Friday, October 12, 2007

Traditional inauguration or community event?

Invitations recently went out for a community event on Friday, October 26th. The event will include a brief formal element that will serve as my official inauguration to serve as the fifth president in the 61 year history of MVCC. The focus of the event however, is to have noted journalist and author David Brancaccio spend an evening with us discussing the dynamics of a changing community such as ours here in the Mohawk Valley and the role education has to play in creating the future.

While some might have hoped for an event that focused, or included employees in more meaningful ways, I chose this format for a number of reasons. In terms of a meaningful event for employees, I hope we have meaningful events every day in the normal course of events on campus in both Rome and Utica. I do believe this format will be a meaningful event, as it magnifies our ability as a college to take every opportunity to create moments for learning - and with Mr. Brancaccio on the program, I'm sure it will be.

I wanted to seize this opportunity to try something a little different. I feel that something else was needed in lieu of a traditional inauguration, with administration and faculty in academic regalia marching in a processional of some kind. Rather, this is an opportunity for us to turn outward and engage our constituents in conversation and thinking about our community and the issues we face in this region.

A community reception will be held prior to the evening event to recognize our sponsors of this event, donors to the MVCC Foundation, and elected officials. The only staff invited to this community reception were the Executive Team, the presidents of the Professional Association and the Association of Mohawk Valley Adminsitrators, and the Chair of the College Senate. They were invited to help represent the College at the reception with so many community constituents in attendance.

David Brancaccio is a well-respected journalist who has covered a vast array of topics for National Public Radio and Bill Moyers and has some unique perspectives that he's gained through his work as co-host of NOW on PBS. The evening will be an engaging and enlightening experience for all who attend and should shed light on the significant position Mohawk Valley Community College enjoys in the future of our community.

I hope you and a guest will be able to attend.