IIE Networker - Spring 2011 - (Page 12)

INTERVIEW SERIES A Conversation with Eduardo Padrón, President, Miami Dade College By Leena Soman Eduardo Padrón, President, Miami Dade College DR. EDUARDO PADRÓN has served as president of Miami Dade College (MDC), the largest institution of higher education in America, since 1995. Under his leadership, MDC has received national recognition for promoting student access and success through pace-setting initiatives and for being a catalyst for social change. MDC’s groundbreaking Learning Outcomes Program has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Recent awards include the 2008 Exemplary Award for Improving General Education from the Association for General and Liberal Studies, and the 2008 Chancellor’s Best Practice Award for Academic Affairs from the Florida Department of Education. In fall 2010, IIE selected MDC as one of six U.S. institutions to join a new academic partnership program to help build Indonesian institution’s capacity to host U.S. study abroad students. IIE will administer the two-year initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). Dr. Padrón is the first community college president to serve as chair of the board of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. He now chairs the board of the American Council on Education and also serves on the board of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, among others. Dr. Padrón has been named to posts of prominence by five U.S. Presidents, and most recently was appointed by President Barack Obama to represent the U.S. at UNESCO’s 2009 World Conference on Higher Education and to chair the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic-Americans. He was also recently named one of “The 10 Best College Presidents” in America by TIME magazine and “Floridian of the Year” by Florida Trend magazine. Dr. Padrón earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Florida and is a graduate of Miami Dade College. IIENetworker: November 2010 marked Miami Dade College’s 50th birthday. Which aspects of your role leading this global institution have proven the most challenging and which have proven the most rewarding? Let’s start with the most rewarding. We are watching a generation of students achieve higher education success who would not have otherwise had this opportunity. MDC’s presence in the South Florida community has changed the trajectory of countless lives and fed the economy of the region with skilled workers for an expanding and changing workforce. In spite of difficult economic times, we have been able to expand our offerings, including bachelor and associate degrees and short-term entry level training in key areas of need. The greatest challenge remains the level of funding for higher education and this institution, in particular. The challenge is really one of understanding, of making it absolutely clear to those who can influence support for education that the fate of the economy and quality of life in communities across the nation depend squarely on the quality of education available 12 and the depth and extent of education that each person achieves. A college education is a necessary component of prosperity today. IIENetworker: How do you define a global institution? In academic terms, globalization relates to the interaction and integration of cultures, politics, business and intellectual elements around the world. That means all manner of borders—geographical, cultural, political, economic—are being transcended with varying impact. At MDC, the term “global” takes on various elements of importance. Student learning is the top priority and that means that students’ appreciation of the interconnectedness of the world is paramount. We have established a set of 10 liberal learning outcomes in which each student is expected to gain competence. Those outcomes include awareness and interaction with cultures beyond our borders as well as gaining competence with the tools of technology that crisscross all kinds of different borders regularly. We also want them aware of the interconnection of natural systems and the manmade machinations that connect economics, politics and culture. IIENetworker: What are the most effective ways to produce globally competent citizens? Globally competent citizens are those who live and work together. We are very fortunate because Miami is a truly international city. Beneath the complexity of systems, it is people recognizing each other and a certain level of commonality that can make a real difference in understanding. Through our curriculum and campus life we encourage our students to recognize how interconnected their lives are with other people, cultures and systems of collaboration. IIENetworker: What role do community colleges play in educating students as global citizens? This raises important questions of equity in democratic societies. Barriers to educational and economic opportunity have greater consequence in a globalized economy. The more

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Spring 2011

IIE Networker - Spring 2011
A Message from Allan E. Goodman
IIENetworker University Presidents Interview Series
2011 IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards: Innovation in International Education
100,000 Strong: Building Strategic Trust in U.S.-China Relations through Education
Experiencing Difference: The Meaning of Globalization at a Diverse Institution
Diversity in International Education: The Time Is Now
Diversity in Education Abroad: A Plan for Our Campuses
Best Practices for Diversifying Study Abroad on Your Campus
The Ethnorelative Engineer: Culturally Immersive Study Abroad Programs for Engineering Students
NanoJapan: Preparing Globally Savvy Researchers
Minority Faculty: The Key to Diversifying Study Abroad
Best Practices for When Diversity Is Commonplace
Advertisers’ Index
IIE Program Profile

IIE Networker - Spring 2011