After nine years as chancellor of the Community College System of NH (CCSNH), Dr. Ross Gittell will step down this summer to become president of Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Jeremy Hitchcock, chair of the CCSNH board of trustees, shared the news in an email to CCSNH faculty and staff on March 4. “While Ross has deeply valued his experience here at CCSNH, accepting the position at Bryant University is a step that aligns with his background and interests over many years in higher education, and is a position he feels drawn to after nearly a decade in his current role,” Hitchcock says.
Hitchcock went on to cite accomplishments within the state’s community college system during Gittell’s tenure, including tuition stability; capital improvements; progress on retention and completion strategies to support student success; the reorganization of the system’s Foundation; increasing partnerships with employers, high schools, Career and Technical Education Centers and four-year colleges; and seeing CCSNH become a national leader in innovative workforce strategies such as registered apprenticeship programs.
“My years at the Community College System will always count among the most meaningful of my life,” says Gittell. “I will never lose the appreciation for the community college mission and the students we serve, and the colleges’ positive impact on New Hampshire’s economy and quality of life. I am grateful for the experiences here and for having worked with such a talented group of college faculty, staff, trustees, policy-makers, and partners.”
Gittell will start at Bryant on July 1. He will succeed Ronald K. Machtley, who has served as Bryant’s eighth president since 1996. Hitchcock says Gittell will make the transition from CCSNH by early summer. The trustees will develop a transition plan and prepare a search for Gittell’s successor.
The Community College System of NH consists of seven colleges, offering associate degree and certificate programs, professional training, transfer pathways to four-year degrees, and dual-credit partnerships with NH high schools. The Chancellor’s office serves to ensure that the colleges operate as a coordinated system to provide statewide opportunities for educational and economic advancement to NH residents.