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Massey Completes Term as President of Community College Presidents Association

Dr. G. Dennis Massey receives a plaque commemorating his service as president of the N.C. Association of Community College Presidents.

WINTERVILLE—Having just completed a one-year term at the helm of the N.C. Association of Community College Presidents (NCACCP), Pitt Community College President G. Dennis Massey appeared both satisfied and relieved this month while discussing his service with the organization.

Massey, who called his experience “insightful” and “beneficial to PCC,” completed his term July 1 and handed over the reins to Mary Rittling, president of Davidson County Community College.

For the past 12 months, Massey has been an extremely busy man, presiding over numerous N.C. Community College System (NCCCS) functions and convening monthly meetings with the state’s 58 community college presidents—all while continuing to carry out his duties with PCC.

“It was certainly time well spent—even though it was extra work for me and required a good bit of time away from campus,” Massey said. “It gave me an opportunity to spotlight Pitt Community College on the state level.”

Serving as the NCACCP president, Massey said, was a rare opportunity to “provide a PCC perspective” on community college issues at a time when the institutions are earning national recognition for their efforts to prepare a skilled workforce. It also came at a time, he said, when Pitt was adding several new buildings to the campus landscape, directing a 13-state Health Information Technology training consortium, and leading an endeavor to overhaul the community college system’s developmental math and English courses.

Spreading the word about PCC success has been a hallmark of Massey’s presidency since he came to the college nine years ago.

“One of my goals since joining PCC in 2003 has been communication – locally and statewide,” he said. “I always heard when I got here that Pitt Community College was the best-kept secret in Pitt County. Well, why?”

In addition to promoting professional development among community college presidents, Massey said another goal he had while serving as NCACCP president was to make sure the line of communication between the NCCCS in Raleigh and its member institutions worked both ways.

Massey also worked closely with the N.C. State Board of Community Colleges, which he referred to as “a very strong and impressive group of leaders from across the state.” He noted that much of the information the NCACCP provides the state board helps determine the community college system’s annual budget request of the N.C. General Assembly.

“I enjoyed working with the State Board of Community Colleges and getting to know the members,” Massey said. “They have some important responsibilities, including setting policies for the state’s community colleges, allocating resources, and long-term strategic planning that ensures equity in educational quality across the state.”

With so many new presidents taking over at North Carolina community colleges in recent years, he says NCACCP plays an important role in making sure there is parity among the schools.

“Coming from Illinois, where there are essentially ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ campuses, I remain impressed with the uniformity in quality among the 58 North Carolina community colleges, which helps facilitate transfer of courses between community colleges and with the 16 University of North Carolina institutions,” he said. “It’s truly a state system, and that is quite an accomplishment with 58 community colleges.”

Massey says the toughest part of his term was scheduling—trying to fit his responsibilities with the presidents association in with his duties as PCC president. He said his service with the presidents group kept him away from the Pitt campus a bit more, requiring him to rely more heavily on his senior administrators.

“But that was a good thing, actually,” Massey said.  “We have a lot of strength in senior leadership at PCC, and this past year really just demonstrated even further that we are all on the same page.”

For the next year, Massey will serve as past president on the association’s executive committee, a position that still has obligations—but not nearly as many as the one he just held.