20 Days After Being Passed Over As MDC President, Lenore Rodicio Resigns

Lenore Rodicio, who was a finalist to be Miami Dade College’s top administrator twice but was passed over both times, resigned after more than 18 years at the College.

Rodicio, the school’s executive vice president and provost, told The Reporter late Tuesday evening that she submitted her resignation on Monday to Interim College President Rolando Montoya. It is effective Jan. 31, but she will be on leave after Dec. 18.

“At this time, I have offered all that I can to MDC in my current capacity, and I leave behind a solid team that will carry on MDC’s legacy of excellence,” Rodicio said. “This next step in my career allows me to continue to do the work that I am most passionate about, while at the same time affording me the opportunity for personal and professional growth.”

Rodicio’s next stop will be at the Aspen Institute and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Beginning in January, she will work on several initiatives to impact higher education on a large scale: as a senior fellow on an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as a senior fellow with the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program and as a Complete College America Fellow. 

“Via these roles, I will be able to utilize my expertise to lead key strategic initiatives on institutional transformation to drive equity, inclusion and student success on the national stage,” Rodicio said.

During her tenure at MDC, Rodicio has worked with both institutions. 

She served as an advisor and member of the steering committee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Postsecondary Scaling Partners group. 

Rodicio also led a student achievement initiative that resulted in graduation rates at the College being above the national average, earning MDC the 2019 Aspen Prize for College Excellence. 

Miami Dade College’s President Emeritus Eduardo J. Padrón said it’s no secret that Rodicio’s skill set has been highly sought after in academia for some time. He spent the last two years of his presidency convincing her to stay at the College after several national organizations, colleges and universities tried to woo her away.

“She is a well-respected thought leader nationally on issues having to do with higher ed, so this is not surprising to me,” Padrón said, adding: “She’s someone that I have seen grow at the College and I think that Dr. Rodicio has a great future ahead of her.”

Rodicio joined MDC in 2002 as an adjunct chemistry professor. Her career at the College has included stints as a professor, department chairperson, dean, project director, vice-provost and most recently—executive vice-president and provost. 

As provost, Rodicio—the College’s second-highest ranking administrator—managed the College’s internal operations on a day-to-day basis. Her duties included overseeing the College’s fiscal budget, facilities, academic curriculum, workforce development programs and faculty union negotiations, as well as regularly advocating for MDC in Tallahassee. 

Last year, she became the lone holdover from the original presidential search. After that, Rodicio was at the forefront of the College’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Madeline Pumariega, MDC’s president-elect, applauded Rodicio’s commitment to the College during her nearly two-decade career at the school.

“I thank her for her years of service,” Pumariega said. “I think she is a great higher education administrator and she has done great work at the College, especially leading some of the student completion initiatives over the last couple of years.” 

Rodicio’s announcement comes on the heels of the resignation of MDC’s Board of Trustees Vice Chair Carlos Migoya earlier this week.

“I am incredibly proud of the work I have done here at MDC, most particularly in improving student learning outcomes, retention and completion,” Rodicio said. “I will always carry in my heart the individual stories of success of our studentsespecially those that I was able to personally help through their journey at MDC.”