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College Update

October 2017

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”  - John Quincy Adams

I never really thought of myself as a leader, at least in the quarterback, gung-ho way.  Sure, I did my part to do my job as well as I could, come up with new approaches that would help the entire institution, and I did not shy away from bringing up issues which might be out of the ordinary.  Throughout my career as a faculty member and staff, I took the role of the consensus-builder and not “the nail that sticks up” of the traditional Japanese proverb, though I agreed to take on the challenging role of leading my high school’s 1964 mock election on the side of Lyndon B. Johnson.  That time the nail was hammered down by a Barry Goldwater victory at Dixie Heights High School in Kentucky.  So much for my record in electoral politics.

What I have tried to do is inspire others by setting an example, listening to others around me, and by following the “servant leadership” approach.  If the employees are able to advance in new ways and always try to improve their performances in educating and empowering our students and in serving our community and region, I will only take credit for helping to set the table and create or nurture the context for leadership to flourish here.

An important challenge before most colleges across the country now is how to welcome and support students whose expectations are unformed or different from the past.  It is particularly satisfying to view the latest Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI) results which will be shared with the Board this month because there is demonstrable progress in so many areas:  major/career emphasis; advising and commitment to completing degrees and certificates; formulation of long-term educational plans.  These were the goals of the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) developed in 2013, and students are responding positively to the changes brought about, including the creation of Career Center, first-year Success Navigator advising support, and technology which allows students to access information and track progress more easily than before.

These results will not only improve our retention of students during a time when recruitment of new students is more difficult, but they combine two core values very strongly – Student Learning Success and Workforce Development.  Our local employers, such as Vidant, Hyster-Yale, Mayne Pharma, and many others are eager to connect with PCC both for training existing workers but, increasingly, for identifying new employees who want to build towards the future prosperity of eastern North Carolina.

This PCC leadership will continue to grow if all divisions of the College, particularly Student Services, Academic Affairs, and Administrative Support, work together.  This is the kind of leadership which lasts far beyond the tenure of a single president.  It will be tough for me to leave this very rewarding work, but it will be great to see what develops in the years ahead.

Recognitions and Accomplishments

A great example of student ambition, fortitude, and excellence was on display this weekend at the 2017 Bulldog Classic Volleyball Invitational, which PCC won with a 5-0 record against strong opposition (Northern Virginia, Patrick Henry, Sandhills, Surry, and Spartanburg Methodist Colleges).  I have never witnessed such a determined comeback in their third game with SMC.  Down 16-6 and very shorthanded because of injuries, they rallied to win, a remarkable achievement for such a young team as ours.  It was glorious to see, and this is only one example of the excellence our students display every day.  Here’s to a great October for everyone!

 

                                                            G. Dennis Massey, President