Chamber Luncheon features BPCC Chancellor, Natchitoches and Sabine Campus merger

While an emergency meeting in Baton Rouge kept Dr. Rick Bateman Jr., Chancellor of Bossier Parish Community College, from attending the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce Luncheon on Sept. 15, he took time to record a special presentation.

Bateman shared some information about how BPCC is working to deliver on its mission to meet the workforce needs of the region and the proposed campus realignments of the CLTCC campuses in the Natchitoches and Sabine communities.

BPCC is one of two colleges that has operated as a single-campus entity and Bateman said everyone is delighted by the opportunity to bring two new communities into the fold. Since mid-April, when the Board approved these campus realignments, BPCC has been hard at work through a transition team to merge the campuses seamlessly and address the diverse needs of the communities served.

“Laurie Morrow has been fantastic to work with… again… and her passion, poise, and professionalism all but ensure that when this realignment is completed the people of Natchitoches Parish and Sabine Parish are going to be big winners,” Bateman added. “It is our intent to communicate, collaborate, and conspire in ways that bring new opportunities to the great work of the campuses in Natchitoches and in Many.

The Legislature approved a special allocation of $500,000 to support the transitioning campuses which BPCC will use to address critical infrastructure needs, shore up technology, and prepare for program expansion. BPCC has also been very strategic in its use of the federal grant dollars received over the last year and a half, so it will also direct some of those resources to supporting the realignment. They have also begun to explore a variety of other federal and state grant resources as well as regional foundations that can be tapped to support their expanded vision of serving the region.

“It is my expectation that reconnecting the Natchitoches and Sabine Valley campuses with the Northwest and North Louisiana region will bring new support to existing business and industry and attract new investment,” said Bateman.