A lot of lively discussion marked Monday’s welcome reception for our new Desert Vista Campus President, Morgan Phillips.
Morgan and I had the opportunity to talk with many of the dedicated faculty, staff and administrators that make the campus so successful day in and out. During his comments and a Q and A with the group, Morgan talked about making Desert Vista a leader in technology and partnerships, as well as a key resource for the surrounding community.
Morgan put it well when he said that “community colleges are effective, change lives and make things better for individuals.” It’s our job, he added, “to work to make sure everyone understands that so we have the support so we can reach out to the community the way we need to.”
I agree completely, and that is exactly what we’re doing at PCC.
Morgan, who has a doctorate in education, is a community college graduate and has spent his professional career in community colleges, including at Valencia College, one of the nation’s leading community colleges. He comes to us from Southeastern Community College in Whiteville, N.C., where he was Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs and, before that, Vice President of Curriculum Instruction. As I told yesterday’s crowd, I have an affinity for North Carolina because that is where my father’s family is from.
Morgan embraces technology as a tool to improve education delivery and services. That will play a big part in Pima’s work as we move forward. We need to ensure that the College has the capabilities to use technology to identify and meet the needs of our stakeholders.
Desert Vista Campus is home to the College’s Early Childhood Studies and Culinary Arts programs, as well as the Center for Training and Development. It also is home campus for the Aviation Technology Program, which is based at the PCC Aviation Technology Center on the grounds of Tucson International Airport.
Morgan has extensive experience in accreditation, strategic planning and forging partnerships with business and industry. He has been on the job since Aug. 14, and just last week got the good news that Desert Vista Campus has been awarded a $2.5 million Title V grant to improve the academic success of Hispanic students.