North Carolina Community College System president Peter Hans visited Sampson Community College Tuesday as part of his efforts to visit all 58 campuses across the state.
Hans, who became the ninth president of the North Carolina Community College System in May, brings decades of leadership experience in higher education policy and governance. His tour around Sampson, lead by the college’s Advancement Team, introduced him to the school’s employees, while offering a glimpse of daily life on the campus.
Throughout his tour, talking with SCC president Dr. Bill Starling, Hans stressed the importance of community colleges to the overall impact of the education system, while addressing the needs and concerns specifically related to Sampson Community College.
As part of the tour, Hans, who has an interest in workforce training programs, was shown the projected site of the college’s new welding building, as well as given the opportunity to walk through the ammonia refrigeration classes. Additionally, staff shared the college’s need of additional funding to complete a truck driver training facility that has not only received public support, but has been deemed a “great necessity” for the college.
“Workforce training programs are my focus,” Hans said.
While meeting with the faculty and staff at the college, Hans heard the needs and concerns voiced by several staff, including the need for additional space at the school. Making sure to utilize every inch available, Starling assured Hans that finding funding for more building space for classes would be a great asset to the college.
Walking through the nursing department at the college, Hans was able to visually witness the growing need for additional classroom and training space.
“There is a nursing shortage in North Carolina,” Hans explained. “With more resources available, we could educate more nurses.”
The system president also talked of Sen. Brent Jackson’s support for community colleges and his backing of budget money to benefit college growth.
“We were excited to host president Han’s visit to our campus today,” Starling said. “We were able to give him an accelerated tour of the campus and an opportunity to interact with many our staff and faculty. In his remarks while walking the campus, president Han’s expressed his thanks to Senator Jackson for his support for many of the state board’s budget expansion priorities funded in the short session. Certainly I would like to add to his thanks and recognize Senator Jackson for his continued support of our system and his confidence in the work of our faculty and staff.”
Hans, who was elected by the North Carolina Senate to the University of North Carolina Board of Governors in 2003, 2007 and 2011, has been a leader on North Carolina’s two governing boards for higher education. The N.C. House of Representatives elected him to a six-year term on the State Board of Community Colleges in 1997. He served as vice chair of the board and chair of the Policy Committee.
From 2016-2018, Hans advised UNC System President Margaret Spellings on issues such as technology, health care, strategic planning and K-12 education, and he later served as senior policy adviser to United States Senator Lauch Faircloth and United States Representative Richard Burr.
As part of his visit to Sampson County Tuesday, Hans made plans to visit with both Faircloth and his daughter, Anne.
“I have known Peter a long time and can think of no one more qualified to lead North Carolina’s community college system,” Anne Faircloth said about one of her father’s former adviser. “I believe we have a great case study to show him here in Sampson County, where our community college is exploring innovative ways to meet the ever-changing needs of our residents and businesses.”
Hans grew up in Southport and Hendersonville. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master of liberal arts in extension studies from Harvard University.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.