Starling should be SCC’s next president

The Sampson Community College Board of Trustees and its presidential subcommittee has narrowed its candidate search to three individuals. As with every other search, the road has been long and the job a daunting one.

We must applaud the trustees for the very open way in which they’ve undergone this process and the decision to do so without spending unnecessary money to hire someone to do the job they are currently doing, and doing well.

On this page in mid-February 2012, we directed our focus to a somewhat different SCC Board of Trustees’ undergoing a very similar search for a new president. At that time, the shoes being filled were those of Dr. Bill Aiken and the very open selection process had been narrowed to five candidates. Our choice for the new president at that time was Dr. Bill Starling.

Five years later, our choice remains the same, and our urging for the board to hear our pleas is far stronger.

While we aren’t certain that Starling even threw his hat in the ring again, and less certain he is one of the three finalists to sit at the presidential helm, we are clear on one thing: there is no one better to lead Sampson Community College than the man who has helped to so for many years.

Starling, the current vice president for administration at SCC, has the ability, standing shoulder to shoulder, we are certain, with any of those being considered for the job.

And while there’s nothing wrong with selecting someone from another county or state, trustees already know the kind of man Starling is, have seen him prove his abilities time and again and have watched him grow professionally and personally as he has remained a stalwart member of this community and our college.

Starling is a home-grown individual who has proven his mettle time and again in the educational realm, particularly at SCC, where he’s spent his entire career. He’s shown loyalty to the college and to the community, proven by his years of service to both.

Through civic and community service, Starling has shown time and again he understands what it means to give back to an area which has given so much to him. He’s a long-time Kiwanian, served tirelessly on the Clinton City Board of Education for a number of years and has worked day in and day out to improve the community college since first joining the staff.

His historical knowledge of the college is unmatched and his awareness of the college’s needs — from infrastructure to students and staff — never ceases to amaze. Trustees, we are certain, have benefitted greatly from that knowledge on more than one occassion.

During his long tenure at SCC, Starling has been dean of administrative services, dean of educational programs and now vice president for administration. He has the credentials to match his stellar career, too. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolinaa master’s degree in education from East Carolina University and a doctorate in adult and community college education from N.C. State University.

Starling understands the college and its needs, and he knows the direction trustees have been moving, ensuring a seamless transition that would be good for the school, the board and everyone from students to staff there.

What’s more, he already knows the inter-workings of the school, its staff, its budgets and the very successful SCC Foundation.

He’s familiar with those who give to the college and, just as importantly, they know Starling, again ensuring a seamless move from one president to another, without, we believe, any hiccups in terms of financial giving.

While we are sure there are other candidates that have similar qualifications and who, no doubt, would do a good job at the helm of SCC, Starling remains the best choice.

We simply believe, as we did five years ago, that when there’s a qualified candidate right in front of you, with all the qualifications and more needed to do the job effectively, he should be given the opportunity.

Starling is that candidate, and his time has certainly come.