Speeches & writings

by President Edna V. Baehre-Kolovani

Retirement Announcement

May 14, 2018

As the saying goes, every story has an ending.  Moreover, the best stories are those that are rich in detail and have a happy ending.

Hereby, I am happy to announce my retirement from TCC, effective July 2018.

When I reflect on my 36 years in higher education, 23 years as college president, and especially on the last six as president of TCC, I realize that my story describes a successful career that has transformed lives and communities.

State of the College Address 2017

Delivered August 17, 2017, at Fall 2017 Convocation

There is a genre of fiction called “alternative history.” I am not a fan particularly, but many people must be, because there are hundreds and hundreds of books and films out there.

What if Rome hadn’t fallen? What if Queen Isabella had not persuaded King Ferdinand to finance Columbus’ voyage to the New World? What if America had lost the Revolutionary War to England?

Today, I would like to offer you a brief alternative history of Hampton Roads if Tidewater Community College had not come into existence nearly 50 years ago.

In the aftermath of Charlottesville violence

Aug. 14, 2017

As you know, I grew up in Germany and became a citizen in 1982. As a naturalized American, I believe this country is strongest when it embraces ideals of peace, strength and opportunity. Those ideals were not on display in Charlottesville this weekend.

These days it's about skills, not degrees

Published July 16, 2017, in The Virginian-Pilot

One of the most unfortunate and damaging cultural narratives in the U.S. has been the idea that everyone needs a bachelor’s degree, whatever the cost. The result is $1.4 trillion in student debt for education that, for too many graduates, does not lead to a well-paying job. Now, however, we are witnessing a shift in the educational landscape.

Virginia Beach Campus incident update

June 29, 2017

I want to provide the latest information on the security incident yesterday on the Virginia Beach Campus. As you know from news reports, one of our instructors was accosted by a man with a handgun in the Virginia Beach Building. He fled when she screamed. Thankfully, the instructor was not injured.

State of the College Address 2016

Delivered August 19, 2016, at Fall 2016 Convocation

August 2013 was just 3 short years ago – although it seems longer, doesn’t it? I stood on this spot and outlined a strategic plan for the college called One College, One Voice, One Future. A strategic plan to which more than 400 TCC employees contributed their thoughts and ideas.

Identity theft at TCC

March 25, 2016

A serious breach of employee information has been discovered. I want to make you aware of it and tell you what we are doing. We are working with professionals to address this matter. Meanwhile, I’m providing this preliminary notification so that you can take these immediate actions to protect your information.

Workforce training helps the local economy

Published January 17, 2016, in The Virginian-Pilot

Virginia’s current funding formula for higher education, which focuses on for-credit programs leading to academic degrees, doesn’t afford community colleges the resources to ramp up the short-term, intensive training demanded by employers.

Aboard the USS Harry Truman

Published November 9, 2015

Close encounter with U.S. Navy an exhilarating experience

The magic of dual enrollment

Published May 17, 2015, in The Virginian-Pilot

What if your son or daughter could complete a year of college before graduating from high school? What if, by starting college in high school, your child had a better chance of graduating with a bachelor’s degree or completing a post-secondary credential? And what if the future cost of your child’s college education could be reduced? It’s not a myth. It’s what I call the magic of dual enrollment.

A case for America's College Promise

Published January 18, 2015, in The Virginian-Pilot

I’m not the only community college president who cheered President Obama’s proposal to fund two years of community college for every qualified American who can maintain a C+ average. No matter the fate of “America’s College Promise” in Congress, it’s clear that the president grasps that America’s future growth and resilience rely on a well-educated workforce.

Speech to graduates of Norfolk Naval Shipyard Apprentice School

November 6, 2014

Good evening. I’m deeply honored to be here tonight to share in your success. As you know from the hours you have spent on our Portsmouth Campus, TCC provides the academic component of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s apprenticeship program. Working together for over forty years, TCC and the Shipyard have developed courses, program certificates and degree options, and we have combined academics, trade theory, and on-the-job-experience to create a multi-level and flexible program. 

A trained workforce brings manufacturers – and jobs

Published August 24, 2014, in The Virginian-Pilot

By 2022, about a half million new jobs will be created in Virginia, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said as he unveiled a new workforce initiative for the commonwealth on Aug. 13. Nearly another million workers will be needed to replace the long gray wave of retiring baby boomers.

Center for Workforce Solutions

May 2014

Dear TCC Community:

TCC’s Center for Workforce Development is adopting a new name: the Center for Workforce Solutions. 

OER - A textbook case for reducing college costs

Published March 9, 2014, in the Richmond Times-Dispatch

By 2022, about a half million new jobs will be created in Virginia, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said as he unveiled a new workforce initiative for the commonwealth on Aug. 13. Nearly another million workers will be needed to replace the long gray wave of retiring baby boomers.

A demand for jobs – and the skills they require

Published August 11, 2013, in The Virginian-Pilot

The numbers say we're doing OK, jobs-wise. Unemployment, which hit 10 percent nationally during the Great Recession, has moderated - 7.4 percent at last count. So why did Tidewater Community College call a jobs summit last week? Because we're not out of the woods.

A message about recent events

April 27, 2013

Dear TCC Community:

Like many of you, I am heartsick about two recent tragedies. I am deeply saddened by the bombings in Boston on Monday that injured more than one hundred – many grievously – and took the lives of three, including an 8-year-old boy. 

How could India build a better community college system?

March 5, 2013

A few weeks ago, I was part of a delegation of American community colleges to a conference in Mumbai, “Mainstreaming Skills in Education – Creating Relevant Human Resources.” During my visit, I and my Indian counterparts identified two potential opportunities for Tidewater Community College to establish partnerships in India.