Community College System Chancellor to Step Down
Dr. Ross Gittell to Accept Presidency of Bryant University

Concord, NH – After nine years as Chancellor of the Community College System of NH, Dr. Ross Gittell will step down this summer to become president of Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island. 

Jeremy Hitchcock, chairman of the CCSNH board of trustees, shared the news in an email to CCSNH faculty and staff on March 4.   “While Ross has deeply valued his experience here at CCSNH, accepting the position at Bryant University is a step that aligns with his background and interests over many years in higher education, and is a position he feels drawn to after nearly a decade in his current role,” Hitchcock said. 

Hitchcock went on to cite accomplishments within the state’s community college system during Gittell’s tenure, including unprecedented tuition stability; capital improvements; strong progress on retention and completion strategies to support student success; the reorganization of the system’s Foundation; increasing partnerships with employers, high schools, Career and Technical Education Centers and four-year colleges; and seeing CCSNH become a national leader in innovative workforce strategies such as registered apprenticeship programs.  “On behalf of the Board, I wish Ross well and thank him for his dedicated service to CCSNH and New Hampshire over the past nine years,” said Hitchcock.

“My years at the Community College System will always count among the most meaningful of my life,” said Dr. Gittell.  “I will never lose the appreciation for the community college mission and the students we serve, and the colleges’ positive impact on New Hampshire’s economy and quality of life.  I am grateful for the experiences here and for having worked with such a talented group of college faculty, staff, trustees, policy-makers and partners.  I especially want to thank the CCSNH board of trustees for their commitment to NH’s community colleges and for all their support; the college presidents for their dedication and inspirational leadership; and the staff in the system office whose efforts are essential to the success of NH’s community colleges and whose work is too often underappreciated.” 

“I thank Ross Gittell for his many years of service to the state as a leader in higher education,” said Governor Chris Sununu.  “He helped build one of the best Community College systems on the entire east coast, and we couldn’t be prouder of the results. We all wish him well in his next adventure.”

Gittell will start at Bryant on July 1.   Hitchcock said Gittell will make the transition from CCSNH by early summer.  The trustees will develop a transition plan and prepare a search for Gittell’s successor. 

The Bryant University press release announcing the appointment can be read at  

The Community College System of NH consists of seven colleges, offering associate degree and certificate programs, professional training, transfer pathways to four-year degrees, and dual-credit partnerships with NH high schools.  The System Office serves to ensure that the colleges operate as a coordinated system to provide statewide opportunities for educational and economic advancement to NH residents.  The System’s colleges are Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth and Rochester; Lakes Region Community College in Laconia; Manchester Community College; Nashua Community College; NHTI – Concord’s Community College; River Valley Community College in Claremont, Lebanon and Keene; and White Mountains Community College in Berlin, Littleton and North Conway.  CCSNH is committed to working with businesses throughout the state to train and retain employees to develop a robust workforce across all sectors and embraces the “65 by 25 Initiative,” which calls for 65% of NH citizens to have some form of postsecondary education by 2025 to meet future workforce demands.

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