“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”
President John F. Kennedy, September 12, 1962, at Rice University, Houston, Texas
Traditionally colleges and universities compete with each other. We compete for students, we compete for state resources, we compete for research grants, and we compete on the field. Higher education is constructed to be a system that is not inherently trusting and strongly proprietary. However, University Presidents; Dr. Mark B. Rosenberg, Dr. John C. Hitt, and Dr. Judy Genshaft decided to buck that trend and forge a path forward, together. And why shouldn’t we? We all have a shared commitment to college access and affordability, we all are award winning -research universities located in dynamic metropolitan areas. This past year has been awe inspiring in the willingness of all parties involved to carry the conversation forward. The member universities of the Florida Consortium are like three clocks on a wall set to different times. While we are all working toward the same goals and outcomes we are different places in our expertise and needs. The desire to work together requires a level of trust and coordination that is seldom found on single campuses, let alone multiple campuses. Each university has unique policies and procedures built for their environments, faculty and staff have built programs and courses they are individually proud of, and the never ending need to compete for ever shrinking resources makes coming to consensus challenging, yet, we have found a lot of common ground. This first year has been dedicated to learning how to communicate, share expertise, and collaborate.
Check out our Annual Report for highlights or press release for more insight on our first year working together. In 2017, we will dig deeper to apply a process model that will help us identify best practices to apply to our environments.
Michael Preston, Ed.D