CONCORD, NH – On Feb. 25, 2021, the Board of Trustees of the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) released the following statement:
“Governor Sununu has proposed a single governance board for New Hampshire public higher education. The Board of Trustees of the Community College System of New Hampshire commends the Governor’s vision of enhanced student access and flexible, seamless pathways within and across New Hampshire’s higher educational systems.
The CCSNH Board is extremely proud of the work performed by the Community College System faculty and staff and the high quality of education made available to New Hampshire citizens in their home communities. We look forward to working with the Governor’s office, the Legislature, and the University System to create a structure that meets the vision and best serves the students, businesses, and citizens of the State of New Hampshire.”
The proposal will be considered by the NH Legislature over the next several months.
Jeremy Hitchcock, who has served as CCSNH’s board chairman since 2017, added, “Addressing this proposal over the next several months will require considerable focus and attention. It is time for me to step down from the board and transition this process into the capable hands of my fellow trustees. I have asked our Vice Chair, Katharine Bogle Shields, to step into the leadership role as Chair and I thank her for her willingness to do so.”
Shields, of Canterbury, is a former director of the Community Development Finance Authority and a former banking executive. She has been on CCSNH’s board since 2009 and has chaired its Audit, Finance, and Assets & Resources committees.
Hitchcock is a technology entrepreneur and investor whose companies, past and present, include Dyn, an Internet performance management company, Minim, an AI-driven residential managed WiFi and IoT security platform, and Orbit Group, providing venture capital and private equity opportunities for community-building enterprises. Hitchcock and his wife Liz have also been involved in economic development initiatives in Manchester and own The Bookery, an independent bookstore in downtown Manchester.
About CCSNH: CCSNH is governed by a board of trustees comprised of representatives from sectors central to the system’s mission “to provide residents with affordable, accessible education and training that aligns with the needs of New Hampshire’s businesses and communities, delivered through an innovative, efficient and collaborative system of colleges.” Its members are drawn from the fields of business and industry, healthcare, community service, law enforcement, labor, the mechanical trades, technology, career and technical education, law enforcement, students, employees, alumni and the general public.
CCSNH 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’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. The seven community colleges in the system are committed to working with businesses throughout the state to train and retain employees to develop a robust workforce across all sectors, and embrace 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.