He faces many challenges as the new president of Santa Fe College. Limited funding from the state legislature, full and part-time faculty pushing for higher salaries and more benefits, and a moral imperative to increase enrollment and workforce development opportunities in a service district that is tainted with unethical levels of poverty and disparity. But Paul Broadie walked onto the job eyes—and heart—wide open.
Dr. Paul Broadie II became president of SF in February of 2020, after his celebrated predecessor, Dr. Jackson N. Sasser, transitioned from 19 years of leadership at the college into a well-earned retirement. Out of a national pool of candidates, Broadie caught the attention of SF’s Board of Trustees with his experience serving as president of two colleges (simultaneously) and his track record of strengthening fundraising efforts as he balanced historically challenged budgets. His passion lies in partnering with local employers to create employment pipelines for students.
“What I’m most excited about is the new Blount Campus expansion in downtown Gainesville,” Broadie says, referring to a new 86,311-square-foot facility planned for the corner of University and NW 6th Street that will house many of the college’s business and IT programs, as well as business incubation spaces. “It is here that the challenges faced by our citizens in East Gainesville will be addressed and turned into opportunities.”
Creating opportunities for underserved populations became a mandate for the college under Sasser’s leadership after the “Friendship 7,” a group consisting of leaders from Alachua County, the city of Gainesville, University of Florida, Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, UF Health, Alachua County Public Schools and Santa Fe College, commissioned a disparity study for the area. It showed alarming and disparate poverty levels in the county, as well as substantial barriers that blacks and Hispanics face in the areas of education, health, law enforcement, housing and transportation. Broadie intends to address these issues with innovative programs that will train people so they can enter the careers of tomorrow.
ANYTHING THAT IS CLOSED CAN BE OPEN AGAIN. THAT’S WHY WE’RE NOT GOING TO CLOSE EQUITY GAPS—WE’RE GOING TO SHATTER THEM.”- DR. PAUL BROADIE II, PRESIDENT, SANTA FE COLLEGE
As its president, Broadie ran a successful advanced manufacturing certificate and job placement program at Housatonic Community College in Connecticut. He plans to integrate his experience in this growing field with an additional expansion on the Northwest Campus in Gainesville. In 2015, his efforts in advanced manufacturing education earned him a place in the American Manufacturing Hall of Fame.