The growth Tri-C has experienced in students, revenue and cash flow can all be traced to stability in the executive ranks of the College and its focus on the three fundamental strategies of the “Thornton Doctrine.” The strategy, executed by Dr. Thornton, concentrated on financial stability, a continuum of education, and physical expansion. Implementation of the self-sustaining strategy helped improve the financial health of the College and allowed for key expansion at opportunistic moments in the College’s future.
Dr. Thornton worked tirelessly in cementing the financial stability of Tri-C throughout her 22 years as president. The sense of financial transparency she created at Tri-C is rare among government or non-profit entities. Proving the excellent standards Dr. Thornton set, the College was one of just 69 colleges and universities in the United States awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.
An early message delivered by Dr. Thornton was that the College had to create a continuum of education that went beyond the traditional community college student. It didn’t matter if the choice of Tri-C was made by a high school student seeking out a new challenge in science or math, or if the choice was made by a white-collar professional in need of honing technology skills.
By focusing on a continuum of education, financial stability, and physical expansion, the three strategic initiatives have established Cuyahoga Community College as a national force in the community college arena and have truly cemented the strength and quality of the College.