Since his graduation from Ferris in 1968, Frank Sorochinsky has successfully pursued a number of careers and has taken that experience with him to the President's Office of George Brown College. Spread across three campuses in downtown Toronto (a city Sorochinsky describes as "probably the most diverse city in the western hemisphere"), George Brown College's students themselves come from many parts of the world, and add to the rich cultural mix in which they live and study.
President Sorochinsky took time out of his busy schedule to discuss the similarities
between George Brown College and Ferris State University, "boutique" programs and
won't be challenging Tiger Woods any time soon.
FSU: George Brown College's mission is similar to Ferris State University's, isn't it?
Frank Sorochinsky: George Brown began by pulling together a number of institutes more than 35 years ago. Some of those were trades- and technology-oriented institutes and we've maintained the applied focus. So yes, I believe our roots are similar.
FSU: You have a very strong Theater Arts program. That surprised me.
Frank Sorochinsky: We're currently looking at ways we can create a center for Entertainment and the Arts. But at the moment we have a number of "boutique" programs-Jewelry Design, for example-that are not large in terms of enrollment, but are very popular and of high standards.
FSU: What's the most enjoyable part of your job?
Frank Sorochinsky: Working with students. Seeing their confusion and wonder transformed at convocation to the confidence of going out into the world having learned what they didn't know, and knowing that they're going to continue to learn after they leave here.
FSU: How about the flip side of that-what's the biggest challenge?
Frank Sorochinsky: Managing the college's finances in such a way so as to invest in the future. It's one thing to operate on a day-to-day basis, it's another thing to make plans and develop for the future.
FSU: What do you enjoy doing when you're not in the office?
Frank Sorochinsky: Well, I haven't been doing a lot else, I've been very busy! I have a cottage up north of Toronto and spend a fair amount of time there. I play a little golf, but not very well.
FSU: What's your handicap?
Frank Sorochinsky: It's not even registered! (Laughs) I just bang the ball around a bit. I do a lot of reading. I live and work right downtown so that's very exciting-I enjoy all the entertainment and cultural offerings.
FSU: One last question. Coming from Canada, how did you end up at Ferris?
Frank Sorochinsky: I was living in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, at that time. I had finished high school and was working for Algoma Steel when I decided I wanted to continue my education. A professor at the university in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., interested me in accounting and in Ferris State University's program. Between that and what I heard about Ferris and my travels in Michigan, I thought it was worth trying. It was a very good experience.
From the 2001 Winter issue of Crimson & Gold