Charles Donnelly served as the Nevada Community College Division President during the creation of Western Nevada Community College which opened in the fall of 1971. Donnelly directed the entire Community College Division, while each individual college was led by an Executive Vice President. The Nevada Community College Division was comprised of Clark County, Northern Nevada (Elko), and Western Nevada Community Colleges.
"Donnelly was a strong supporter of community education, and initiated meetings among educators and lay people to explain the community education philosophy and community school structure." - John Caserta, 1980
In June, 1977, in a rather surprising and controversial move, The Board of Regents abolished the Community College Division Presidency and offered Dr. Donnelly a teaching position with the college. The following month in July, 1977, the Board of Regents appointed the Executive Vice President of Western Nevada Community College (Jack Davis) as President. By this action, the college was re-organized as a multi-campus community college serving the eight counties of western Nevada.