By Mark Mitsui | Start the discussion
I am very happy to begin this new academic year as president of Portland Community College.
Since my arrival, I’ve been busy getting to know our college and community. It has been a great pleasure to visit PCC’s campuses and centers, attend new events, and meet inspiring students, faculty, partners and friends.
It’s been a lot of fun getting to know the people and places that will be such an important part of my life. Thinking about this new chapter has made me reflect on the transformative power of higher education—in my own life, and in the lives of our students.
I’ve been considering how the lines between science and art, technology and academics, tradition and change are now blended and braided in new ways—and what it will take to educate students for this new world of work, life and citizenship.
I’ve also been reflecting on how vital it will be, in meeting this challenge, to engage traditionally under-represented communities for whom college is a new experience.
We are at an important and opportune moment when the smart thing to do from the standpoint of economic development and global competitiveness is also the right thing to do from the standpoint of social justice. And that is why our country needs its community colleges, and why our region needs PCC.
Thank you to all in the community who have afforded me such a warm welcome. I appreciate all you are doing to help prepare me to serve—to the very best of my ability—our students and our community.
P.s. Here are a few of my favorite photos from my first month: