Interim President Michael Redmond//photo courtesy Adrianna Caraballo

By: Adrianna Caraballo, Co-Editor.

Michael Redmond was appointed as the college’s interim president on June 27, 2017 after B. Kaye Walter was fired.

Not only were the students and faculty surprised by his appointment, but Redmond himself was as well. He was offered the job not long before the BOT meeting.

“It happened very quickly,” Redmond said.

Before this, Redmond was getting ready to settle down and retire in Delaware. That day he was planning to drive down to Delaware where he would meet his family and guests at what was planned to become his retirement home.

“It was funny that night [of the BOT meeting]. My car was packed, I was on my way to Delaware where we’re planning to retire eventually. We built our retirement home down there. We had a house full of guests,” he said.

Redmond is unable to break free from BCC and does not have any real desire to do so just yet. He has a long and extensive history with BCC and has served multiple positions at the college.

Redmond started his working at Bergen Community College in 1981 as an adjunct professor. A few years later he became a lecturer and an assistant professor of Philosophy and religion.

After that, his role at the school became more administrative. He became a dean, then the college’s first CIO, Chief Information Officer. He also became the college’s Executive Vice President, a position which no longer exists. One of his accomplishments was assisting in building West Hall.

In 2008 he stepped down from the Executive Vice President position to get back into the classroom. He began teaching online courses and wrote a few textbooks for his students. At that point, Redmond began to wind down his career, but the opportunity to be interim president had emerged.

“It’s part of my philosophy in life, opportunities present themselves, you don’t always have to go chasing them, they just seem to arise. The only choice is to take them or not,” Redmond said.

This advice should be taken to heart by students who are thinking about their future, no matter who they are or where they come from.

“What I want to say to students is: you’re starting a semester, and you may be coming to the semester with all kinds of attitudes and feelings. You might be scared, you might be unsure of yourself, but make the most of it,” Redmond said.

During his time as the president of BCC, he believes he can make a change in the right way.

“I feel like I’m doing something that can make a difference if I do my job well, so in that sense, I feel pretty lucky right now, tired but lucky,” Redmond said.

Redmond has a number of things planned; the main goal is to put the focus on students. He wants to raise more money for scholarships and create a year-long series of events for BCC’s 50th anniversary. It will take a lot of planning and effort, but he wishes to celebrate the college.

The biggest change Redmond is making is revamping the website, making it more user-friendly for students. Redmond tried to register himself as a student and found it difficult: Navigating the website, in general, was a challenge. With the fall enrollment dropping, Redmond acknowledged that something had to be done.

“I said to my staff here, we have to do a better job,” he said.

Although it will take time, currently a splash page is up and running to make navigating the website a little easier for students.

“Tell them, we know about it, we’re hearing them and we’re trying to do something about it,” Redmond said.