2020 Dallas Herring Lecture

On Tuesday, November 10th, Dr. Pam Eddinger of Bunker Hill Community College (MA) virtually delivered the 2020 Dallas Herring Lecture under the title of Insights from the Pandemic: The Reckoning and the Hope at Our Nation’s Community Colleges. In addition to the above quote, Dr. Eddinger pointed out that the pandemic has “also shown us a radical transformation in the nature of community colleges.” A panel discussion by Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont Community College (NC), Dr. Avis Proctor, president of Harper College (IL), and Dr. William Serrata, president of El Paso County Community College (TX) followed the lecture.

Watch the 2020 Dallas Herring Lecture

Download our 2020 Discussion Guide

Interested in quickly learning more about this year’s event? The articles from our colleagues below provide a comprehensive recap of both the lecture and panel discussion:


What is the 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.

Dallas Herring Lectures

(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.

(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.

About Dallas Herring

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.