Recently, Cleveland Community College President Dr. Jason Hurst and Board of Trustees Vice-Chair Wayne King attended a professional development event at Western Piedmont Community College. Board of Trustees Chairman Wes Westmoreland attended a national Governance Leadership Institute.
The Western North Carolina Regional Trustee Training provided an opportunity for Hurst and King to engage with personnel from the North Carolina Community Colleges System (NCCCS) office. “The training was excellent,” said King. “I believe any time you can hear from other stakeholders about the future of the community college system it is beneficial.”
The information presented was designed to give attendees more of an in-depth understanding of how NC community colleges operate. They also learned how to work with state legislators to help strengthen North Carolina’s workforce.
“I am a new president and many of our Board of Trustees members are new and have not had the opportunity for exposure to how the North Carolina Community Colleges System office works,” said Hurst. “This training provided a great opportunity for both presidents and trustees to have professional development opportunities close to home.”
The training included a panel discussion with several members of the NC General Assembly regarding legislative priorities for higher education, and information on the state’s budgeting process and the process for legislative advocacy. The new president of the NCCCS, Peter Hans, spoke to the group about his priorities for the System. “President Hans gave an inspirational talk that will help us all pull together to move the NCCCS forward,” said Hurst. “Our statewide meetings cover a myriad of topics and allow for sharing of information and best practices. Interactive sessions with Presidents and Trustees from across the state allow for concentrated time and attention on specific subjects.”
Westmoreland traveled to Washington, DC for a leadership institute hosted by the Association of Community College Trustees. The leadership institute focused on the role of trustees and how they can help effectively lead their colleges. “Our Board recognizes that Cleveland Community College is a critical component to the success of many individuals in Cleveland County,” said Westmoreland. “Part of our role as a Board is to help ensure the greatest opportunity for the success of our students. In order to do that, we have an obligation to educate ourselves.”
Topics discussed at the governance leadership institute included the board’s role, the president’s role and how to evaluate both the board and the president. Westmoreland noted that this information will be particularly helpful as the CCC Board prepares for a workshop in October.
The three-day institute provided Westmoreland the opportunity to interact with trustees from across the country. “Though I have attended a number of state conferences, this was my first national conference,” said Westmoreland. “I appreciated the opportunity to interact with board chairs and presidents from across the nation, share experiences, explore best practices, and delve into not only how I can better impact Cleveland Community College as a board member, but lead the board as chairman in the next year.”