June 18, 2018

by Shannon Reid

photo of new GBCC President Dr. Pelema I. Morrice

Portsmouth, NH – The Board of Trustees of the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) has appointed Dr. Pelema I. Morrice as the President of Great Bay Community College.  The unanimous appointment was made by the CCSNH Board of Trustees upon recommendation of CCSNH Chancellor Ross Gittell. Morrice succeeds Dr. Wildolfo Arvelo, who departed last fall to become NH’s Director of Economic Development.

“I am very pleased to welcome Dr. Morrice to Great Bay Community College and the Community College System of New Hampshire,” said Jeremy Hitchcock, chairman of the CCSNH board of trustees.  “We were impressed by his vision for higher education, his passion for community colleges, and the professional experiences that have enabled him to develop into an innovative and strategic leader.  We are excited about what he can bring to the college and system as our sector faces new opportunities to serve students and support a changing economy.”

Prior to his appointment at Great Bay, Dr. Morrice served as Vice Provost at the University of Missouri, heading up enrollment management and strategic development.  He oversaw admissions and financial aid; enrollment research, analytics and communications; registrar and student information systems; and community college transfer pathways.  He engaged in successful fundraising efforts and launched new scholarship programs, while increasing student yield and retention.

Dr. Morrice had previously served as Chief Enrollment Officer at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, where his accomplishments included increasing applications, enrollment and retention and leading revenue enhancement programs, and at the University of Nebraska Omaha as Associate Vice Chancellor in the Academic and Student Affairs Division, responsible for enrollment management, admissions and financial aid, student success efforts, dual enrollment and community college transfer programs, and marketing and communications.  He began his higher education career as a financial aid counselor at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. 

“Pelema’s experience includes helping institutions navigate transformational change, collaborating with faculty, staff, and community partners to achieve institutional advancement and student success, and pursuing economic development strategies that enhance an institution’s value to students and stakeholders,” said Dr. Ross Gittell, CCSNH Chancellor.  Gittell noted that the Great Bay position provides an opportunity for Morrice to synthesize strong operational and strategic experience from previous positions.  “He brings great energy and passion to the role, in addition to a real excitement to lead a talented team at Great Bay,” Gittell said.

Morrice holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Michigan, a Master’s degree Higher Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Psychology from San Jose State University.  He began his postsecondary education pathway at Cabrillo Community College in Aptos, CA.   Morrice is currently completing an Executive MBA at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  “Community colleges changed my life,” Morrice said. “As a high school student from a low-income, single parent household, imagining that I’d earn a Ph.D. and go on to guide strategic efforts at leading educational institutions would have seemed impossible.  But a community college was a true launching pad for me, as it has been for so many in our society.  I am very excited to join Great Bay Community College and help the very talented faculty and staff achieve a shared vision for institutional and student success, and contribute to the strength of New Hampshire and the seacoast region,” Morrice said. 

Morrice has extensive experience as an expert speaker with particular expertise in college access, diversity and demographic trends, educational mobility and building a postsecondary pipeline. 

CCSNH Trustee Sharon Harris of Exeter, who co-chaired the search committee, said “We were pleased to recommend Pelema Morrice from a strong pool of candidates. He brings broad experience at institutions as diverse as Stanford University, Bryn Mawr College, and major public universities. His personal journey resonated with the committee as illustrative of many of the barriers individuals face and overcome in pursuing educational, economic and social mobility. I believe his experiences have prepared him well for the role of president at Great Bay Community College and he will be a valuable contributor within NH’s higher education community.”

Morrice will start in August.

About Great Bay Community College: Great Bay Community College is a comprehensive postsecondary institution offering quality academic and professional and technical education in support of workforce development and lifelong learning. Great Bay Community College is part of the Community College System of New Hampshire, a public system of higher education consisting of seven colleges in Berlin, Claremont, Laconia, Concord, Manchester, Nashua, and Portsmouth.  The colleges offer Associate degrees and career training in technical, professional and general fields, including transfer pathways to baccalaureate degrees. The college’s second campus, the Advanced Technology & Academic Center is now open in Rochester offering academic courses and a degree program in Advanced Composites Manufacturing.   For more information on Great Bay Community College, visit www.greatbay.edu