New FSCJ president seeks transparency

By Tarik Minor, Anchor-reporter, tminor@wjxt.com
Christopher Yazbec, News editor, News4Jax.com, cyazbec@wjxt.com
Published On: Jan 16 2014 03:14:24 PM EST
Updated On: Jan 16 2014 06:18:12 PM EST

VIDEO: The new president of Florida State College of Jacksonville, Dr. Cynthia Bioteau, talks about her vision for the school and how she sees the growth.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

There's a new woman in charge at Florida State College at Jacksonville.

Cynthia Bioteau invited the media to her office Thursday to talk about what she sees as her top priorities as president of the college now that the former President Steven Wallace is gone.

FSCJ terminated its contract with Wallace for alleged ethics violations and abusing leave time.

Bioteau told reporters her administration will be transparent and accountable, adding that one of her key priorities is to rebuild the trust that was lost in the last administration.

Bioteau, on just her fourth day on the job, said hosting the roundtable was the first step in building a relationship with the community and regaining that trust.

"I never knew Dr. Wallace personally," she said. "Professionally I was able to look at the leadership over the last decade and there were remarkable things done here. I haven't talked to Dr. Wallace and I'm not privy to what happened in the past couple of years."

Wallace was being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for violating state ethics laws and abusing leave time. He was also criticized for irresponsible college spending and operational problems. His administration wrongly approved hundreds of students Pell grants and federal student loans.

"What I can say with full confidence is that the problem has been recognized, addressed over the last year and addressed now, and I commit fully to make sure federal financial aid is available for those who need it," Bioteau said. "And we will make right anything that has not worked in the past."

The new president says her top priorities at FSCJ are decreasing dropout rates, increasing graduation rates, increasing job placement statistics and building trust.

She said she wants to influence more graduates to stay in Jacksonville and give back to the local economy. And she said the religious and business community is very important in helping students at FSCJ succeed.

"I'm here to take what is here and what is good about this institution and bring it forward," Bioteau said. "So my vision is moving forward, and that's where I'm focusing my energies."

Bioteau comes to FSCJ from the Salt Lake Community College, which had issues with accountability before her arrival.

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