Dr. James Ross

Dr. James Ross

Dr. James W. Ross is President of Pamlico Community College (PCC), where he has served for the past five years. PCC is recognized in the SmartAsset Best Community Colleges in America-2021 Edition as the nation’s number 2 community college, based on data from the U.S. Department of Education. PCC is also recognized by WalletHub as the number 1 community college in America in student educational outcomes, based on U.S. Department of Education data on student success. Dr. Ross, whose leadership style emphasizes collaborative teamwork dedicated to excellence in making lives better, praises PCC employees for significant improvements in serving students and the community that have led to these elite national recognitions. Dr. Ross was selected as a finalist for President of the Year in 2019 among North Carolina’s 58 community colleges by the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges.

Dr. Ross has served 22 years in executive leadership in three highly-regarded community college systems. Prior to coming to PCC, he served for three years as Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Development and Executive Director of the Foundation at Piedmont Virginia Community College. Prior to that, he served as Vice President for Advancement and Public Affairs at Brevard Community College in Florida, where he served for 14 years.

Dr. Ross’ 22 years of community college executive leadership have provided successful experience in fundraising, enrollment growth, legislative relations, community partnership-building, business and industry workforce development, academic excellence, and student success. Gaining this expertise has provided ability to better serve students and the community.

Dr. Ross’ leadership style involves frequently walking the campus to listen to students, faculty, and staff, and visiting the community to listen to business and community leaders and build strong relationships. He is a strong proponent of the value of community college education and provides constant and vocal public praise for PCC faculty and staff. In the five years Dr. Ross has been President at PCC, high morale of employees has dramatically increased from 55 percent to 95 percent, as documented by PCC Institutional Effectiveness annual surveys of employees.     

Dr. Ross has experience as a successful business owner. He also ran for the United States Congress while in graduate school and later served as a Congressional staff member. He is the author of a book to help disabled Americans; has authored articles in national consumer, business, medical, and legal publications; and appeared on the national NBC-TV Today Show.   

Dr. Ross and his wife Pam have been married more than 30 years. Their children are Bobby, who graduated in 2016 from Yale University with an MD/PhD, who passed away on January 18, 2021 from ALS; and daughter Christine, who graduated with her Masters degree from Robert Morris University. Dr. Ross is a first-generation college student. His mother and father, while not going further than eighth grade, lavished the children with love and a deep belief that higher education is the way to achieve a good career and a rewarding life of helping others.