College president proud of successes, thankful for opportunities

Published 10:28 am Saturday, October 25, 2014

by Paul Conco

Dear Friends,

As many of you know, I have announced my plans to retire in summer 2015. It will have been five years since I arrived in southeast Virginia to work at Paul D. Camp Community College. Little did I know back then how much the college and community would come to mean to my wife, Diana, and me. The college, as all institutions in these economic times, has experienced a roller coaster of highs and lows in enrollments, budgets and opportunities.

No one person can claim successes on their own β€” especially in a college environment which is known for the talent of their faculty and staff, the wisdom of committee work, and the value of shared governance. Much has been accomplished over these years β€” the first of which has to be the success of our students and the programs of study they have engaged. Every day we hear about their educational and career achievements and we are proud to have been a part of that success. We revel in our mission: β€œto provide diverse learning opportunities to enhance the quality of life for students and the community.”

The other thought that comes to mind is the generosity of our donors and friends. Last year we concluded our major gifts campaign, announcing a total amount of over $7 million raised for new programs, faculty development, and student scholarships.

I am also proud of how the academic departments continue to strive to meet the needs of our communities by offering new programs. We have started HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), Robotics/Mechatronics, Logistics (warehouse and distribution), Practical Nursing, Pharmacy Technician, Emergency Medical Technician, and many others.

The college has stayed on target by offering relevant programs. Our professional staff also has been attentive to student retention and graduation rates, financial aid opportunities, career development and high school career coach counseling, dual enrollment opportunities, and much more.

And finally I must note the great work of our Division of Workforce Development and all the great opportunities the Workforce Center and staff bring to our community. We have a wonderful facility that not only hosts workforce training to scores of employers and thousands of employees, but provides magnificent space for everything from a large community event to a wedding reception. Our Workforce Development mission is a major part in the economic development engine in our region.

The process for hiring a new president will begin with a nationwide recruitment and a diverse search committee and process led by the Human Resources Department in the Virginia Community College System. There will be multiple opportunities for community involvement as the process proceeds. I remain committed to making the transition a smooth one for the college, community, and the next president of PDCCC. That person, too, will quickly learn what a great college and area this is in which to live and work. Best wishes to all.

DR. PAUL W. CONCO is the president of Paul D. Camp Community College. He can be reached at 569-6712 or by email at