“So You Want to Be a Community College President” Webinar Series

November 6, 2018

BC3 is partnering with Dabney S. Lancaster Community College and Convergent Nonprofit Solutions to present a new webinar series:

“So You Wanna Be a Community College President…”


The American Association of Community Colleges projects that over 50% of sitting presidents are expected to retire or “turn over” during the next five years. Further, the average tenure of the executive officer is less than four years.

A new wave of presidents is coming to the corner office, and if you want to be one of them, now is the time to prepare. New and aspiring Presidents are often faced with unique and daunting challenges and have few resources to access for answers, support, and guidance. We’re hoping to change that for you. This webinar series offers a unique opportunity to learn the ropes from two sitting Presidents and a former Vice President of Advancement.

On Tuesday, November 27th, I will be presenting the second installment of the series: “Understanding the Lifecycle of a Community College President” at 3:00 p.m.

Before going after that open presidency, take a moment to think about what it really means to be a community college president. What should you expect in those first few years? Understanding where your focus and energies should lie throughout each stage of your presidency is crucial to career longevity and your ability to truly make an impact on your community. During this webinar, we’ll discuss the internal elements you’ll need to tackle in your first four years, when to shift your strategy to focus on external publics and strategic media relations, and how to recognize when you’ve developed the successful governmental and funder relationships needed to pursue to groundbreaking initiatives.

To learn more or sign up to view the webinar, visit http://bit.ly/CommCollegePres



Remembering Friends and Neighbors

October 31, 2018

BC3 Commencement, Spring 2018. Pictured (left to right) Lucille Shapiro, Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management Case Willoughby, and President Nick Neupauer

A couple of weeks back, the College lost a true friend, and legend – Lucille Shapiro.

Lucille was one of the early graduates of Butler County Community College and the loving wife of Dr. Louis Shapiro. The couple raised Rob, Beth and Leslie in a warm, caring Jewish household in Butler. Today, Lucille and Lou’s grandchildren are spread throughout the United States and carry forward their grandparents’ integrity, work ethic and spirit.

Lucille was proud to be a board member of the BC3 Education Foundation Inc., a founder of our Alumni Council and a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College she so dearly loved and served. People still talk about her incredible Commencement speech in 2018. When she concluded, our graduates immediately jumped to their feet with a standing ovation. The rest of the crowd in the Field House quickly joined in.

I’ve had many proud moments over the past 12 years as president of this College. Among my most treasured are the many hours spent with Lucille and Lou. They provided sound advice, counsel and – above all – unwavering love for my family and me.

My wife and I visited with my mother Saturday. She welcomed us with the breaking, and heart-breaking news of the Tree of Life synagogue shootings in Squirrel Hill.

“That is Lucille and Lou’s synagogue,” I thought immediately.

I remembered the Shapiros talking about the beauty and grace of the synagogue and of its members.

The emotional pain in my heart, and in the hearts of many others at the College, hasn’t subsided since our friend Lucille’s passing. It has only increased since the deaths of the Shapiros’ friends on Saturday.

Our hearts go out to the Tree of Life community and to all of our Jewish friends and neighbors.

Oak Hills Dinner: A Fall Celebration

October 9, 2018

Geyer_IhlenfeldI can smell it in the air. Can you? The beautiful aroma of autumn in western Pennsylvania.

The fall of 2018 semester is well underway. And just like other rites of passage this time of year (i.e. football, Halloween and fall festivals), BC3 is days away from one of our annual highlights – the Oak Hills Dinner.

As I’ve said before, this event serves as BC3’s homecoming. Alumni, current students, friends, faculty, staff, BC3 Education Foundation Inc. board of directors, and trustees pack Founders Hall to celebrate our history and acknowledge our strength as a No. 1-ranked community college moving forward.

The recipients of 120 BC3 Education Foundation scholarships will have the chance to meet their donors. The Honorable Kimberly D. Geyer and Sandra J. Ihlenfeld will join 49 others as BC3 Distinguished Alumni Award honorees.

I’m certain our main campus on the Oak Hill will be sparkling this Saturday afternoon. And so will I, as the proud president of this wonderful institution of higher education.


Convocation 2018

August 24, 2018

It’s here… the start of a new academic year!

We kicked off the fall 2018 semester with our annual Convocation on August 23. As has become customary, I provided a “State of the College” address. Unlike most years, I called on some great colleagues to help with the presentation. This included members of the President’s Cabinet, three deans and a director.

The very best part of the day was recognizing our recently tenured and promoted faculty members.

Tenured faculty members include, in the Business Division, Laura A. Wiest; in the Humanities and Social Science Division, Lindsay B. Herr, Travis P. Timmons and Deborah Kruger; and in the Shaffer School of Nursing and Allied Health, Julia C. Carney.

Promoted faculty include Dr. Amy Xin, Associate Professor, STEM Division; and Dr. Karen Stubenbort, Associate Professor, Humanities and Social Science Division.

We are proud to be a teaching institution. These individuals represent the very best of our No. 1-ranked college — experts in the field who dedicate their lives to enriching our students.

Congratulations honorees!

Celebrating Student Success

August 8, 2018

With all of our success as the commonwealth’s No. 1-ranked community college in back-to-back surveys by Schools.com, it is our terrific students who make Butler County Community College so special.

This summer, I had the opportunity to work with one of those terrific students.

Her name is Robin Peters. She is entering her final semester at BC3 before transferring to one of my alma maters – Clarion University of Pennsylvania – to study public relations/advertising. This summer, I taught her in an introduction to public relations course-by-appointment offering.

Robin, 20, is a tireless worker. Like most of our students, she juggles college life with work life. Her employment as a fourth-generation member of her family’s farm in Connoquenessing represents her passion. Read the rest of this entry »

Best Wishes to Anna Weitz

June 19, 2018

L to R: Mr. Tom Leary, President of Luzerne Community College; Dr. Nick Neupauer, President of Butler County Community College; Anna Weitz, Former President of Reading Area Community College; Elizabeth Bolden, President of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges; and Dr. John “Ski” Sygielski, President of Harrisburg Area Community College.

I was honored to represent the commonwealth’s 14 community colleges at a recent celebration for a dear friend. On June 8, Anna Weitz retired as President of Reading Area Community College. She held the post since 2007. Prior, Anna was President at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College.

Anna is a true legend. She always put students first. Never once did I feel that she was lobbying for her own institution as our Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges Council of Presidents mulled over the implications of important decisions.

Cliche I know, but there was simply “no I in TEAM” when it came to Anna. Her counsel and wisdom has helped me become a better president, colleague, husband and father.

Enjoy many years of rest and relaxation, Anna. You can do so knowing you did a job well done!

Championship & Award-Winning Students at BC3

April 24, 2018

What a weekend for Pennsylvania’s two-time No. 1 community college – Butler County Community College!

The BC3 Pioneer Softball team captured its third consecutive Western Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference (WPCC) Championship on Saturday by beating Garrett College 7-6 at Laura Doerr Park in Saxonburg. Special congratulations to Jessi Reed, Alyssa Dailey, Ashley Coon and Nikki Houk for being selected for the All-Conference Team, and to BC3’s Dan Beebe, who in his first season was selected as the WPCC Coach of the Year. The Pioneers will travel to Arnold, Maryland this weekend to defend the program’s first National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III Region XX crown.

The Rho Phi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at BC3, the prestigious international academic honor society, claimed two awards at a conference in Kansas City, Missouri. Rho Phi was recognized as a Middle States Gold Chapter and awarded for the Best Completion event in Pennsylvania. Joining me at the conference were Rho Phi co-advisors Morgan Rizzardi and Amanda Fleming; Rho Phi President Chris Slay; Rho Phi Vice President Megan Marnic; and Rho Phi Secretary Jacob Hetrick.

Congratulations to our wonderful students, coaches and advisors! I am Pioneer Proud!