New name in the works for TCC

President Jim Murdaugh said he’s been consider a name change for Tallahassee Community College for some time.
Photo by St. Clair Murraine

By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook Staff Writer

When Jim Murdaugh, president of Tallahassee Community College, first mentioned the possibility of a name change during his state of the college address, he left no doubt why the suggestion surfaced.

“This is not about changing who we are; it’s about defining who we are and where we are going,” Murdaugh said during his Aug. 11 address. “It’s about momentum and relevance.”

Consideration is being given to dropping the word “community” from the school’s name.

Murdaugh said a task force has been formed and he expects its findings to be presented to the District’s Board of Trustees in November. The task force, which started meeting two months ago, is made up of TCC employees, students, and alumni. A consultant will work with the group to determine if a name change is necessary.

Hillsborough Community College is the only other school in the Florida College System that uses “community” in its name. 

Efforts to look into the name change started almost two months before Murdaugh announced in early July that the school will begin teaching a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Bachelor of Science in Exceptional Education programs. The programs started on Monday with the beginning of fall classes.

TCC offered its first bachelor’s degree in 2014.

“TCC has generated a tremendous amount of momentum over the past several years,” Murdaugh said in his address. “How we stay relevant is how we use it to best serve our students. We didn’t arrive where we are by accident, and we’re not going to continue to be regarded as highly as we are by accident.

A name change will be the second for TCC since its inception in 1966 as Tallahassee Junior College. It changed to TCC in 1970.

“Our impact is far greater today than ever before,” Murdaugh said. “With new higher-level degrees, increased national recognition, and more than 60 percent of our students now coming to us from outside of our service district, the time has come once again for us to assess the need for a change to our name.”

Although the name change could take some time to implement, Murdaugh seemingly has already put plenty of thought into it.

“This is not a decision I take lightly,” he said. “While this institution has gone through a name change before, not to mention at least five different logos, the word “community” is important to us.”

During his address, Murdaugh said, “The state of our College has never been stronger,” before he went on to list several academic programs that TCC offers. Several of those programs will be funded by money from the legislator.

Some of the funding will also be spent on personnel at all levels, he said. He gave a breakdown as follows:

“Invest in our people by providing a 6 percent pay raise for all employees in a regularly established position, and allocating 1 percent of the College’s budget on personalized professional development for all faculty, staff, and administrators to help position our team for the future.”

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