees who have given exemplary service to our students and to South Florida Community College. As in the past, all of the President Award nominees will be recognized. But in selecting each award recipient, preference will be given to those who have not received that particular President’s Award in the past. I will recognize this year’s President’s Award recipients at our annual holiday luncheon in December. Nominations are due by noon on Monday, Nov. 9. As in past years, I will involve last year’s recipients in the selection process. All of your nominations are greatly appreciated by me, the selection committee, and most of all, by the nominees. 

Seasonal flu shots will be available in the Human Resources Conference Room, Highlands Campus, on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 3-5 p.m. Unfortunately, we have not yet been informed of the availability of the H1N1 vaccination in our area, but news reports indicate a mid-October release date. We are working with local providers to inform employees and students in the higher risk groups about prevention and about the vaccination as soon as it becomes available. So far, we have not experienced unusual absenteeism for this time of year, but the season has only just begun. 

Summer enrollment finished about 10 percent above the previous year, but early indications of fall term enrollment indicate a smaller increase. Traditional college student enrollment is running about 10 percent over last fall, but some workforce-related enrollments have declined in certain programs. Because of new admission requirements, the Career Academy at SFCC and dual enrollment in all three counties has declined slightly compared to last year.

 Take care,

Norm Stephens

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