RALEIGH – After serving six years on the State Board of Community Colleges, Peter Hans is already familiar with North Carolina’s community colleges.
“I’m truly excited about the challenge to help lead what is probably the nation’s very best community college system – 58 colleges spread throughout the state, within a 30-minute drive of 95% of North Carolina’s population,” Hans, the new President of the NC Community College System, says in the accompanying video.
“We’re there on the ground, agile, nimble, ready to serve North Carolina’s communities,” he says. He goes on discuss the colleges’ many partnerships with public schools, universities and the business community.
Asked about his vision for the system, Hans quotes Dallas Herring, known as the father of the Community College System:
“’We need to take people where they are and take them as far as they can go.’ And I believe that remains the vision for our Community College System in North Carolina. Now I would love to see us recognized as the very best community college system in the country, because I believe that would be a competitive edge for our state.”
Beyond all the talk of systems and institutions, he says, are real people.
“Many people think about the community colleges in very pragmatic, almost utilitarian terms – and that’s true, because we do a lot of things very well, very quickly,” Hans says.
“But the truth is, behind those understandings, there are real lives. There are people who are bettering their lives, providing for their families, opportunities, careers, lifting the state up along the way, helping us grow and prosper. That’s the real story of the community college system.”