It is the essence of what we do (or should do) every day. It shows in many ways. Excellence is one of South Florida State College’s seven core values, the key guiding principles that define and guide us.
Last December in our annual planning meeting with members of the District Board of Trustees, I pledged that we will be known for excellence in our service to our constituents. In this context, our constituents are our support base, our friends and our customers, both internally and externally. If you asked what excellence means to me, I proffer excellence fosters a responsive posture to opportunities that deal with expanding the talents and skills of area residents through our teaching/learning platform. Excellence is part of our fabric — determined to meet existing and emerging considerations that result in solving problems, creating jobs, attracting and retaining employment opportunities, and supporting a culture that considers the education enterprise as the facilitator of knowledge acquisition to foster fundamental workforce and economic development.
Fortunately at SFSC, excellence serves as a reminder, not a mandate. We observe excellence everywhere, from the competitive involvement – by our athletic teams, in our cultural programs, through the daily care exhibited by our maintenance, grounds, and custodial teammates, and most definitely by our amazing faculty who uphold excellence through the curriculum. Evidence confirms excellence. Take two recent examples within our sector of higher education: the recognition by the Washington Monthly, placing SFSC in the top 50 colleges in the nation, and the recognition by the Aspen Institute, placing SFSC in the top 10 percent of all colleges in our sector of higher education. Hence, excellence becomes a reminder; albeit an important element in our value base. As we move toward more accountable systems of funding that involve measureable performance indicators, we will need to display, document, and practice excellence. It is essential to our present and our future.
Recently, a report released by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) credited our sector of educational with producing an economic impact of $809 billion, or 5.4 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. Further, for every $1 a student invests in education, they earn $4.80 in future higher wages. It is an excellent investment opportunity.
At SFSC, we celebrate excellence every day. We also proclaim that excellence is a focal point of our operations, a core value worthy of our committed attention. Along with the other six core values, excellence serves to define us through the eyes of the public. As I make bold pledges, I request your help to uphold all core values and to let me know how we can continue to inspire excellence for the benefit of all employees, students, and the residents of our service district.