By Luke Buehler
When Minnesota State Chancellor Steven Rosenstone made the all-call in looking for an interim president for RCTC, Mary Davenport was encouraged by quite a few people to apply.
She said she always liked RCTC and has always thought of it as great college. Davenport, who was vice president of academic and student affairs at Riverland Community College, was even more inclined to apply when she found it was a two-year interim position — at that point she knew she had to apply.
When she heard she had been selected, she was eager to start. She believes she’s hardworking, and as she put it, “I’m ready to work hard.”
Davenport knows people in Rochester love RCTC. The billboard, “Our City. Our College.” emphasizes that point, she thought. She knows that internally, within the walls of RCTC, people always want to move forward, and she recognizes that RCTC is student centered.
“People come here to meet different goals,” Davenport said. “We are fortunate with Winona in that students can complete four-year programs.”
She admires the blooming Student Life programs, the Echo newspaper and the Student Senate. She also enjoys the diverse student body.
When asked where she would like to see the college in five to ten years, her response was that the college will grow along with Rochester and Destination Medical Center, a 20-year expansion plan initiated by Mayo Clinic that is projected to bring more than 30,000 jobs to the city.
“We need to see the faculty and staff better that,” she said, looking at the college’s expected growth.
She knows that technology is continuously changing the job market, and so RCTC needs to immediately respond to the needs of the market in order to fully equip its students with what they need when they get out of school. She has a background in bridging the high school to college gap for students, so she’s familiar with this sort of work.
The two, top plans she is working on, along with RCTC administrators, are 1) The Strategic Plan and 2) The Master Academic Plan. Both, she said, will equally help communicate what it is the college will be delivering to its students and staff.