After more than 45 years of teaching and counseling in higher education, Dr. Charles Florio is bringing a wealth of knowledge and job experience to Tyler Junior College as the interim academic dean. However, it is his life experiences leading to this point that may help him have an even bigger impact on TJC.
Florio has perhaps most notably served as President of the Northeast Texas Community College, and as the Academic Dean of Instruction at Kilgore College. These accomplishments did not come easy for Florio, who had a challenging childhood.
“My twin sister and I lived in about 17 different foster homes,” said Florio. “I’ve lived in tree houses, abandoned cars, and peoples’ garages, but I think that I never felt sorry for myself.”
During this time Florio relied on his faith to help him overcome his situation.
“I kept faith in God, and he helped me get out of that mess,” said Florio.
Florio was able to get two years of military experience from February 1957 to February 1959 and graduated from a Stenography course of study with academic recognition from the U.S. Army Adjutant General’s School at Ft. Benjamin Harrison, Ind. Florio also holds a bachelor of science in Business Administration and a master degree in Social Sciences both from the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. In 1975, he earned his doctorate degree in Community College Administration and Learning Disorders from the University of Texas, at Austin.
According to TJC Provost Dr. Butch Hayes, as the interim academic dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Florio is responsible for taking care of department chairmen and their day-to-day activities and hiring new teachers.
Florio is aware of this charge and has goals for how he wants to help TJC faculty.
“I want our faculty to look upon this as a place where they can have a great career,” Florio said. “If you have good leaders, then you are going to have a good college.”
Florio’s work ethic and experience are some of the reasons why Hayes thinks Florio is the right fit for the job.
“I identified him and recommended him,” Hayes said. “His knowledge of the area stood out. His oversight as the president of NECC was more stellar than other candidates.”
Florio has held TJC in high regards for many years, even when he worked for other colleges.
“In my opinion it has always had a reputation of being one of America’s premier colleges,” Florio said.
Florio has always valued his education and he hopes that TJC students realize the opportunities they have.
“I took advantage of opportunities that came along,” Florio said. “Look at the opportunities you have at TJC or at any college.”
Florio’s first day as interim academic dean of TJC was Sept. 8.