In my role as Dean of Metropolitan College, my biggest accomplishment during the year was seeing students graduate. This year’s graduation feels like an accomplishment because the Class of 2013 includes students who are enrolled in programs that I had a hand in developing. There are students who entered the University through the Biddle Freshman program who are graduating this year – many with very good GPAs. These are students who otherwise would not have been admitted to the University – and now…they are graduating. The first “Mid-mester” student is also graduating in this class. Mid-mester is a pilot program that enrolled students into the University in mid-October 2011. In addition, the first non-traditional students are graduating. These ten adult students are a part of the Class of 2013 and nine of them have a GPA greater than 3.0. I am very proud of all of these students. Their accomplishment is graduation; my accomplishment is developing and administering the programs that have fostered their educational achievement.
What was your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge this year presented for me was finding time to interact with students. I am extremely student-focused, so it is important for me to talk with them, advise and expose them. As the University moves forward with its transformation, more and more administrative planning, meetings and decisions are required. Because these efforts have demanded more of my time, I have heard the students comment that I’m never in my office anymore. Technology has helped mitigate this challenge somewhat, but there is nothing like an old-fashioned face-to-face conversation. I personally believe many of our students want to be heard and need someone with whom to talk who is sincerely interested. I am sincerely interested, so I wrestle with this challenge constantly.
What is your forecast for the 2013-2014 academic year?
As I look ahead to next year, I am quite optimistic. I see many opportunities for our students and the community through public leadership as we develop a new program in that area. I know that reaching our goals will require hard work and more time, but I am energized by the notion of elevating faculty, staff, students and the community. As we develop new opportunities, we will continue exploring methods to increase enrollment at Metropolitan College and partner with more organizations in Charlotte to provide customized certification programs.