Dr. Dan Rodkin
Santa Fe College
A look back in the first semester
Ever since Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidency, historians and politicians have analyzed the activity and accomplishments of presidents’ “first 100 days” as an indication of their effectiveness. More recently, business leaders have written about how anyone should optimize their 90-120 days in a new job. While the AFC Presidency is not a typical executive leadership position, I do think a review of the first portion of my term is appropriate – and since we work in higher education, I have decided the appropriate time frame would be the spring semester.
Being a numbers guy, I first thought of reviewing my spring semester by the numbers:
# Meetings/Conferences/Events: 12
# Days attending those Meetings/Conferences/Events: 30
# Nights in hotels: 17
Miles Traveled: 7,383
Miles driven: 2,333
Miles flown: 5,050
AFC Regions visited: 5
Colleges visited: 6
After a robust AFC Leadership Conference in January, we set our sights on legislative issues and a focus on advocacy culminating in the AFC Legislative Days event in April. Thanks to AFC Executive Director Michael Brawer and the AFC Legislative Committee, under the leadership of Matthew Holliday from Florida SouthWestern State College, for putting together a fabulous professional development experience for our members and introducing them to the advocacy process from their inside view. The 65 AFC members who attended this event had a unique opportunity to meet with legislators and to tell their story of how lives are changed by our system. I appreciate the positive comments and feedback attendees shared with me, and I am excited to see how this event will develop in the future.
The spring semester also featured Region conferences, and I thank Palm Beach State College, Florida SouthWestern State College, St. Johns River State College, and Chipola College for hosting these. I wish I could have been at the Chipola conference, the date conflict with Region II forced me to miss it – though I understand you were able served by President-elect Juanita Scott! A quick look at the agendas for the four completed Region conferences provided a look into the future, as the linkage between Regions & Commissions began to take shape. Several Commissions – led by Career & Professional Employees, Facilities, and Student Development, send members to Region conferences to present concurrent sessions in their area of interest. Long-term, our goal is to have every Commission present educational sessions at each Region conference. This year marked a good beginning to that initiative, jointly led by the Vice Presidents for Commissions (Robert Flores) and the Vice President for Regions & Chapters (LaFran Reddin), and we hope these partnerships gain traction in future years. I look forward to a short drive to Ocala for the Region III conference in June.
As we move into the summer, our focus turns to the great professional development opportunities found in the Commissions conferences (Joint & Student Development) and the Membership Development conference. In most years, we put our advocacy focus on the backburner at this time, but our legislators have determined this will not be a usual year! With the legislative deadlock over the budget, we are preparing for the special legislative session that begins on June 1. AFC will keep our advocacy hats on, Find our Voice, and make sure they are heard through the Capitol!
On a final note as I reflect on what I learned and experienced during my first four months as your AFC President… It’s been quite a ride so far. The leadership challenge has a set of rewards far beyond what can be seen or felt. The intangible benefits of working with an elite group of educators are simply unmatched and I wish to issue a challenge to AFC members state-wide: Now is the time! Now is the time to step up and step out. Get your name out there – run for office! Whether for a Commission, Region, or State – it’s time to get involved and lead. Your organization needs you, and the experience of leading is well worth the time and effort – even when it comes with spending 17 nights in hotels.
Please contact me if you have any questions about the process or qualifications: via Email at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/DanAFCPresident) or on Twitter (@danrodkin). I look forward to working with two for two more semesters!