It is going to be a great year! This year, Cumberland County College celebrates its 50th anniversary. We have a rare opportunity to showcase the great talent and passionate individuals—faculty, staff, board members, donors, and countless others—who have propelled our students to great success for 50 years. We also have half a century of accomplishments by our students and alumni to share with the world. Our impact on the broader Cumberland county community has been deep and profound. We are proud of the officials, private citizens, and inaugural board members who saw it fitting to establish the college to provide opportunities for higher learning and socioeconomic mobility for the people of Cumberland County.
As important as our celebration, as we enter our 50th year, we have an unprecedented opportunity to envision what Cumberland County College in the 21st century should look like, how it should serve the community, and what kinds of impact in should have on the lives of the people residing here and on the environment.
As a sector, higher education has been facing a range of challenges from over-reliance on underpaid adjunct faculty, to high cost for students and families that are disproportionate to the economic returns at the undergraduate level, and a perception of being too slow to evolve, to cite a few of the issues. Our sector also faces challenges like an aging workforce, high health care costs, and the need to adapt and innovate with speed, agility, excellence, and responsiveness to a rapidly changing world, changing consumer preferences, demographics, and technology. As we look back 50 years, we also need to look forward so that we can nurture the kinds of leaders and citizens needed in the 21st century and create the conditions that will allow us to not just survive, but thrive for another 50 years.
As president, I am committed to leading a highly adaptable institution that is idea-driven with empowered individuals throughout the college and the hierarchy so that we can anticipate some of the changes that we can expect in the near future and evolve with the world that exists outside of academia. Our institution is going to embrace technology in a way that we have never done before. We will breathe and live our community mission. We will work as partners with our stakeholders with a level of cohesion not previously experienced so that we can maximize our collective impact. Most importantly, we will have fun as we work hard.
Cumberland County College is an institution that is change-ready and future-ready. It is my privilege to be a steward of this great college. We are creating a new model for higher education here in South Jersey and we are proud of it. We are not afraid to get our hands dirty and not afraid to take educated risks because our people and our community are worth it.
Welcome to the 2016-2017 academic year! Let’s build something great and agile for the 21st century.