2018 National Pacesetter

2018 National Pacesetter

Dr. Lane Glenn
Northern Essex Community College
Haverhill, MA

Described as an optimistic thought leader, Dr. Lane Glenn became president of Northern Essex Community College in July of 2011. Since then, it’s been clear that he has a knack for connecting with people and creating partnerships with big results. Today, those partnerships are not only helping students, they’re enhancing the economic vitality of both Northern Essex and the communities it serves.

Dr. Glenn began his career in 2006 at NECC as vice president for academic affairs. Even then he was characterized as someone who stands out in a crowd and cares about helping people. During his tenure as president, Dr. Glenn has significantly expanded NECC campuses, including a new $27 million health and technology center. He’s also expanded degree programs through partnerships with area high schools, vocational schools, and four-year colleges and universities.

Dr. Glenn was the visionary and is board chair for the Lawrence Partnership, a coalition of businesses and organizations committed to economic development. In its first two years, the partnership launched a multi-million-dollar venture fund for small and mid-sized businesses, formed a training consortium to improve workforce development and created a “test kitchen” for aspiring restauranteurs. Derek Mitchell, the partnership’s executive director, says, “Dr. Glenn has helped elevate the civic infrastructure of an entire community and generated new investments of time, resources and ideas about how to fully realize the aspirations of a post-industrial city.”

Dr. Glenn’s leadership and notable achievements include:

  • Through successful lobbying and private fundraising, he has overseen expansion and renovation projects at numerous campus buildings and secured funding for an energy savings project for both NECC campuses.
  • Dr. Glenn successfully formed “Communiversity” partnerships with private and public four-year colleges and universities to expand educational access to geographically underserved populations. As a result, students can now get a bachelor’s degree within city boundaries for high-demand fields such as health care or computer science.
  • He created partnerships with area vocational schools, which have attracted more than $5 million in funding for new facilities and equipment and have resulted in new degree programs in advanced manufacturing, automotive technology, and hospitality and culinary arts.
  • In 2015, Dr. Glenn also launched the highly successful Police Academy and Sheriff’s Correction Academy at the college. Within two years, more than 200 police officers and 100 corrections officers have graduated and been employed in the state.
  • In June 2017, he assumed management and operational responsibilities for the ValleyWorks One-Stop Career Center, one of 16 regional employment centers across Massachusetts. The center serves over 10,000 job seekers and 700 employers each year.

As a researcher, author and consultant, Dr. Glenn has helped advance community colleges through his involvement on numerous regional and national boards. He has served the last four years as chairman of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s Task Force on Statewide Assessment; been appointed to the STEM Advisory Council by the Massachusetts governor; and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Chair Academy, an organization that provides competency-based leadership development programs for college and university leaders.

Dr. Glenn actively advocates for Northern Essex Community College and the community college mission on social media, in op-ed columns and his blog, “Running the Campus.” With advanced degrees in journalism and theater, he’s the ultimate communicator, willing to pen an op-ed or address an audience with a moment’s notice. There’s no doubt Dr. Glenn believes in “going the extra mile” for NECC students, staff and community.

View past Pacesetter winners »

Connecting Community College Communicators

Membership means



  • Find NCMPR on Facebook
  • Follow NCMPR on Twitter
  • Follow NCMPR on Instagram
  • Join NCMPR on LinkedIn
  • Read the NCMPR Blog