Fine Arts Hall packed for SF College Convocation

Robert Hudson, Chair of the Board of Trustees, speaks during Santa Fe College's Fall 2012 Convocation at the SFC Fine Arts Hall on Tuesday.

Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 3:52 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 3:52 p.m.

Nearly 600 faculty, staff and students packed the Fine Arts Hall at Santa Fe College on Tuesday for the school's annual Fall Convocation.

The morning featured many speakers from across the college, including Provost Ed Bonahue, who announced the school's plan to create a new bachelor's degree in industrial biotechnology.

He said the college has submitted an application to the state to create such a program, which he hopes to have approval soon enough to start in January.

He said the program also needs approval from the Southern Association of College and Schools, which will consider reaffirming Santa Fe's accreditation this fall.

In addition, the college is looking at the feasibility of creating an associate's degree for physical therapy.

The plans come on the heels of the introduction of the Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Organizational Management program, which is currently accepting students.

Jackson Sasser, Santa Fe president, said that the college aims to serve students looking for degrees that are not offered at UF, but competition is not the objective.

"In no way are we competing with our best partner," he said.

Other administrators addressed collaboration from across departments as a goal for the coming year.

Naima Brown, interim vice president for students affairs, told attendees she hopes to have her office work more closely with the provost's office to effectively serve all students and faculty.

At one point, she turned to the side of the stage and made a proposition to Bonahue.

"Will you marry my student affairs to your academic affairs?" she asked.

After walking to the microphone to much applause and laughter, Bonahue accepted.

"I do," he said.

The convocation also featured an appearance by Doug Ray, executive editor of The Gainesville Sun and Ocala Star-Banner, and a performance by Mitchell McKay, an assistant music professor, who played a piece by Chopin to open the convocation.

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