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James Sunser

President, Genesee Community College

Years in current role: 10

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Having the ability to work with a dedicated Board of Trustees and talented group of faculty and staff to promote a student success centered environment. GCC truly puts students and their success at the forefront of our thinking in everything we do.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?

During the early stages of the global pandemic, it was necessary to develop plans to ensure the ongoing stability of the college while simultaneously pivoting to a remote mode of instruction and student support. Aggressive and challenging decisions were adopted and the success of those decisions was largely resultant from working collaboratively with our collective bargaining groups on campus. I am immensely proud of our GCC students who are adapting to pursue their educational goals, and grateful for the efforts of GCC faculty and staff who are working tirelessly to provide the best possible student experience.

What do you see as the biggest changes in the higher education industry in the next 3-5 years?

The direct impact of the pandemic is still ongoing, and we understand the “ripple” effect of this past 18 months will have a profound impact on our future. Everything from student mental health and well-being challenges, academic and social preparedness, new expectations and understandings of remote and virtual capabilities to support living and learning, will all be forever changed. We continue to navigate uncharted waters and will need to adapt as necessary while staying true to our primary responsibility to support students and provide a world class education.

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