Dallas Herring Lecture

Dallas Herring Lecture

NC State’s College of Education 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.


2019 Dallas Herring Lecture: Valencia College President Sandy Shugart

Tuesday, December 3, 2019 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

Registration is open for the 2019 lecture


Dallas Herring
Dallas Herring

W. Dallas Herring was instrumental in the creation of the North Carolina Community College System. His work widened access to and democratized higher education for thousands of North Carolinians. Dr. Herring conceived of and foresaw a community college system in this state that would prepare all students – transfer and trade alike – to achieve a fulfilling life and livelihood.

Also crucial to the success of this endeavor were hundreds of North Carolinians devoting years of their career to teaching their students how to master their chosen crafts. Beyond this, though, Dr. Herring believed community colleges and those teaching at those institutions could and should cultivate students as individuals and as citizens. As Dr. Herring remarked in 1983, students pursuing and training for their futures at community colleges are more than just “automatons” of industry – they are, first and foremost, “human beings and citizens with immense potential for good,” both in their careers and their communities at large.

Past Lectures

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? She identifies three guiding principles and five building blocks.

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.

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.

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.