Making the Grade

More than a year after David Levinson became Norwalk Community College’s president, the honeymoon goes on. Whether they are from politicians, faculty or the many generous backers of lower Fairfield County’s largest institution of higher learning, raves for him keep coming since he took over NCC in August 2004.

So why does he still seem so restless?

Partly his restlessness comes from things like having secured $23 million in state bonds to build a new health and sciences building but no money to put anything inside. While NCC’s endowment rises, the state examines ways to squeeze the school via budget cuts and tuition freezes. Levinson also wants a better handle on the education requirements of the student body, and to be more “data-driven” in meeting the economic development needs of the region.

Mostly, though, he wishes the school weren’t such a hidden treasure to most of the ten towns it serves.

“I want to bring us to the communities and bring the communities here — to really branch out,” he says as he stands at his office window overlooking the West Campus. “Traffic and congestion make it difficult, but we are dealing with a multiplicity of communities. To compare places like Ridgefield and Darien to parts of South Norwalk, they’re very different worlds. We want to put the college in easy reach of all residents in southern Fairfield County.”

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