To the Members of the KVCC Community:
I am deeply honored that the Board of Trustees has given me this rare opportunity to lead KVCC.
My goal – with your help - is to ensure that Kennebec Valley Community College provides the best quality education to the people in our community and across Maine who seek to acquire the skills necessary to secure a satisfying profession, engage successfully in further study, or simply find joy in learning.
I dedicated the past 28 years to the goals of enhancing quality, increasing accessibility, and improving effectiveness of education worldwide. American higher education is the envy of the world. Community colleges are a uniquely American institution, and KVCC is among the best in the country. It is our responsibility and our collective task to make KVCC and the education we offer the most effective, efficient, and accessible that it can be for our entire community.
We must acknowledge and build upon the things that KVCC already does well. We must also identify and improve on the things that we should do better – because our community deserves the best from this institution.
We are on the verge of extraordinary opportunities resulting from the expansion to the new Alfond Campus in Hinckley, and the very important gifts and grants that helped launch and support the new Energy Services Technology, Sustainable Agriculture, Food Science, and Culinary Arts programs, among others. Student services have grown and the KVCC Foundation has further helped to support student scholarships and raise visibility of our contribution to the local economy.
These initiatives and expansions provide exciting opportunities to take KVCC to another level of service. If we seek to meet all of our goals, we must find new ways of working together, stimulating innovation in our operations and growing collaboration among faculty, staff, students, employers, and the community. This will require breaking down barriers, improving communication, stimulating discussion, and investing ourselves in the whole institution. Prior to starting as president, I spent one month meeting daily with faculty and administrators to get to know the College. I found that behind the tremendous dedication of the staff there are boundless energy and much wisdom. There are also many excellent ideas on how to make KVCC the best it can be.
Your insights are very important to me and to the future of the College. I have many more people to meet and a lot to learn in the coming days, months, and years. I want to hear from all of you not just at the start of my presidency, but throughout. To this end I will be holding regular 1-on-1 meetings open to everyone in the KV community - faculty, staff, students. My calendar will be open every other Wednesday and I encourage you to send an email to my assistant, Monica Wood, who will help to schedule a convenient time for you.
To increase the sort of information that I hear from you, I will launch a series of electronic surveys as a systematic way to analyze campus feelings about a range of topics. You will receive several emails over the summer indicating that a survey is available for response. I would encourage all of you to respond rapidly and in full frankness to all such surveys.
Finally, I have asked our Dean of Technology, Ryan Connon, to help us launch an anonymous electronic suggestion box to ensure that we hear all of your ideas - whether popular or unpopular. The suggestion box will be opened and reviewed by me every month in consultation with the Executive Leadership Team.
One of my first major duties will be to oversee commencement on May 18. I would like to meet as many graduating students as possible before that date so that I can hear their personal stories, and congratulate each on a job well done.
I owe a huge debt to everyone whose efforts have made KVCC a great institution, most notably my predecessor, President Barbara Woodlee, whose strong stewardship and vision has grown KV into the college we see today.
I am thrilled to serve as President of KVCC, and am excited to undertake this adventure together with the entire community.
Thank you very much.
Richard R. Hopper
Kennebec Valley Community College