Students first, community first

President Dr. Glenn Cerny outlines vision for Schoolcraft

Matthew Fular, Editor-in-Chief

Since 1964, when Schoolcraft College began operating, the president of the college has left a unique mark. Some are remembered for expanding programs, financial stability or new buildings. However, what all great legacies have in common is the vision that charts the course for the college and Dr. Glenn Cerny has a vision.
“Students first, community first.” Those four words summarize the focus of Schoolcraft’s new President. It is no small order to continue to enhance Schoolcraft’s ability to aid students in their journey through post-secondary education, while simultaneously working with the surrounding community to ensure students have connections to thrive even after they leave the college.
“We have to make sure we are doing everything we can to put our student’s first,” stated Cerny. “We want to utilize the college’s connections to benefit our students. Our job is not done until they get their job, and we will continue to support our students, in that respect, our job is never really done.”
While there is an argument to be made that a college’s primary value comes from a student’s experience inside the classroom, there is also an argument to be made for extracurricular activities a student could participate in. Schoolcraft’s new President noted the advantage that comes with having a strong Student Activities Office stating, “We want to make [our students] competitive and give them a value add, creating memories and experiences outside the classroom.”
While the experiences both inside and outside the classroom have changed over the course of the last year, Schoolcraft continues to remain committed to their students’ academic success. However, some students may have felt the new learning environment was not for them, while others may not have the technological means to participate in online classes. Cerny’s message was clear, he is committed to ensuring all students who want to learn and come to Schoolcraft can do just that.
“We need to make sure we get our message out to students and the community that we are open. We don’t want to disenfranchise anybody [from attending],” said Cerny. “It’s about the student’s overall experience. Our goal is to eliminate as many barriers as possible. I want to make sure everything we do is a value add for our students.”
In an announcement made this past August at the monthly Board of Trustees meeting, Cerny announced the creation of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force that will report directly to his office. Cerny understands the importance of a diverse community noting, “You want your community to be strong and vibrant, we want to add to that. Diversity provides a wealth of culture, and it makes us all better.”
Schoolcraft is going to see change and while it may not happen overnight, it’s still coming. However, the college and the president’s office need the buy in from the student, faculty and staff to make it a reality.
“I’m really focused on feedback, and if student’s have issues let the president’s office know,” said Cerny. “That’s what we are here for. My job is to listen to faculty, staff and students.”
A new age has dawned for Schoolcraft and Cerny’s legacy is beginning to be written. One thing is certain for Schoolcraft, students will come first.