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Tom Grasso

Tom Grasso

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Published by dotherightthingmcc

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Published by: dotherightthingmcc on Apr 08, 2008
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09/27/2012

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Thomas X. Grasso
MCC – Its Future at Stake
We have heard much over the past weeks and months concerning the negative actions of somemembers of the MCC Board that are disturbing if not frightening. For what it is worth I wouldlike to offer my perspective on the issue, warts and all.I first came to MCC in 1968 and the college was an exciting place to be - new things werehappening almost daily and faculty, administration, staff, Board of Trustees, and studentsseemed, at least to me, to be on the same page and striving for excellence.At that time the college community, including the Board of Trustees, had one over archingacademic philosophy
 —“If it’s good for the students we’ll do it”
. That was the solitarygoal and aim of the college—student success—NOT patronage or the perception of it or anythingelse. They (the administration and the board) got out of the way and let us teach and tutor struggling students, as best we good. I say “as best we could” because at the end of the day if thestudent is not motivated to succeed no amount of skillful teaching or tutoring is going to help.A case in point is:Sometime after the Geosciences Department had formed in 1970, I had a meeting with Dr. JamesP. Walsh (then Dean of Faculty) and after our official discussions had concluded (I have longforgotten what they were) he turned to me and said—and I paraphrase
“Now what can we do tohelp”
. When was the last time you heard that?There was this excitement in the air because:
We were the “new kids” on the block-
U of R, RIT, neighboring SUNY colleges alllooked down on us an academically inferior institution
We were going to work hard to disprove the myth-
it was palpable—you could senseit—every part of the college was committed to one thing--- we were going to be as goodas we could be---- little did we know that we would end up as one of the best
Camaraderie— 
was in abundant supply amongst staff, councilors, faculty,administration, librarians, and students in part because we were small in those earlyyears and had more informal social gatherings and discussions over coffee or lunch
Support-
although there were differences with administration and some of them quitestriking—we still had their support—or at least we thought soDuring the 1970’s we lost some ground and relations with the board and the administration grewever more strained. But then with the arrival of President Dr. Peter A. Spina a new era began. He brought dynamism, a positive attitude, progressive thinking, and a new vision that restored, to asignificant degree, what had been absent for so long. He led the college with style, dignity,intelligence, realism, and grace.I have not personally witnessed the tenure of President Flynn so I offer no comment.But now times have changed since the 1960’s and 1970’s. MCC has grown much larger and morecomplex, therefore much more compartmentalized. But you all know what you are doing and

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