Miami Dade College

Miami Herald file

A controversial institute focusing on Chinese language and culture at Miami Dade College is shutting down after it became an issue in the institution's tumultuous presidential search.

Like other similar programs around the country, Miami Dade College's Confucius Institute has been criticized as a tool for spreading communist propaganda for the Chinese government. Although the institute opened in 2010, it has been thrust into the spotlight recently as the college's presidential search started, stopped and then started again.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN News

The Miami Dade College board unanimously appointed a retired veteran administrator to serve as interim president while trustees restart the search for a permanent replacement for Eduardo Padrón, who retires tomorrow.

Rolando Montoya will return to the college as its interim president for the remainder of the search process, which trustees estimated could take up to another year.

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

The chair of Miami Dade College's board of trustees has a message for people who attend the next meeting: Behave.

Bernie Navarro released a statement ahead of Thursday morning's meeting at the college's Wolfson campus in downtown Miami asking community members to "maintain professionalism, decorum and protocol."

"Civility is paramount to making progress on the issues facing Miami Dade College, an institution we all cherish and highly respect," Navarro said.

Jennifer King / Miami Herald

Miami Dade College’s faculty union is leading a lawsuit against the board of trustees after a new majority of members recently appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis voted to scrap a months-long search for the institution's next president.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Ever since Miami Dade College’s trustees called off last week’s vote to select a new president, local political leaders have ramped up their criticism that the search appears rigged.

Even the appointed officials involved in the selection process themselves have gone public with their concerns.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Miami Dade College’s Board of Trustees has delayed picking the school’s next president, deciding to instead launch a new process to find more qualified candidates.

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

With Miami Dade College preparing to announce its next president on Wednesday, its current leader Eduardo Padrón remains a focus among the school's staff and his potential successor. 

Sam Turken / WLRN

Two finalists to be Miami Dade College’s next president say they will build on the school’s accomplishments under outgoing leader Eduardo Padrón, but they differ on their priorities for the position.

Divina Grossman and Reagan Romali presented Monday to Miami Dade College’s professors and administrators. Grossman, president and chief academic officer of University of St. Augustine for Health Services, touted her fundraising ability and connections with South Florida.

Sam Turken / WLRN

The City of Miami is funding a new scholarship at Miami Dade College that honors the school’s outgoing president Eduardo Padrón by helping students finish their degrees.

The Eduardo J. Padrón Completion Scholarship Fund will provide 50 students with $1,000 each to support their tuition and other fees. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez says it will preserve Padrón’s legacy of addressing inequality and giving students education opportunities.

Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

Sixteen-year-old Beatrix Alerte was shocked to learn last year that common cosmetic and beauty brands often use ingredients derived from animal products, like whale blubber and vomit (ambergris). 

One of her favorite parts of her beauty routine is jazzing up her lips - so she decided to research how to create a glamorous, sturdy lip gloss that is vegan and cruelty-free. Now, Alerte is expanding her plant-based gloss into a business, called Trixx Trendz.

Miami Fashion Institute at Miami Dade College

From leather tanning to fabric processing to "fast fashion," the fashion industry is not known for being eco-friendly. 

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN News

Miami Dade College’s board of trustees voted down a proposal to significantly lower the required job qualifications for the institution’s next president, facing pressure from a rowdy crowd of faculty members who booed and applauded throughout Thursday morning’s meeting.

Miami Herald

The adjunct faculty at Miami Dade College have officially won the right to form a union.

The part-time professors, who make up a majority of MDC’s total faculty, won a narrow 14-vote victory on Wednesday to form a union with the Florida arm of the Service Employees International Union to lobby for increased wages, health benefits, added transparency in course assignment and — most importantly — negotiating power.

Miami Herald

Eduardo Padrón's first role at Miami Dade College was student. In August, he will resign from the role he has played for the past 24 years -- president of the school.

As he prepares to leave in August, state funding for state colleges is under pressure, the low unemployment rate has reduced enrollment, the nation's debate over immigration has affected students, and the adjunct faculty is voting on whether to unionize.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

A conflict last fall over union recruitment at Miami Dade College resulted in multiple municipal police officers pointing guns at a labor organizer on the school's campus in Doral.

The Sept. 13, 2018, incident was one of several alleged dustups that have led the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to file a complaint against the college charging unfair labor practices, a claim that is still pending under Florida's Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC).

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