Patrick Henry Community College to hold special-called meetings after State Board of Community Colleges enacts new naming policy

Southside Virginia News

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) will hold several meetings to discuss the recommendation to change the college’s name.

On Thursday, May 20, Virginia’s State Board of Community Colleges voted unanimously to amend its community college naming policy.

Nearly a year ago, the State Board of Community Colleges asked local college advisory boards to review the appropriateness of the names of its college, campuses, and facilities. After completing the review, PHCC’s local board recommended that the community college’s name remain the same.

The State Board reviewed PHCC’s recommendation Thursday and unanimously voted to direct PHCC to reconsider this decision. Following the policy change, the State Board is asking the college’s leaders and the local board to reconsider their previous decision to retain their college’s name.

The State Board’s new policy states that institutions’ names “should reflect the values of inclusive and accessible education articulated in the VCCS mission statement, with special emphasis on diversity, equity, and opportunity, and be relevant to the students it seeks to serve and to the geography of its service region.”

As a result of the recommendation, PHCC’s Local Board Chair immediately called four special-called meetings to discuss the policy change and to discuss amending its recommendation.

While the State Board carries the sole authority to decide the names of Virginia’s community colleges, the board has provided colleges an opportunity to make recommendations.

The special-called meetings of PHCC’s local board will occur at noon on June 3, June 10, June 15, and June 21.

PHCC officials say the State Board will not be taking public comment at this time.

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