Piedmont Community College president announces retirement
President Walter C. Bartlett announced on Wednesday that he would retire from Piedmont Community College (PCC), effective July 1, 2017.
“I consider my time here at Piedmont Community College to be the pinnacle of my professional career,” shared Bartlett, “and I am very honored and humbled to have had the privilege to serve as the president of this great institution. I will always carry with me the fond memories of the super people of this organization and the many accomplishments we have been able to achieve.”
Bartlett was appointed as the fourth president of PCC by the Board of Trustees at their July 14, 2009 meeting. He began his duties in August of 2009.
“On behalf of the Piedmont Community College Board of Trustees, it is with gratitude and admiration that we thank Walter for serving the Person and Caswell County campuses of PCC with forward, innovative thinking,” commented Bayard Crumpton, Chair, Piedmont Community College Board of Trustees. “Walter’s focus has been for the best interest of PCC students and he has served the community well through his active role in economic development, community and civic projects, and securing partnerships to enhance opportunities in Person and Caswell counties.”
During his presidency, Bartlett has encouraged the growth of partnerships, changes in infrastructure, and new programs. Among his accomplishments are:
• Kirby Rebirth: Upstairs-Uptown project completion – This effort was community wide and created a partnership between Piedmont Community College and the Person County Government to enhance cultural opportunities in the community, as well as in education. This project was recognized by the North Carolina Main Street Center and has increased traffic in Roxboro’s Uptown area with more than 6,000 individuals visiting the renovated space. Furthermore, the venture saw a great deal of community support, raising nearly $500,000 in donations to complete the upstairs renovation.
• Economic Development Commission partnership – The rejuvenation of economic development has been a priority for Dr. Bartlett and Piedmont Community College. The College assisted in the hiring of a new Economic Development/Small Business Center Director, a position that is county and college funded. This move demonstrates a dynamic effort to create greater prospects in Caswell County.
• Person Early College for Innovation and Leadership creation – After years of consideration and evaluation, Piedmont Community College joined efforts with Person County Schools to create Person Early College for Innovation and Leadership or PECIL. This new school for grades 9-13 is structured to provide a unique educational experience that incorporates high school and college-level courses, mentorships with community business partners, field trips to businesses and colleges, and service leadership initiatives. Upon graduation, students will have their high school diploma, as well as their associate’s degree. PECIL opened in August 2016.
• Articulation Agreements enhanced – Piedmont Community College has increased the number of articulation agreements under the direction of Dr. Bartlett. These agreements allow PCC students to seamlessly transfer courses, usually allowing the student to enter a 4-year institution with junior status. In addition, Dr. Bartlett signed the first agreement endorsing the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to teach 4-year classes on PCC’s Person County Campus as part of an RN to BSN program. These classes will begin in Fall 2017.
• Interactive Television Classrooms increased – Visions of increased educational opportunities were shared by Dr. Bartlett and Caswell County Commissioners, thus encouraging the Commissioners to fund three new Interactive Television (ITV) classrooms on the Caswell County Campus. PCC was awarded funding for two additional rooms from the Cannon Foundation. Therefore, in January 2017, new ITV classes will be held, increasing the number of class offerings to Caswell County residents. In addition, college classes from Bladen and James Sprunt Community College will be “beamed” to the Person and Caswell County campuses using the ITV technology.
• Leadership PCC established – Dr. Bartlett believes in growing leadership from within. Leadership PCC saw its first class in 2014 and provided leadership-based professional development for 21 PCC employees at the supervisor level. This program was open to all PCC employees starting in Fall 2016, and welcomed a second class of 21. In addition to learning leadership skills, participants acquire a better understanding of a variety of aspects from the local and state Community College system.
“There is no perfect time to leave an organization, but I believe I will leave Piedmont Community College as it advances in a positive direction,” noted Bartlett. “My father always told me to work hard and seize opportunities as they come along. In July, I will have given 30 years of service to the community college system and am in good health. I think this is my next new opportunity to seize.”
Prior to the presidency of PCC Bartlett served as vice president of Technical Programs at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute. A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, he also formerly served at both Durham Technical Community College as program director/instructor in the Electronics Engineering Technology program and Mitchell Community College as division director for the Engineering/Industrial Technology Division and the Allied Health and Public Service Division.
Photo: Dr. Walter C. Bartlett