BEATRICE – The new Campus Director at Southeast Community College in Beatrice is on board.
Brett Bright will also serve as SCC Vice President of Program Development and Athletic Administrator. The Velma, Oklahoma native was formerly a Vice-President at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. Bright said seeing the college in Beatrice progressing and growing is exciting. His first day on the job was Wednesday and he said staff members have been very welcoming.
Although there are differences between Hutch and Beatrice, Bright says the mission is the same…educating students and helping grow the workforce.
We asked him if taking on a three-part role is somewhat daunting.
"Not really...I have backgrounds in all of them. I served as an athletic director before and served as an assistant region director, and I really enjoy attending sports and things of that nature. I served as a Vice President at Hutchinson for the past six and a half years and I was Vice Chancellor and Associate Vice Chancellor prior to that. Looking at the program development side of it....that's going to be a little be daunting and different, so I'm going to have to rely on our other team members, and we'll do it together."
SCC has grown its list of competitive sports to include men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, men’s golf, baseball and softball, soccer and cross country. Hutchinson has those, plus football and track and field. "I've met with the president and we've talked about expansion of certain areas and as part of my program development, I will be looking to expand athletics if we had that opportunity to do so."
Bright said he’s interested in continuing to grow the campus and its enrollment. Community colleges in Nebraska and Kansas often have a cost advantage over other colleges….something Bright acknowledges is important for students. "If you spend your first two years at a community college before you transfer on to a four-year degree, basically the savings that you have for the first two years will pay you for your third year at a university. So, looking at those cost savings, community college is a great investment."
Higher education, like other sectors, has dealt with the impact of the coronavirus….with online and in-person scheduling and changes in athletic seasons. Bright favors the face-to-face approach.
"We had the ability to educate our students face-to-face because that's what our students want. If they wanted to be online they would have enrolled in online classes, so those students who enrolled face-to-face, we want to be able to provide that to them....that classroom setting. Students learn in different ways and so we want to serve their needs, and provide that forum."
Bright takes over for Bob Morgan, who retired from SCC this summer, after 31 years with the college. Bright earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from East Central University in Oklahoma, and a degree in administration from Fort Hays State, in Kansas.
He has two children…a daughter who is a junior at Kansas University and a son who is a freshman in high school.