Progress is being made in the search for the next president of Sampson Community College.
Following the announcement in May of Dr. Paul Hutchins’ plan to retire, the college Board of Trustees began searching for the next leader of the educational institute. As part of that search, the personnel sub-committee held a forum Monday to gather input from the faculty and staff concerning the needs and wants for a new president.
A second forum is planned for today, at 4 p.m, to gather input from the community.
According to Erika Starling, trustees chairwoman, the board wanted to give the faculty and staff the opportunity to speak freely about their desires concerning the new president.
“We wanted to get an idea from the faculty and staff about the qualities they want to see in the next president,” Starling shared. “It is our goal to make sure they feel they are part of this process.”
Applications for the position were due Oct. 20, and according to Starling, approximately 15 resumes from across North Carolina were submitted. The Presidential Search Committee has narrowed those resumes down to four candidates and have plans to begin the interviewing process in the coming weeks.
“Based on what the faculty and staff had to offer during this week’s forum, I feel we are on target with the final four candidates we have selected,” Starling explained.
Monday’s forum was an opportunity for the community college’s staff to convey to the board what they want to see in the future president. Today’s forum, Starling added, will give the community the same opportunity.
Applications have been submitted from candidates who are presently a part of the community college system, and familiar with North Carolina’s legislation and procedures. With the community college currently in the process of utilizing funds that are part of a $2 billion bond, Starling said it was imperative the future president be familiar with the process and plans involved with the capital projects.
“We want someone that knows North Carolina and the ins and outs of the system,” Starling said. “Our goal is to announce the new president by January, and that person will then come in and hit the ground running.”
Knowing that full financial responsibility doesn’t rest solely on the shoulders of the college’s board, and despite knowing that the trustees are expected to be responsible stewards of public funds, Starling says the board would like a president who is prepared to work cooperatively with the county government leaders to provide for the needs of the college.
“We are committed to improving communications with our Board of Commissioners and working to develop a shared understanding of the important role the college plays in local economic development and job training, and the new president should also be prepared to do the same,” Starling said.
Hutchins, the college’s current president, announced his retirement in May, just days after the trustees voted to renew his contract for one year. The search process immediately began, with the trustees electing to forego services of a search consultant and to handle the search in house.
Advertisement for the position began in September and the Presidential Search Committee, consisting of Catherine Ezzell, Larinda Haight, Chuck Spell, Ted Thomas and Starling, set the application deadline for Oct. 20. Those applications were reviewed, and cut down to four.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.