EFSC president’s contract extended after outstanding performance
February 7, 2022 – The Eastern Florida State College Board of Trustees has extended college president Dr. Jim Richey’s contract through 2027, citing outstanding leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The five directors made the unanimous decision on Monday during Richey’s annual performance review for 2021, the last since he became chairman in early 2012.
Trustees touted his accomplishments leading the college through the pandemic and his successes in other areas, including not raising tuition fees for the 10th straight year.
They also cited his work over the past decade in transforming the college with 86 new academic programs that have produced thousands of graduates now working for local businesses.
“Thanks to his dedication and focus, along with the faculty and staff, we have made tremendous improvements to the college. It’s critical that we keep it here,” said Alan Landman, chairman of the board.
Other trustees agreed, with Bruce Deardoff saying “it’s just amazing how we’ve raised the standard of the college” during Richey’s tenure.
Dr Edgar Figueroa added: “I can’t say enough about Dr Richey. It’s not just the work, but the results.
Richey thanked EFSC administrators as well as faculty and staff, saying an unwavering focus on students has led to more than 19,000 enrolled students and 3,600 graduates in 2021.
He also said that the achievements of the past decade were possible “thanks to the commitment, determination and cooperation of our outstanding faculty, staff and administrators”.
“Looking forward, I believe we are the right group of people and the right organization led by our very capable administrators, to meet the challenge of helping our students of today and tomorrow reach their full potential” , Richey said.
“In doing so, our local employers and community will thrive and our Florida region will continue its legacy of greatness. I am proud to be your university president during this pivotal time.
The college’s achievements in 2021 were detailed in a 24-page report cited by trustees. Highlights include:
- Not increasing tuition for the 10th consecutive year, which keeps EFSC among the most affordable public colleges in Florida.
- Nearly 19,400 students were enrolled throughout the spring, summer, and fall terms and 3,659 graduated.
- The college offered 4,152 in-person classes and 2,202 online classes, giving students digital and on-campus options to learn while the pandemic continued.
- COVID safety policies included on-campus vaccination events and strong contact tracing led to an infection rate of less than 1% during the peak of the Delta variant.
- 11,500 students have received $8.2 million in federal COVID emergency grants which have played an important role in helping them stay in school.
- Student events such as clubs, plays, concerts, and sports games returned, prompting a revitalization of the college experience.
There were also other important achievements.
- The college awarded its 2,700th bachelor’s degree since four-year programs were first offered in 2013.
- The Center for Career Planning and Development reached an important milestone in helping 75,000 students prepare for the job market.
- Minority enrollment remained strong, representing 38% of EFSC’s total student population.
For more information on East Florida and its programs, visit easterflorida.edu.