By Megan Bradish
With his retirement approaching soon, Flagler College President Dr. Joseph Joyner has found himself reflecting back on his four years at the college.
“It has been a great personal experience for me,” said Dr. Joyner. “I’ve learned a lot in four years and really enjoy being able to get close to students.”
Dr. Joyner has had a busy four years with being the president of a college. Not only has being the president had an impact on his life, but it has also impacted his wife, Mrs. Susan Joyner.
“It has made my retirement really busy,” said Mrs. Joyner. “It was kind of a jolt and a lot of things that we had planned were put on hold because he felt like he had to jump on the opportunity.”
There have been some major changes that have happened since Dr. Joyner became president. For example, the FLAGSHIP program, new bookstore, and new fitness center.
Ever since COVID-19 hit, there have been some major impacts to the college itself.
“In a number of ways, from an operational standpoint, the financial impact has been major,” Dr. Joyner said. “There has been a huge impact on the staff and faculty with their way of work. Working at home has seemed to be more difficult for majority of the faculty. For the students, there is a feeling of undesired isolation that has impacted what college really is.”
Mrs. Joyner has also seen a big impact ever since COVID hit.
“We have been in the trenches since the beginning until COVID hit,” Mrs. Joyner said. “Not to go the performances and sporting events, it was a big ‘WOW’.”
Dr. Joyner knew that this job was not going to be easy, but Mrs. Joyner, at first, thought it was going to be easy.
“I thought, Flagler College, it’s just 2,500 students, that’s like a high school. This is going to be easy,” Mrs. Joyner said. “And that was the ‘AHA’ moment and it was not mainly because there is a greater responsibility with students being on campus.”
As the president, it is a part of his job to be open to new ideas and to hear what other people might have to say in order to improve the college.
“This position allows me to bring ideas across the campus and provides an opportunity to be engaged in various activities,” said Laura Stevenson Dumas, assistant to the president.
In the four years that Dr. Joyner has been president, he has achieved many things that have helped make the college more inclusive.
“Not only can you look at his accomplishments of overseeing a visionary and comprehensive strategic plan, fostering a more diverse and inclusive campus, strengthening shared governance and the adoption of critical new programs,” said Stevenson Dumas.
Dr. Joyner is someone who is going to be dearly missed by many.
“He made so many people feel welcomed and valued,” said Stevenson Dumas. “His legacy will remain long after his retirement.”