Along with introducing new policies, protocols and way of life, JCCC also introduced a new college president, Dr. Andrew Bowne. Bowne has been on the job and on campus since July 1 and has comprised a plan to not only help make this year as smooth as possible, but to help students, faculty, staff and the community succeed.
Bowne’s focus is making sure to listen and his 90 Day Plan goes into detail on how he will do this and why it is so important to him.
“It’s about listening,” Bowne said. “Listening to students, listening to faculty and staff, listening to employers, listening to community leaders about what they believe is working really well about the college and meeting your needs as students and making a great place to work for our employees and meeting the needs of those outside the college.”
Bowne hopes that students can trust him and wants to build relationships with students, whether that be through a computer screen on Zoom, or someday being able to sit down in the food court with students and enjoy lunch together.
“I want to be building relationships with students as quickly out of the gate as possible,” Bowne said. “We’re going to be looking for those opportunities, you know there will be formal opportunities to do that and they’ll be informal ways.”
He also wants to ensure that there is trust with the faculty and that there is shared governance between the college and faculty members.
I’m hoping along the way that like with any relationship where you’re building trust, I hope that we’ll give it and that there will be some trust given to me at least until I blow it and I don’t intentionally plan on doing that,” Bowne said. “So, I think grace factors into this as it does in any relationship.”
Along with the listening and communicating, Bowne has set a goal to close equity gaps, to make sure students of every race, ethnicity and background or successful. He wants to bring in experts and work together as a team to make sure that this is done efficiently and correctly.
“The Black and Latino student’s graduation rates have slipped, and white students are going up and that’s a problem,” Bowne said. “My job I think is to draw attention and to raise the urgency around that and not to say and this is how you do it.”
Student success is very important to Bowne and he wants to make sure students are prepared to transfer or go into the workforce after their time at JCCC.
“I want every student who wants to come to JCCC to have the expectation that within a reasonable amount of time they’re going to walk across the stage and flip your tassel,” Bowne said.
Bowne wants to continue the relationship the college has with the community and build it stronger. He has actively been meeting with community Chamber of Commerce and wants to make sure they are included at JCCC as much as possible.
“We will continue to be very actively involved in the community because after all, we are the community’s college,” Bowne said.
Bottom line, Bowne hopes students and faculty walks out of this year feeling that it was a good one, despite adversities.
“With all that impacts our campus and our process of teaching and learning that throughout all this our commitment to providing you with the best possible experience is lived out so that when you finish your course of study with us and walk across the stage and graduate, that you will look back on this and say this was a good year,” Bowne said. “Maybe it was different than I had hoped for, but it was a good year and I gained the knowledge and skills and I did it in a way that I stayed safe and that others stayed safe.”
By Gracyn Shulista