James Sunser | Rochester Business Journal

James sunser

President, Genesee Community College

Years in current role: ten

What do you like most about your role?

The ability to work with a dedicated board of directors and a talented group of faculty and staff to promote an environment focused on student success. GCC truly puts students and their success at the forefront of our thinking in everything we do.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced in the past year?

During the early stages of the global pandemic, there was a need to develop plans to ensure the continued stability of the college while simultaneously pivoting to a distance education mode and student support. Aggressive and challenging decisions were made and the success of those decisions is largely due to working collaboratively with our collective bargaining groups on campus. I am extremely proud of our GCC students who adapt to pursue their educational goals, and grateful for the efforts of GCC faculty and staff who work tirelessly to provide the best possible student experience.

What do you think are the most important changes in the higher education sector over the next 3-5 years?

The direct impact of the pandemic is still ongoing, and we understand that the ripple effect of the past 18 months will have a profound impact on our future. Everything from challenges related to student mental health and well-being, to academic and social readiness, to new expectations and understandings of remote and virtual abilities to support life and learning, will be forever changed. We continue to navigate uncharted waters and will need to adapt as necessary while remaining true to our primary responsibility of supporting students and providing world-class education.


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