By John Waterman
By John Waterman
Riverside City College President Jan Muto gave a speech at her first presidential address in the Digital Library as faculty and observers awaited what would become a new RCC tradition.
Before the speech, with a smile on her face, Muto took the time to welcome and shake the hands of attendees as everyone filed in and took their seats.
Those in attendance consisted of faculty, staff, RCC administration and students.
Patrick Schwerdtfeger, Vice President of Student Affairs, began the presidential address by introducing Muto to the audience, as well as giving onlookers some background information on the newly appointed president.
Muto has a Masters Degree in Communications, as well as a Bachelors Degree in Communications from the University of Delaware.
Her expertise includes alternative scheduling, distance learning, transfer and articulation, and federal grant development.
“Jan is technologically savvy. She is charming, disarmingly so. She’s funny; she has a great sense of humor,” Schwerdtfeger said “She is, I believe, a person who sees the big picture, not just the parts, but the whole.”
Muto then took the stage with three primary points of focus.
Her first point was to provide the audience with essential RCC facts, then to take a glimpse at a broader perspective into temporary and secondary education and finally, to articulate some of the challenges facing us in the immediate future.
She did cover all of the previously mentioned focal points of the speech, Muto kept points broad and generalized, choosing not to elaborate on any specific point.
Then she stressed the importance of technology and digital devices and how it is utilized by both students and faculty alike.
“Technology links us together, enabling us to communicate in the twentieth century,” Muto said.
After expanding on life in this technological age, Muto showed the audience a YouTube video which illustrated the student perspective of the college experience and what it’s like being a college student today.
The video exemplified how students spend hundreds of dollars on textbooks which they never open, how our classroom neighbor spent $20 a unit on a course they never attend, and how filling out scantrons won’t necessarily prepare us for life in the real word.
This information was presented to an audience of faculty and administration showing them the average student perspective and that Muto may in fact understand RCC students.
“What programs and services appear disconnected in the eyes of those we serve? How can we model the use of technology in which our students use? How well are we preparing our students for the workplace of the future? How can we make RCC better?” Muto said. “These questions actually serve as a context for our ongoing strategic planning process.”
Finally Muto also stressed the importance of remembering what we have and the cooperation of colleagues and coworkers.
“My goal for us is to be forward thinking, not backward looking,” she said.
After Muto’s speech was completed and the floor was opened for questions, none of her fellow colleagues decided to ask any or add comments.
Instead the administration and faculty in attendance were invited to join Muto into a paralleling hallway to enjoy a selection of vegetables and fruit punch while they continued to socialize among themselves.
“My goal for us is to be forward thinking, not backward looking,” Muto said.