June 1, 2012. H. Martin Lancaster, former president of the N.C. Community College System, is the guest on “Appalachian Perspective,” Appalachian State University’s cable television program. In this episode, Lancaster discusses his views on higher education and reflects on his life during an interview with Appalachian’s Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock, host of “Appalachian Perspective.”
Lancaster is an attorney at Smith Anderson in Raleigh and a member of Appalachian’s Board of Trustees.
He was president of the North Carolina Community College System from 1997 to 2008. In addition to his higher education and public service leadership, Lancaster served in the N.C. House of Representatives and the U.S. House of Representatives.
“The great challenge is affordability and getting our college and university students through programs without a mountain of debt that they must confront in their work life,” Lancaster told Peacock when asked about challenges in higher education.
Lancaster consulted with education leaders in Northern Ireland on restructuring their higher education system modeled after Appalachian’s partnership with community colleges in the region. For this, he was named an Honorary Officer of the Excellent Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth.
Lancaster received the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce Award for distinguished public service and the University of North Carolina Board of Governors University Award.
Last fall, he received the North Carolina Service award from Gov. Bev Perdue, which is the highest civilian honor the state bestows.
“I guess it was for the cumulative ways in which I’ve been blessed to serve in various roles,” Lancaster said.
“Appalachian Perspective,” recorded and produced on the Appalachian campus, airs in Watauga County at the following times: on Charter Communications Channel 21 weekdays at 10:30 a.m., and 2:30 and 5:30 p.m.; on Charter Channel 2 at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and on MTN’s Channel 18 Thursdays at 5:30, 6:30, 9:30 and 10:30 p.m., and Fridays at 12:30 p.m.