2021 NEW YEAR PRESIDENTIAL COLLEGE ADDRESS – JANUARY 12, 2021 STAFF MEETING
Thank you, Eileen and Happy New Year, to each of you, as we embrace 2021 with our unique PTC Magic, passion, commitment and lessons learned in 2020.
I remain excited about our future and the bold and ambitious plans that we have set into motion that will require us to continue to dream and act together as a community that represents a higher standard.
I believe Pittsburgh Technical College is at an important inflection point and I am confident that if we persevere in our quest to reimagine our future and reposition our College for greater effectiveness and success, that we will move forward to achieve amazing outcomes.
The Cabinet and I continue to meet multiple times per week to assure that we stay on course and emerge as I have said repeatedly, as a stronger and even more relevant institution after the Pandemic becomes a distant memory.
In-order for what we envision post COVID-19 to become reality, we must continue our work together moving forward in the same direction with a renewed commitment to our institutional priorities and to each of our strategic directions: access, enabling success, aligning workforce and curriculum, elevating public and private partnerships, enhancing financial sustainability and stewardship and promoting a culture of excellence and accountability.
Most importantly, it will require of us to recommit to our core values to raise the standard.
Our values of accountability, excellence, diversity and inclusion, integrity and learner-centeredness, are more than just words, they should be a driving force for the PTC community, directing every action and interaction in fulfillment of our vision and mission.
These important values and the focus of strategic direction six pushes us to create and nurture an organizational culture that is not only open and responsive to change and learning but a culture that promotes excellence and accountability.
This is the connective tissue that unites Pittsburgh Technical College and is the true essence of our PTC Magic.
The PTC Magic is more important now than ever as we provide leadership to others in uniting a community.
Many of us continue to daydream, craving the routines we have all taken for granted all these years.
We think about how good it will feel to run an errand without reaching for our mask first, or to be on campus without needing to keep our distance. Many of us are thinking about how satisfying it will be to travel to see people, we care about and miss deeply.
I imagine that we are all daydreaming, about the people and places and routines we have been missing these many months.
For those of you with school- or college-age children at home, I can only imagine what a relief it will be for you to see them back in their classrooms. I assure you, better days are ahead.
But we’re not out of the woods yet, and there’s work to do as a country and college.
Distribution ofvaccines around the country is critical. This and our continued work on testing and campus safety will remain significant tasks, that we will be tackling on campus in the months ahead.
The country needs time to heal from the devastating effect of losing hundreds of thousands of Americans to this deadly virus. It has been a very sad and difficult time for our nation.
But I believe we will rise and come through this period as a nation with a renewed commitment to build the future together. As we confront the current challenges that our nation is facing, I share now, the same statement that I shared in my message to the College, “The Nation Takes A Collective Breath”, after the killing of George Floyd, that we must not look away, but look inside to build solutions that will unite and build.
The current political and social upheaval also means that there remains work for each of us to do, as Americans, to guarantee that our shared values of opportunity, freedom, and the welfare and rights of all citizens, remain intact.
The framers of the constitution provided the foundation to build a democratic government and inspired our pursuit of a more perfect union. That aspirational element of the constitution, should give all of us hope for better tomorrows.
Over time, the Constitution, as a living document, has been amended to ensure that we have a system that works fairly and justly for everyone, no matter their sex, color or creed. It’s our job—and that of this country’s leaders—to protect and defend it.
As a college, we embrace facts and the accountability that comes with them. Hate speech or hateful acts will never be tolerated on this campus, that I can assure you.
So what can we do, as members ofthe PTC community, to make things better? To put it another way, to have hope that things will get better?
I know you. And I know that we will persevere through the work of being good citizens, of being supportive colleagues and friends, and of being real advocates for what PTC stands for.
Our higher standard means that each of us will strive to bring out the best in ourselves, community, and in our students, and will work on things that matter. It means that our personal and professional conduct is to always be grounded in excellence.
Our strategic goals will transform us – not only as a college, but as individuals working together with the belief that, with education, we will rise! And in so doing, so will our students as they seek the lives they so richly deserve.
Please remember: As we rise, we may sometimes falter. If you’re struggling, or need to talk about what you’re feeling or seeing on the news or social media, know that we’re here for you.
Our counselors have the expertise to help you work through the stress and strains of the past year and in the months ahead. Self-care is excellence in action, and when we take care of ourselves and each other, we re-kindle the hope that we can heal together.
As your President, I cannot thank you enough for your hard work, diligence, and focus. I am amazed everyday by what we accomplish. And thanks, too, for the probably thousands of hours of Collaborate and Zoom meetings like this one you have led or participated in that has produced brilliant work and instruction.
2020 has provided us many accomplishments to celebrate and lessons and 2021 promises even greater opportunities to achieve our mission critical objectives and launch our five-year strategic plan.