Monday, August 31, 2009

MVCC Athletics - Commitment to Excellence

As fall classes begin, our broad focus is getting students off to a great start academically. At the same time, we recently took a look at the success of our athletic programs. For our success last season, we have received the trophy for second place nationwide in the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators Cup Competition. This honor recognizes our 20 athletic teams' performance in national championships in 2008-09 compared to more than 100 other community colleges in the non-scholarship division III category. The only college to best us this year? College of DuPage--a college of more than 34,000 students near Chicago. We've never taken anything lower than fourth in our division in the six years this competition has been held.

MVCC currently offers 10 men's and 9 women's sports, plus one co-ed team. This represents one of the largest and most diverse two year college intercollegiate athletic programs in the country. A quick summary of the excellence achieved by our more than 350 student athletes and outstanding coaches last year is as follows:

Team Accomplishments:

  • 6 Conference Championships
  • 2 Regional Championships
  • 5 Regional Runner-ups
  • 16 Final Four appearances
  • 2 National Championships
  • 1 National Runner-up

Individual Accomplishments

  • 34 All-Conference
  • 67 All-Region
  • 25 All-Americans
  • 3 Conference Players of the Year
  • 2 Regional Players of the Year
  • 3 National Players of the Year

Coaches of the Year

  • 5 Conference
  • 2 National

Academic Awards

  • 11 All-Region
  • 9 All-American
  • 4 Teams Academic All-American

Overall Record

  • 417 wins
  • 185 losses
  • 5 ties
  • .673% Winning Percentage
  • 2nd Place

This is a linear continuation of decades of success for our athletic programs. MVCC is proud of its 17 national championships, 107 individual national champions and 330 NJCAA all-Americans…330 all-Americans!

Our mission is to promote student success and community involvement through a commitment to excellence and a spirit of service. Clearly, our athletic programs highlight those elements of student success and a commitment to excellence. Congratulations to the athletes and coaches on an outstanding year. I look forward to cheering on their continued success in the coming year! If you have any thoughts about our athletic programs at MVCC, please contact me at presblog@mvcc.edu.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Day One.

Enrollment is up 10 percent. MVCC has new deans and Academic Centers. The flowers on the Utica Campus and the trees on the Rome Campus are as beautiful as ever. The registrations on our Virtual Campus are generating 20 percent more credit hours than this time last year. Indeed, we are navigating much change here this fall.

We won’t have the official total for a few weeks, but at this point it appears likely that this fall will bring the highest year-to-year increase in student enrollment in our history. The enrollment surge certainly has much to do with the economy, but our ability to handle such an increase comes from one thing that is constant: the commitment among faculty and staff to think in new and different ways to problem solve with students.

Walking around today, I spoke with a number of faculty and staff who were working hard to find the right answers for students. With so many changes underway, I couldn’t help but see the parallel between the uncertainty that comes with organizational change and the anxiety that comes with being a student on the first day. A sense of vulnerability is natural – opening oneself up to the possibilities and relying on someone else is at the core of the learning process. In talking to staff here during such a busy time, it’s increasingly important that we reflect on how we’re handling this enrollment surge so we can continue to improve our systems and service to students.

“Learning is not a spectator sport…students must talk about what they are learning, write about it, relate it to past experiences, (and) apply it to their daily lives. They must make what they learn part of themselves.” (Chickering and Gamson, 1987). This quote helps us get ready for a semester to remember, and reminds us to reflect and learn from all that Fall 2009 will have to offer. It will make us that much better in the future.

If you have any thoughts about the first week of classes, please let me know at presblog@mvcc.edu.

Monday, August 17, 2009

This, I Believe.

Stating our beliefs can be a powerful thing. Some of you may have heard the “This I Believe” series over the last four years on National Public Radio. If you have, you’ve probably been struck by the power of these simple statements of belief, and how energized the speakers are by their beliefs. Well, MVCC is very important to me. I’m inspired by the work we do here, and by the changes I see in the way we’re starting to go about our work. I’m just as excited to be here as the first day I walked through the door, and I’m energized by my belief in this place. I want to share some of those beliefs with you.

This, I believe:

I believe that our community needs us more than ever…
that we need to help our community, help our students, and help each other … And that we need our vision, mission, and values to help that happen.

I believe

I believe that the economy is highlighting what community colleges can do for this country - witness the current proposal put forth by President Obama to invest $9 billion in community colleges...
...And that we can highlight what this institution can do for this community, because we are among the most important assets around.

I believe each of us is a critical part of an amazing whole. But I also believe that each of us needs to start caring more for the whole of this place…
…That if each of us cares more for the whole, we’ll find the organization more able to care for our students and our community better …
…And that if we care only about ourselves and our own needs, we won’t get where we need to be – either individually or as a college community.

I believe the stars of this organization aren’t just the people with the highest rank or the most skill…
… Our stars are the people who are willing to go the extra mile to help one another—and to help each individual student…
… And that every one of us should aspire to be more like those stars.

I believe that the best idea should win, not the best argument, or the loudest opinion, or the solution that emanates from the employee with the most formal authority in the room. I believe the best idea should win that benefits the students. I believe we all have, in our hearts, what we think is best for students – but that’s where it breaks down. We need to explore each others’ ideas to define that common understanding of what we all believe and come to know as what’s best for students. The exploration of new ideas will continue to bring us more change.

I believe that the best way for us to deal with change is to remain patient with ourselves, patient with each other, patient with our partners, and patient with our students– if we do, we will emerge from change, both present and future, with the ability to absolutely astound ourselves by what we can do. As John Quincy Adams said, “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”

I believe that everyone here wants to do a good job every day…
… That each one of us wants to be part of something meaningful …
… And that there’s no more meaningful work than being a part of a place that transforms lives.

I believe that we’re at a key point in MVCC’s history...
… That we’re ready to do some extraordinary things together…

I believe in all of you.

I believe in us.
And I believe in Mohawk Valley Community College!

This I believe. Let's make it a great year.

If you would like to share your thoughts on these beliefs - common or different - please share them with me at presblog@mvcc.edu.