New president offers vision to trustees

Published 7:05 pm Friday, June 23, 2017

Change was in the air at the June meeting of the Beaufort County Community College Board of Trustees.

The governing body bid farewell to its outgoing chair Dr. Laura Staton, elected Dr. Rev. Robert Cayton as the new chair and swore in new trustee Jim Chrisman. The meeting was also the first for Dr. David Loope, who joined BCCC as the new president only three days before the Board of Trustees meeting.

Loope shared his thoughts about the state of the college and his ideas for moving forward. “After hearing so much from folks about the health of the institution, we need to talk about infrastructure renewal — but what I mean by that is people,” he said. “We may not be able to hire new people, but we need to take the folks we have and find a way to keep them here. We need to do what we can to try to make their time with us successful so they can make the students successful.”

He has started meeting with marketing staff and the head of the BCCC Foundation, which provides scholarships to students.

“The foundation is going to play an important role as we look increasingly to sources outside the county and the state for funding,” he continued. He also stressed the importance of marketing, suggesting that creative approaches are needed to stretch marketing funds further.

Loope also listed advising as one of his top priorities in order to retain students already taking classes. “Having an individualized approach to advising can help with retention. That has to come from the faculty. We have to have the faculty with us in this process.”

He had met with the president of the Faculty Senate to brainstorm ways to bring faculty deeper into the decision making of the college.

Workforce development will continue to play an important part in the college’s relationship with Beaufort County. The county was recently certified as a “Work Ready Community,” a result of a partnership between Beaufort County Schools, BCCC and local employers. The college will continue to provide career skills for job seekers and specialized skills to meet employers’ training needs.

Loope closed by suggesting that the college needs to be an indispensable asset in the community.

“We have to make people feel proud to work here and students proud to attend here,” he said.