MCC Daily Tribune

Open Letter to the College Community

Monroe Community College has always been a leader.

From our earliest days, MCC has led by providing academic opportunity to a diverse community whose dreams of a college degree would otherwise go unrealized. Our College soon emerged as one of the gems of the SUNY system and earned a national reputation for excellence and innovation in service of student success. Today, we lead SUNY's most impactful and important projects, from rolling out guided pathways across the system to advancing open educational resources to connecting students from around the globe. Our faculty, staff, and students are influential voices in work central to creating understanding and opportunity, from the humanities to workforce development, from addressing food insecurity at home to funding water safety on the other side of the world. On behalf of the Board, administration, and ourselves, we thank and respect you for the talent, care, and dedication you bring to our students. All of us are rightly proud of our shared College: who we are, what we do, and all that we accomplish.

As we celebrate MCC's successes, we know that the strength of our College comes from looking to the future. We honor the past, but we cannot live there. To meet the challenges on the horizon and seize the opportunities ahead of us, our College must change. This is not surprising. Our community is changing, our environment is changing, our students are changing. Whether the shifts are demographic, cultural, or economic, this dynamism defines and redefines us and our work--as it should. We were created to be a catalyst that transforms the future of our community and the lives of our students. It's in our DNA.

All of this does not for one minute mean that change is comfortable or welcome. It is hard, hits us at our core, and the sense of loss can be painful. Our reaction to change--constructive or destructive; outreach or isolation--defines us individually and defines our College. When discomfort turns to disagreement, our mutual commitment through Shared Governance to respect, collegiality, communication, and cooperation is essential. In the face of change, we feel an almost inescapable pull of the past, a powerful nostalgic sense that there was once a time when everything was better and we just need to go back there to make our problems go away. In truth, MCC thrives today, is stronger today because we have never given in to the pull of the past.

MCC is a leader because we drive change, we are not driven by it. We set the bar high for ourselves, for community colleges, for SUNY, for higher education across the country--and then we set it higher. Time and time again, we push ourselves to be better because our College has always put our students and their success at the center of all that we do. This is our common ground; they are why we are here.

MCC's mission is much more than words on a piece of paper: it is a lived experience. You bring it to life through your incredible work in our classrooms, offices, labs, and studios. Our students live our mission as they serve our community, improving the future for themselves, their families, their neighbors, and all of us.

Monroe Community College has always been a leader. Thanks to you, we always will be.

Barbara P. Lovenheim, Ph.D.

Chair, MCC Board of Trustees and Professor Emerita, MCC

Anne M. Kress, Ph.D.

President, MCC

Kress, Anne
Office of the President
11/12/2018