Release Date: 
Thursday, February 29, 2024

Thank you to our community

Image of HFC North Entrance sign at sunset

To our Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, and HFC community:

It’s a great day to be a Hawk! Thanks to you, our College operating millage was renewed for 8 years in Tuesday’s primary election. All of us at HFC are grateful for your commitment and support of this College that is deeply rooted in our community.

The final millage vote was 66% in favor, or 13,047 votes. The Dearborn Public Schools enjoyed similar community support, with 72% in favor, or 14,132.

Over the last few months, I have enjoyed spending time in our community discussing our College, going to any group of any size who would give me the opportunity to hear their concerns and explain our life-changing mission. I was, and remain, excited by your core belief in public education. We take very seriously the trust that you have given us to provide the outstanding education and services that you expect and deserve.

It is our privilege to be this community’s College. Thank you again for your fantastic support.

Some specific thanks

I remain proud of and grateful to the members of our Board of Trustees and our teammates and employees for spreading the word about the College and the value we bring to our community. This millage would not have passed without their individual and collective efforts.

Eric Rader deserves particular thanks. He is president of the HFC American Federation of Teachers Local 1650, who chaired the millage advocacy campaign that was run independently of the College. AFT members were central to the success of the campaign. Lynn Boza, president of the Adjunct Faculty Organization, and AFO members were equally instrumental in this effort. Local 71 President Joe Zitnik and his union members were very generous to the effort. SSA President Joni Morris and her union members were tireless advocates and supporters. Together, we stand as a shining example in higher education where unions and administration work hand-in-hand as teammates for our public mission.

Faculty members Sam Bazzi and Tony Perry led extraordinary advocacy and community-engagement efforts. And Sam provided critical translation services for our Arabic-speaking neighbors.

Vice Presidents Lori Gonko and Rhonda DeLong, as well as their teammates in the divisions of Strategy and HR and Marketing and Communications, provided time and dollars to our effort. My executive assistant, Patti Flogaus, provided fantastic support for my schedule and community connections, as well as getting personally involved in advocacy on her own time.

Dozens of individual employees selflessly dedicated your personal time to the millage renewal effort, and I am grateful to each of you. And I saw many of you at the polls on election day, working on your own personal time as advocates for our college.

We had external support from community members and local government leaders who went out of their way to help us and advocate for us. Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud was a pivotal supporter, and the entire Dearborn City Council endorsed our proposal.

I extend my heartfelt thanks to every person at the College and in our community who worked to support and share information about this important millage renewal. I know you worked hard for this, and you are a major reason for our success.

Our commitment to you

We are excited about plans to grow and improve our campuses in the years to come, with a modern and service-oriented “front door” on Evergreen Road, and new student and community educational and collaboration spaces.

Our goal is to be Michigan’s leader on student success, and this vote of support will keep us on track. Because of you, our community and teammates, we will joyfully continue the never-ending mission of transforming lives and building better futures for students.

As always, I am here to support and listen to you. Reach out to me with any questions, ideas, or concerns.

Go Hawks, and Go HFC!

With gratitude,

Russ Kavalhuna
Henry Ford College