Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles – March 4, 2016
The main things are the plain things, and the plain things are the main things.
I appreciate how faculty, staff, and administrators feel toward our student success agenda and the complexity and uncertainty that surrounds it. We have many structures in place—Faculty Senate, Staff Council, PRESS, and all the others I’ve mentioned before—in response to our many obligations such as accreditation. Add to that, prior research and multiple reports within our community and ongoing transitions among our faculty, staff, and administration.
For a moment, forget all of that.
Student success is a “main thing” at Westchester Community College. Students succeed in the classroom and in co-curricular and extracurricular activities where they are involved. The faculty and staff who engage students every day are those whose valuable contributions are the “main things” that contribute to student success. When we look beyond committees, reports, initiatives, and all the rest of the complexity, we reveal the “main thing” that truly makes a difference—YOU.
Now, let’s take a moment to remember that the main things are the plain things, and the plain things are the main things. Let’s not lose sight of this while we continue to refine the structures and processes for promoting student success. In my ongoing meetings with individual faculty, staff, and teams, I’ve heard instructive feedback that committees and initiatives sometimes obfuscate our individual roles. Let’s use this 90-day period to bring clarity to some basic principles that drive our work. Among them is the centrality of the faculty role in leading student success efforts, the essential work that staff does maintaining our key processes and operations, and the role of administrators who support all aspects of the college. Let’s always keep in mind that initiatives don’t achieve goals, people do!
Special thanks and congratulations this week to …
- Antonio DelVecchio who was sworn in at the County Clerk’s office this week as Westchester Community College’s next student trustee. I had the privilege of joining him for this very special event.
- Trustee Toni Cox-Burns who provided a keynote address to close out Black History Month and Legislator MaryJane Shimsky whose keynote message kicked off Women’s History Month. Thanks to faculty members Gwen Roundtree-Evans, Jacob Wilson, Mary Lou Sgro, Ekta Bhatia, and Kim Walsh for coordinating these excellent learning opportunities for our students.
Thanks for making it a great week.
Dr. Belinda S. Miles