Miami Dade College, which has eight campuses, announced on May 30 that it was reducing its administrative staff by three campus presidents.
Juan Mendieta, the director of communications at MDC, said the College does not know whether the changes are permanent or temporary.
“We can’t really comment on the rationale for this, other than these were contracts not renewed,” Mendieta said.
The presidents whose contracts were not renewed were: Richard A. Soria Jr (Wolfson Campus), Roger A. Ramsammy (West Campus), Joanne Bashford (InterAmerican Campus) and Mark Everett (Medical Campus).
Effective May 31, the College’s campus presidents are Malou C. Harrison, for North and InterAmerican Campuses; Joaquin Martinez, for Hialeah and Wolfson Campuses; Beverly Moore-Gacia, for Kendall and West Campuses; Jeanne F. Jacobs, for Homestead Campus and the college wide General Education program; and Richard Prentiss is returning from retirement as the interim president at Medical Campus.
An email sent by College President Eduardo J. Padrón on May 30 read: “Maintaining our obligations to [students] requires an on-going review of our operations and administrative structure to ensure we are not only effective, but also prepared for the long-term fiscal stability of the institution.”
Malou C. Harrison will continue to preside over the North Campus and also took the reigns of InterAmerican Campus. She was appointed president of the North and West Campuses in 2013, until Ramsammy took over the latter in 2016. Prior to that, she served as the North Campus’ dean of students for more than 10 years. Her career with the College started in 1989. She has served as the chief of staff for the College president, executive assistant to the Wolfson Campus president and an adjunct professor of English for academic purposes at Wolfson Campus. Harrison worked at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo as the assistant to the director of TRIO Educational Opportunity Center.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from SUNY in management, a master’s from Florida International University in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), and a doctorate in higher education/community college leadership.
Joaquin Martinez was tabbed as the new president for Wolfson Campus, and will continue to preside over the Hialeah Campus. He began at Miami Dade College in the late ‘90s as an English and civics professor to refugee students who sought their college degrees. During his two decades at the institution, he’s held positions as chairperson of World Languages and associate dean of Academic Affairs at Kendall Campus, associate provost for student achievement at Wolfson Campus District Office, and dean of academic and student affairs at Hialeah Campus.
He graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont with a joint degree in political science and modern foreign languages. He continued his education at Florida Atlantic University, where he received a doctorate in higher education research.
Beverly Moore-Garcia will continue to serve as the Kendall Campus president while also presiding over West Campus. Before becoming the president at Kendall Campus, she was the associate provost, and later became vice provost of Academic Affairs at the College. Prior to that she was the vice president of Northwest Community College in her homeland of Canada, and rooted her career in academia as associate provost for faculty initiatives at MDC.
Moore-Garcia graduated from Florida International University with a master’s degree in international development education and later on with a doctorate in higher education administration. She also received a master’s degree in school psychology from Texas State University. Moore-Garcia completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada.
Jeanne F. Jacobs will continue presiding over the Homestead Campus and will now also oversee the college wide General Education program. Since 2005, she’s served at the Homestead Campus. Prior to joining MDC, Jacobs was the vice president for instruction and dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. She also worked at Calhoun Community College in Decatur, Alabama as associate dean for Human Resources and Legal Affairs.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee; a master’s degree in adult education from Alabama A&M University; and a doctorate in administration of higher education with a minor in English from the University of Alabama.
Richard Prentiss will return from retirement as the interim president of the Medical Campus, replacing Mark Everett. He started at MDC more than 35 years ago and has since worked as faculty, chairperson for the School of Health Sciences and director of the College’s Quality Enhancement Program.
Prentiss received an associate of arts degree in general education and an associate of science in respiratory therapy from MDC, a bachelor’s in health science, a master’s in health management from St. Thomas University, and a doctorate in higher education administration from FIU.
Staff writer Alessandra Pacheco contributed to this article.