March 2019 Update
Today marks one month of my presidency at BCTC. It has been a whirlwind of excitement, diverse experiences and long days. I may not remember all of the names I’ve learned in the past 30 days, but I definitely remember why I chose to come here: this is an amazing community full of folks who serve students and welcome newcomers.
From Lexington to Danville, Winchester Lawrenceburg and Georgetown, I’ve seen engaged staff, faculty and students who embrace our mission to transform our region one student, one employer and one community at a time. You have shown me that we are so much more than buildings and programs, we are a community committed to collaboration, compassion and success.
I’ve enjoyed sharing an Ale 8 with students, staff and faculty in Winchester and learning how we partner with the community there. I saw our staff members volunteering to serve as pseudo patients to help our healthcare students practice their skills. I met a trailblazing woman who not only learned the male-dominated trade of advanced manufacturing, but came back to us to teach more young women and men. I saw high school students on our campus eager to take the first steps into higher education with us. I met students and community members excited about the opportunities a new manufacturing center in Danville will bring. I learned that we are taking that extra step to meet students where they are by collaborating with the community to make sure that those who want to take the GED® have transportation to get to our services. And, I see the energy at our Newtown Campus as more and more students of many backgrounds come together to learn and engage with one another.
Most of all, everywhere I went, I saw smiling faces engaged in the work we do: creating better lives. As the community’s college, we welcome any student who takes the leap of faith to trust that we can and will help them develop the skills they need to make a better life. Our job is to meet each student where he or she is, whether a drop out or valedictorian. It will take us all working together to serve our students. I can see that you are as committed to this as I am.
As I begin my listening tour with our legislators, business and educational partners, I’m learning more about their vision for the community and BCTC’s role in that. I’m looking for alliances and alignment. How can we partner with other institutions of higher education, secondary schools, nonprofits, business, community services and government? How can we align to more effectively serve the community? What can we learn from history? What traditions need to be upheld and what innovations need to be made? Our work is key to the growth and success of Central Kentucky.
But all of the conversations are not taking place outside the college. Some of the most important conversations are taking place within our college. With the help of my team, I’m creating opportunities where I can meet with and talk to you about your hopes, dreams and vision for our college. As we build this future together, you are key to the process.
We are on a path to strengthening our position as a driving force in Central Kentucky through responsible fiscal and facility planning, exceptional instruction, student focus, open communication and collaboration on all levels. I look forward to partnering with each of you in this great mission as we serve as the community’s college.
Dr. Koffi Akakpo