Sampson Community College president Dr. Paul Hutchins has announced his acceptance of a position as president of Martin Community College in Williamston, N.C.
Hutchins announced his pending retirement last year, with his last day planned for May 31. With this announcement, Hutchins’ last day will be Feb. 28 and he plans to begin his new position March 1.
In December, the Sampson Community College Board of Trustees named his successor, Dr. Bill Starling, who will assume the duties of presidents upon Hutchins’ departure.
“It has been a wonderful six years serving as president of Sampson Community College,” Hutchins shared in a letter to the staff. “I leave this position with a profound sense of gratitude for each of you who have supported me, and made my job so rewarding.”
Trustees chairwoman Erika Starling shared her gratitude and support for Hutchins as he begins this next chapter of his life.
“In the last six years, Dr. Hutchins has been an asset to Sampson Community College,” Starling noted. “He will serve the students of Martin Community College, as well as the entire community, well.”
Hutchins started with the college in 2012, and throughout his tenure achieved many accomplishments on both a personal and professional level. The leaving presidents credits both the staff and the students for such success.
“I have been fortunate to work with superb staff, committed to excellence in their work, and a dedicated faculty who are committed to their students’ success,” Hutchins shared in his message to the staff. “Finally, I leave inspired by the students I met during my tenure here at SCC and the many community leaders and organizations that work tirelessly to make Sampson County a better place to live and work.”
Most noted among the achievements under his tenure were the reaffirmation of accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the implementation of the college’s Quality Enhancement Plan and WebAdvisor.
Additionally, Hutchins created a Career and College Promise position at the college which allowed a staff member to spend more time within local high schools recruiting students for the CCP program, which allows high school students to earn college credits at no charge while still in high school.
As for the succeeding president, Hutchins only has well-wishes for growth at the local educational institute.
“I congratulate Dr. Bill Starling who will begin his presidency here at SCC on March 1 and ask that you support and work diligently with him to move this great institution forward,” Hutchins added.
Achievements during Hutchins’ tenure
• Enrollment growth the last three semesters. Indications are that enrollment will increase again this summer and in the fall which will mark five semesters in a row of enrollment growth for the college.
• Both RN and LPN Nursing programs have become nationally accredited and partnered with UNCW to implement a bachelor’s degree option for Associate Degree in Nursing students.
• A partnership with the Sampson County School System and the Clinton City Schools was formed for a summer STEM camp for rising 9th graders designed to excite and motivate students to explore careers in science, engineering and mathematics.
• Funds were secured through the county commissioners to put new roofs on the Activities Center and the Technology Building which suffered major water damage.
• Implementation of a Crisis Management Team for the college prepares for disasters and crisis situations that can happen on college campuses for the safety of students, faculty and staff.
• A Duke Energy grant secured $250,000 for new equipment for the Industrial Systems Technology program.
• While the Ammonia Refrigeration Program was struggling with low student enrollment, a partnership was formed with Lanier Technical College in Georgia which led to increased enrollment with next class scheduled this month completely full.
Sampson Community College public information officer Dan Grubb contributed to this article.