This weekend, as I continued to internally celebrate our millage victory, I was reminded of the lesson we learned two years ago (when the millage did not pass) and the message I sent after that to the campus and community. I remained positive in the face of our loss and stated in my email to the campus that I was “eager” to confront new challenges. I was criticized for saying that. I also stated at the State of the College Address to the community that we did not lose the millage, we were simply learning a lesson from it. I said “sometimes you win, sometimes you learn”. I was criticized for that statement in the paper.
You see, leaders have to remain positive, even in the face of the direst of circumstances. Without that positivity, we would not be victors today! Vindication!
Below is part of my email to the campus after our “lesson” two years ago.
Dear MCCC Family,
I hope you are all well on this post-election day. I am sure you may know by
now that our millage request was unsuccessful. I was disappointed by the
results but remain enthusiastic (and positive) about the future. This election
was not a referendum on MCCC and the quality of programs we provide here
and the many lives that we continue to transform and enrich.
Thanks to all of you who worked so hard on this campaign. This is a quality
institution with quality people in a quality community. I woke up this morning
eager to come to work and face new challenges to take MCCC and this entire
community to the next level. We fought the good fight, the struggle continues,
and we shall overcome (l know, lots of clichés)….
We have overcome!!
That email was followed by an article published in the Monroe News on November 7, 2014. The last part of the article is below.
The college has a significant maintenance backlog in major areas of the
physical plant, such as major heating and cooling, plumbing and electrical
systems that will have to be addressed. Roofs are already leaking and
basements have flooded. Delaying repairs is no longer an option.
The information technology infrastructure at MCCC is in need of major
updating and also must be addressed. Lack of investment in this area will
have a major impact on student success.
We understand that the election was not a referendum on MCCC.
The quality of the programs we provide and the many lives that we
transform and enrich have never been in question. The college
continues to be a vitally important resource in the community.
I can assure you that MCCC remains committed to providing
high-quality higher education for the residents of Monroe County.
But we must maintain this commitment within the limits of the
funding we have available. As we re-evaluate the MCCC budget
to meet our new challenges, I value your input and welcome you
to share any questions and concerns with me. Please email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call theOffice of the President at
Dr. Kojo A. Quartey is president of Monroe County Community College.
Yes, indeed. This is a quality institution in a quality community, and by voting “YES”, our community has entrusted us with the safeguarding of this community gem, which is MCCC. We listened, we engaged, we embraced our entire county, and they have come through for us. We must remain fiscally responsible and accountable and utilize the funds responsibly as we take this college and the entire community to the next level.