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Dear Lakeland Community,

Lakeland Community College re-opened its doors on August 22 amidst an unprecedented pandemic. As president of the Lakeland Faculty Association (LFA), I am proud to bear witness to the dedication of our members to our students, our college, and our community.

When our college closed its physical doors in March, LFA and adjunct faculty did not shrink from the challenges of our new reality. Instead, we rallied along with staff to remotely deliver the high-quality education that our community has come to expect.

For LFA faculty, this academic year will mark nearly 2,000 collective years of service to Lakeland alone. Our faculty include professors who studied in top programs in their fields, scholars actively pursuing their specialties, and professionals from the private sector who bring years of valuable expertise to the classroom. When skilled faculty find their way to our college, get to know the wonders of Lake County, and meet the intelligent and promising students we teach, they stay.

This is the strength of a college and community that attract and retain top talent. The college’s Chief Academic Officer has over two decades of service as faculty at Lakeland, and the president has returned and remained in his position as president to lead even now, eight years after his retirement.

Talent and our ability to keep it, are why our college ranks among the nation’s best, as reported by the News-Herald on May 6 of this year. The News-Herald reported on Jan. 15 of this year that Lakeland ranks number two “in the nation for students reaching educational goals.” These distinguished achievements are not possible without our LFA faculty members, our adjunct faculty, and Lakeland staff. They are especially not possible without the support of our community.

As an institution and as individuals, Lakeland is committed to students. We must ask ourselves, especially in this difficult time: how might we continue to demonstrate our commitment to serving the best interests of students?

I publicly thank LFA members for their unwavering dedication to our students, our college, and our community. We remain committed despite the fact that we are working under an expired contract, and we hold fast to that commitment while our Negotiations Team continues to work long hours toward a swift and fair resolution.

I also thank the Lakeland community for your support. We face these new challenges together, and together we will advance the LFA’s mission to serve our college with the devotion and high-quality education that our community deserves.

Thank you,

Lynne Gabriel, Ph.D.

LFA President

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