• 41°

Suffolk man named TCC provost

Michael Summers has been named the new provost for the Virginia Beach campus of Tidewater Community College.

Summers, who moved to Suffolk in 2004 to start working for TCC, has been serving as the vice president of academic and student affairs for a community college.

“For me, it’s just a real opportunity to work on a campus level again with faculty and students,” Summers said. “It gets me back on a campus, which is where I’ve spent most of my career.”

Twenty-seven years ago, Summers began his work in the community college setting as an auto mechanics instructor at Black Hawk College in Illinois. While teaching, Summers began work on his master’s degree in administration.

“I wanted to do something more than just teach,” Summers said. “And that just guided my career.”

After finishing his doctorate in community college leadership, Summers left Illinois to become a vice president at Greenville Technical College in South Carolina. In 2004, Summers began looking for leadership opportunities at a larger campus, which led him to TCC. Last week, it was announced that following a nationwide search, Summers would be the one to take over the Virginia Beach campus (Quintin B. Bullock was the former provost. He will leave in July to become president of Schenectady County Community College in New York).

Summers said his career path to provost is unique among college administrators.

“It’s very odd to see an auto mechanic instructor end up where I am,” Summers said. “There’s not a lot of people at my level that start from the career side of the academics. It just shows you anything is possible. I wanted to continue to enhance my career. I think this is just another natural progression in my career: to get to be a chief operational officer of a campus.”

And it’s not just any campus.

The Virginia Beach campus of TCC is one of the largest community college campuses in the commonwealth of Virginia. That site alone has more than 22,000 students enroll annually. Additionally, there are more than 2,000 full-time and adjunct faculty working there.

“First and foremost, this is just a great team of professionals out there,” Summers said. “They are doing great things and taking the campus to the next level in terms of how it meets the needs of the city of Virginia Beach and the depth and breadth of the curriculum and the activities that it offers its students.”

While Summers admitted he is not looking forward to a longer commute, he said he’s more than ready to work with a new community.

“At the end of the day it’s about building relationships with the students, the faculty and the community,” he said. “And it’s about working with integrity and a real desire to make a difference in people’s lives. That has served me well over my career and will serve me well in Virginia Beach.”