The Bergen Community College Board of Trustees recently held a poignant session, where they unveiled a comprehensive diversity, equity, and inclusion plan while paying tribute to a founding faculty member who recently passed away, Professor Morrow Marzaco.
The meeting held on June 13, 2023, spotlighted Bergen’s first diversity, equity, and inclusion plan, a significant step towards creating an inclusive environment on campus. Developed by the President’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, this plan leverages insights from various stakeholders and last year’s climate survey. One board member expressed anticipation for its implementation, stating, “I’m pleased to report that tonight’s agenda includes Bergen’s first diversity, equity, and inclusion plan…I look forward to working with the team to begin operationalizing this important plan.”
In a heartfelt tribute, Professor Grant Chapman celebrated the contributions of Professor Morrow Marzaco, a pioneering faculty member. He noted Marzaco’s instrumental role in shaping the college’s Horticultural, Drafting and Design, Electronics, and Engineering programs and acknowledged his deep involvement in building a robust faculty body. Chapman also highlighted Marzaco’s wisdom, kindness, and humility, citing a quote from the Dao De Jing to illustrate his mentorship style: “The best mentors value their words and use them sparingly. When their work is done, their pupils say, ‘Amazing, we did it all by ourselves.'”
The Board also outlined steps for the transformation of Bergen Community College at The Meadowlands into an Innovation Center. A notable stride in this direction is a two-year partnership with Bloomberg Finance, allowing business students to access Bloomberg terminals and bridging the gap between academics and real-world international markets. A grand ribbon-cutting ceremony to inaugurate the Innovation Center is planned for the early fall.
The meeting underscored impressive enrollment numbers, a 3% increase in headcount and 6% rise in credit hours for summer sessions compared to the previous year. Full enrollment has surged by a staggering 32%. In line with their enrollment strategy, the college announced the expansion of the Center for Online Learning, introducing fully accredited programs in criminal justice, information technology, and professional studies.
Trustee Fletcher recognized the success of the recent graduation and acknowledged the resolution for a continuing successor agreement to the current bargaining units. Fletcher remarked, “I’d like to congratulate all those involved and hopefully this will be the beginning of a more long-term approach to having a conversation about successor agreements.”
Public comments during the meeting acknowledged the progress made on successor agreements and recognized faculty members’ contribution to the Special Olympics. The faculty and students from the dental hygiene program were appreciated for their service at the wellness park during the event.