Convocation a chance for PCC Employees
to Look Ahead to 2013-14 Academic Year
WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College employees met for convocation last week to reflect on the previous academic year and prepare for a new one that began Thursday with the start of fall classes.
Held in the Charles Coburn Center, the annual meeting featured remarks from several college administrators along with Student Government Association President La'Quon Rogers, who was elected in the spring and will serve as an ex-officio member of the PCC Board of Trustees during the 2013-14 academic year.
Steve Gilliland, a successful author, businessman and motivational speaker, delivered the keynote address at this year's convocation. A Mocksville resident and member of the Speaker Hall of Fame, Gilliland spoke with employees about "Making a Difference" in the lives of students.
President G. Dennis Massey, now in his eleventh year with Pitt, welcomed employees to convocation and led off his “State of the College” remarks by thanking them for their efforts in helping the college attain reaffirmation of accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
“… I am proud to say that we learned very much from this [accreditation] experience and received in June a strong endorsement from the SACS Commission on Colleges of our reaccreditation,” Massey said. “Many thanks for the tremendous efforts of many faculty and staff in this long process.”
Massey said one of PCC’s goals this year would be to further expand facilities “to improve the learning environment for students.” After opening the Charles E. Russell and Construction and Industrial Technology buildings in 2012, he said Pitt’s next project will be to expand the Craig F. Goess Student Center to include space for a student bookstore, career and computing center, and student lounge.
Convocation was also an opportunity for the PCC president to let employees know college administrators will be seeking support from Pitt County citizens this fall for passage of a $19.9 million-bond referendum. If approved by voters on Nov. 5, he said the funding would allow PCC to construct a new science building on campus and purchase a facility near the main campus to serve as the new home for public safety training.
Massey noted that the projects would require a slight property tax increase, since funding for the college’s buildings and grounds, utilities, maintenance, and security is the county’s responsibility. He said PCC must do a good job of informing county taxpayers of the importance of the new facilities.
“Nothing comes for free, of course,” Massey said. “… The bond proposed would be paid back by a property tax increase estimated to be $18.50 per $100,000 value, or about five cents per day.
“The benefit would be a workforce much better prepared to handle the jobs at DSM, ASMO, Metrics, our many police and public safety organizations, and a student body geared to meet the future needs of our county.”
In his closing remarks, Massey reminded employees that PCC remains the most crowded of North Carolina’s 58 community colleges. He pointed out that Pitt grew at a faster rate (six percent) last fall than any other community college in the state and that it was one of only six community colleges in North Carolina to register growth during the 2012-13 academic year.
Though he felt PCC would be challenged to match last year’s enrollment growth, Massey told employees during convocation that early data indicates the college is actually on track to surpass last fall’s record enrollment.
Following convocation, employees participated in several professional development workshops pertaining to academic advising, financial aid and distance learning.