2021 Dallas Herring Lecture

On Tuesday, November 16th, Gregory Haile, J.D., President of Broward College (FL), delivered the 2021 Dallas Herring Lecture under the title of Redefining Access: The Power of Proximity. 

Community colleges were designed to magnify access to higher education, particularly for the most challenged among us. We were designed to remove geographic and economic barriers, and provide educational service to the entire community. While we have many successes to claim, we have not satisfied the objectives of our design. Via the power of proximity, breaking the confines of current access models, we have an opportunity to realize the basis for our existence. Gregory Haile reimagined higher education access through a collaborative, replicable, and disruptive model in his 2021 W. Dallas Herring Lecture.

Following President Haile’s lecture, a panel discussion included Dr. Pamela Senegal, president of Piedmont Community College (NC), Lee D. Lambert, J.D., chancellor of Pima Community College (AZ), and Dr. Sunita “Sunny” Cooke, superintendent/president of MiraCosta Community College District (CA).


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What is the Dallas Herring Lecture?

NC State’s Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research hosts this annual lecture in honor of W. Dallas Herring, whose transformative vision and tireless work culminated in the inception of North Carolina’s community colleges. It invites top community college leaders to speak on urgent and emerging topics, framing how to address the issues and proposing a path forward.

Dallas Herring Lectures

(2021) Gregory Haile, J.D.: "Redefining Access: The Power of Proximity"

"Now is the time for us to do all we can, in our own unique ways, to become more proximate to the people our institutions are designed to serve," said Gregory Haile, J.D., president of Broward College (FL), in his 2021 lecture. What steps can community colleges take to be geographically, socially, and financially proximate to local communities and break the history of poverty?

(2018) Dr. Karen Stout: "The Urgent Case: Centering Teaching and Learning in the Next Generation of Community College Redesign"

"Excellent teaching and support for quality instruction must be at the core of our reform work” as community college leaders, said Achieving the Dream President and CEO Karen Stout during the 2018 Dallas Herring Lecture. How can leaders create a culture of excellent teaching and learning?

(2015) Dr. Ken Ender: "Leadership for the 21st Century Community College”

"The 21st century community college leaders must conceptually view and extend their definition of 'community' as extending beyond the community college campus to K-12, university, and non-profit community-based service partners," said Harper College President Ken Ender in his 2015 Dallas Herring Lecture.

(2020) Dr. Pam Eddinger: "Insights from the Pandemic: The Reckoning and the Hope at Our Nation’s Community Colleges"

As Dr. Pam Eddinger, President of Bunker Hill Community College, pointed out in her 2020 lecture, “Our students are not broken. They are navigating a broken system.” Her lecture explored the pandemic as a simultaneous moment of reckoning and hope for our nation’s community colleges.

(2017) Dr. Eduardo Padrón: “Growing Inequality and Declining Economic Mobility, the Twin Challenges of Our Time: What Leaders of Higher Education Can Do”

"Will we be an engine of inequality or the best hope of people trying to build lives in this new America?" said Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padrón in his 2017 Dallas Herring Lecture.

(2019) Dr. Sanford "Sandy" Shugart: “Ecosystem Thinking in Higher Education: The Future of Transfer”

Valencia College President, Dr. Sandy Shugart, emphasized, "As the needs of society have changed and program mixes across higher education systems evolved to meet these changing demands, transfer as a feature of the systems and of American college students’ experience has grown remarkably in scale and importance..."

(2016) Dr. Josh Wyner: “Community College 3.0: What’s Next for the Student Success Agenda?”

"Here is the challenge for community colleges over the coming decade and beyond: Can they deliver more degrees of higher quality to a more diverse population without greater public investment?" said Dr. Josh Wyner during the 2016 Dallas Herring Lecture. He is the vice president and executive director of the College Excellence Program at the Aspen Institute.

About W. Dallas Herring

Dallas Herring
Dallas Herring

Born in 1916 in Rose Hill, N.C., W. Dallas Herring made it his life’s work to build a system that would serve all of North Carolina’s residents by preparing them for productive work and active citizenship. Herring began his career in public service in 1939, when, at the age of 23, he became the mayor of his hometown, making him the youngest mayor in the country at the time. Beginning in 1955, Herring served on the North Carolina State Board of Education for almost 25 years. For 20 of those years, he served as chairman of the board. During his tenure on the State Board of Education, Herring oversaw the development of a statewide system of technical education institutes that eventually became the North Carolina Community College System. Throughout his career, W. Dallas Herring was always guided by his vision of educational “opportunity for all the people.”