Fall 2019 Semester to Mark Final Days in Office for MCC Leader; Legacy Includes Successful Capital Expansions, Program Growth
Following a distinguished tenure marked by consistent growth of student enrollment, increased graduation rates and an unprecedented expansion of programs, Manchester Community College (MCC) President Dr. Susan D. Huard announced her retirement to MCC faculty and staff on August 20, 2019. Huard has served as MCC President since July 2010 and will end her tenure at the college December 31, 2019.
“I will miss the everyday interactions with students most of all, but it is time to step down so I can spend more time with my family. I will always treasure my days at Manchester Community College,” said Susan Huard, President of Manchester Community College. “Colleges like MCC provide accessibility and affordability to countless families seeking pathways to new opportunity. My fervent hope is that I have helped extend the school’s legacy of connecting people to their long-term goals and dreams. It has been an honor to serve and I look forward to staying connected with CCSNH and MCC.”
Under Huard’s leadership over the past nine years, MCC programs and facilities have expanded to meet changing workforce demands. She has ushered in the development of new academic programs in advanced manufacturing, behavioral science, computer science, electrical technology and healthcare.
“Thanks in large part to President Huard’s leadership, we’ve established a first-class lineworker apprenticeship program at Manchester Community College that is developing highly skilled workers who are helping us advance a clean energy future,” said Eversource New Hampshire Vice President of Electric Operations Joe Purington. “Susan has helped create a brighter future for countless students across the state, and it has been an honor to work with her over the years. I wish President Huard the best of luck and congratulations on her well-deserved retirement.”
Huard has overseen millions of dollars in capital building projects, most notably MCC’s first Student Center in 2013 and the Advanced Technologies building in 2017. She initiated many other improvement projects including renovations to the Automotive Technology Center, Welding laboratory, and upgrades to Business, Computer Science, English, Exercise Science and Robotics facilities.
Huard was instrumental in developing the RN to BSN Public Nursing Pathway program between the Community College System of NH (CCSNH) and Granite State College. In 2016 then-Governor Hassan nominated Huard to lead the Governor’s Commission on Healthcare and Community Support Workforce. In 2018, she also served as interim president for Great Bay Community College.
“Susan has stood out as an exceptionally capable leader at MCC and within the Community College System,” said CCSNH Chancellor Ross Gittell. “Her work on healthcare, advanced technologies and behavioral sciences in particular has resulted in critical gains in our state’s ability to respond to key needs within our population and economy. She also spearheaded innovative programs, such as working with Babson College and the Goldman Sachs Foundation to bring the 10K Small Business program to New Hampshire, to support our state’s entrepreneurs and job creators. We will miss her greatly at MCC and CCSNH. We wish her the best in her retirement and will always consider ourselves very fortunate to have benefited from her decade of leadership within the Community College System.”
Today’s MCC better reflects the diversity of the greater Manchester community. Huard also opened up the campus to political candidates and other guests to provide opportunities for civic engagement for MCC students and the community.
Prior to her almost-decade-long tenure in New Hampshire, Huard held administrative and faculty appointments at Quinebaug Valley Community College and Manchester Community College (Connecticut) and Finger Lakes College in New York.
Dr. Huard serves on the Boards of: NH Jobs for America’s Graduates (NH-JAG); NH Higher Education Assistance Foundation (NHHEAF); and Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. A member of the Leadership Greater Manchester Class of 2012, Huard also serves on the NH Scholars Advisory Board, and is a Commissioner for New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) accrediting agency.
Earlier in her career, Huard taught at the middle and high school levels before earning her M.A. in Reading and her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, from the University of Connecticut. After several years of teaching at Finger Lakes Community College, she began her administrative career there as Acting Director of Developmental Studies Division. She received her bachelor’s degree from Framingham State College
Dr. Huard has received the Outstanding Leadership in Education Award from NH-JAG, as well as an Honorary Doctorate this year from Granite State College for “selfless dedication to students, colleges and the communities that they serve.”
Upon Huard’s retirement, an interim president will be named by the CCSNH Board of Trustees.
The Trustees of the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) have selected Dr. Patrick Tompkins, currently with the Virginia Community College System, to be the next president of NHTI-Concord’s Community College. He will assume his new role on February 1, 2023.