A man with a mission
By Michael Finch, Sergio Candido
Miami Dade College President Eduardo J. Padrón ranks among the “The 10 Best College Presidents in the Country,” according to a report in Time magazine.
In a special report in the Nov. 13 issue of Time magazine, Dr. Padrón—the sole educational leader featured from Florida and representing the only community college to make the list—rubs shoulders with the presidents of New York University, Ohio State University, and Arizona State University just to name a few.
The magazine commends Padrón for his long-time dedication to MDC and acknowledges how he “has helped revolutionize the role of two-year community colleges in the U.S., raising their academic stature while preserving their mission to teach underserved populations.”
Padrón told Time that his success is due to “combining open access and excellence,” adding that community colleges are “no longer third-choice institutions.”
Helen Aguirre Ferré, chairperson of the MDC District Board of Trustees said in an e-mail to MDC students, faculty and staff that thanks to Padrón, “Miami Dade College continues to be the institution that grants degrees to more women, Hispanic and African American students than any other [institution] in the country.”
Born in Cuba, Padrón emigrated to the U.S as a refugee at the age of 15 and was a student at the North Campus.
He graduated from the University of Florida with a doctorate in economics and has been the MDC president since 1995.
The impact of Padrón’s current work has reached President Barack Obama, who has proposed $12 billion in new funds for community colleges to help prepare U.S. workers for a 21st century economy.
His accomplishments have been recognized by numerous nations and organizations including, among others, the Republic of France, the Republic of Argentina and Spain’s King Juan Carlos II.
“Dr. Padrón guides the College through thick and thin with the energy, enthusiasm and optimism that is contagious,” Aguirre Ferré added in the e-mail to MDC students, faculty and staff.
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