The ongoing news is the presidential search. As you all know, Dr. Reed retired a couple of months ago and so the board has been actively working to develop the presidential profile.

We had several public forums, working with the (American) Association of Community Colleges trustees to develop a presidential profile. That has been developed. It has been put out and so now there is a national search going on requesting applicants for the position. So the board is definitely moving forward. 

The search committee has already been named. It has been posted. So, if anybody is interested, I know there are a couple of folks on this call that are in the search committee as well. So, that will be moving along. I think the board is hoping to at least pick someone by the summer and then, of course, there is always going to be the timeframe of when that person can start. So, it is moving along quickly. 

Much like the City of McAllen and Mayor Darling we are maintaining our COVID-19 safety measures. We didn’t really change anything after the Governor’s announcement. We are going to continue to do our current safety measures, including masks and social distancing, those kinds of things. We are going to continue to monitor the situation. 

We have been mobilizing our faculty and our students. There have been a lot of immunization clinics in Hidalgo and Starr counties, working with the county, working with the some of the ISDs and some other organizations. They have been requesting assistance and we have been sending students out to help with data entry to actually do the… they call themselves the shooters, they go out and actually do the shots. If anyone knows of an upcoming immunization clinic and you need some assistance, let us know. Try to give us about a week because we have to move all our nursing students around and their clinicals. But we have been mobilizing for multiple clinics, supporting a lot of immunization clinics all over the place. 

As for the fall semester, right now this semester we are about 80/85 percent online. Right now for the fall we predicting to be about only 40 percent online. So, cut that in half. We are hoping to go to about 60 percent face-to-face, with some modifications. But with the situation with the vaccines we are hoping to maintain 60 percent. Our students are really basically telling us they are tired of online. They want to come back to school. They want to come back to campus. They want to come back face-to-face. A lot of our faculty, surprisingly enough, are saying the same kind things. They want to be back on campus, back in the classroom. So, we are going to see what we can do to get as much as we can back face-to-face and see what the new normal in the classroom looks like in the fall. 

Those are the big things on going with STC right now. 

Editor’s Note: The above commentary was given by South Texas College Interim President Dr. David Plummer at a recent McAllen Economic Development Corporation board of directors meeting. Founding president Dr. Shirley Reed retired from STC in December, 2020.

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