Miami Dade College President Named Co-Chair of the Century Foundation National Task Force
Miami, February 14, 2012 - With President Obama emphasizing the important role of community colleges as part of his education reform efforts and a renewed national effort to increase college graduation rates, the Century Foundation has tapped Miami Dade College (MDC) President and national education leader Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón to co-chair a special task force to consider strategies to strengthen colleges.
The Task Force on Preventing Community Colleges from Becoming Separate and Unequal, which is supported by the Ford Foundation, will address an issue that has remained below the radar screen in national and regional discussions over improving college access and completion: just as community colleges are being asked to do more than ever before, the racial and socioeconomic divide between two- and four-year institutions is growing.
“Community colleges should be open to, and attractive to, students of all economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds,” said Dr. Padrón. “While two-year institutions must always provide access to low-income and working-class students, community colleges need to find ways to recruit all students, or the political and financial support for the two-year sector will continue to decline.”
Dr. Padrón’s co-chair is Anthony Marx, president of the New York Public Library and former president of Amherst College. The task force is comprised of scholars of higher education, and representatives of the business, philanthropic, and civil rights communities.
Dr. Padrón’s has served as president of Miami Dade College, the nation’s largest institution of higher education, since 1995. His energetic leadership also extends to many of the nation’s leading organizations. He is the chair of the prestigious American Council on Education and immediate past chair of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. He also is chair of the board of the Miami Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and serves on the boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Business/Higher Education Forum among other major, national organizations. During his career, he has also been selected to serve on posts of national prominence by six American Presidents, most recently as chair of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans by President Obama. Padrón was also recently named one of TIME magazine’s “10 Best College Presidents,” one of the eight most “influential college leaders” in the U.S. in the Washington Post and the “Floridian of the Year” by Florida Trend magazine.
President Padrón is the recipient of dozens of major awards during his four decade career. Most recently, he was awarded the “2011 Centennial Academic Leadership Award” from the Carnegie Corporation and “2012 National Citizen Service Award” from Voices for National Service.
Internationally, President Padrón’s accomplishments have been recognized by numerous nations and organizations including the Republic of France, which named him Commandeur in the Ordre des Palms Académiques; the Republic of Argentina, which awarded him the Order of San Martin; and Spain’s King Juan Carlos II, who bestowed upon him the Order of Queen Isabella.
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