College Prepares for a Challenging Year

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Board of Trustees Chair George E. Davis speaks during Professional Development week.

Board of Trustees Chair George E. Davis and President Curtis praised the faculty and staff for their dedicated service at the opening day of Professional Development Week on Jan. 12.

"Now, maybe more than ever, Philadelphians need you, the faculty and staff, to continue your outstanding work and commitment to excellence," Board of Trustees Chair George E. Davis told those gathered in the Great Hall. "The knowledge and life lessons that students learn at the College is vital to their future and to the future of Philadelphia. Your efforts will help ensure that our students achieve their goals and become sought-after employees and successful members of their communities."

President Curtis echoed Davis in applauding the faculty's efforts to improve student outcomes. He also said the College will face new and tougher challenges should the depressed local and national economies not bounce back soon. "We will manage this year, but the difficulty is next year," President Curtis said in reference to the new fiscal year that starts in July.

Despite the anticipated belt-tightening, President Curtis said the College will continue its major building projects at the Main Campus and the Northeast Regional Center. These projects are already funded and are part of the College's capital budget, which cannot be used to pay for College operating costs. However, smaller improvement projects, such as new elevators, remodeled faculty offices, classrooms and bathrooms, will move forward, but at a slower pace.

The College also will continue to revitalize Channel 53, the College's under-utilized television channel. "We are going to turn this into a much more vibrant education channel," President Curtis said.

Davis and President Curtis were two of the main speakers on Jan. 12. Over the course of the entire Professional Development Week, there were many speakers and more than 30 seminars, workshops and learning opportunities coordinated by the Office of Professional Development, along with members of the Professional Development Committee. The sessions focused on a variety of themes including assessment, diversity, student engagement and retention and student success.