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What do you want in a new N.C. Community College System president? Let NCCCS know in search survey

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  • Fill out the survey by Nov. 4 to let the N.C. State Board of Community Colleges know what you want to see in a new system president.
  • "The Committee developed the survey to gather feedback from all the System’s stakeholders. We ask you to complete the survey because your input is important to the presidential search process," the survey says.
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The North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) launched a survey this week to gather stakeholder input on its search for a new president following Thomas Stith’s resignation in July.

The eight-question survey asks about the respondent’s relationship to the NCCCS, desired minimum academic qualifications for the president, and top five wanted skills for the candidate, among other things. There is also space to share additional written comments.

You can access the survey here through Nov. 4. The system will work with the State Board of Community College’s presidential search committee to analyze survey results by Nov. 14. The search committee will then meet Nov. 16 to continue work on its presidential profile.

The System President provides oversite and guidance for the 58 community colleges that stretch across the 100 counties in North Carolina. The President will serve as the chief administrative officer of the System, providing policy oversight and guidelines across the System. The Committee developed the survey to gather feedback from all the System’s stakeholders. We ask you to complete the survey because your input is important to the presidential search process.

NCCCS Presidential Search Survey Introduction

The system also created a webpage for presidential updates on its website this week. You can access that site here, or by navigating to the hyperlink under the “Presidential Search” heading on the NCCCS “State Board” page.

Timeline of search process

July

The system announced Bill Carver as interim NCCCS president shortly after Stith’s resignation, effective July 22. Carver, former president of Nash Community College, served in the interim role previously in 2020.

Stith was the sixth NCCCS president in seven years. He took over the system after Peter Hans left in June 2020 to lead the University of North Carolina System. The community college system experienced several leadership transitions during Stith’s tenure.

“The Board thanks Mr. Stith for his service and wishes him well,” Chair Burr Sullivan said in a statement after Stith’s resignation. “The State Board expects to name an experienced interim president in the next few days and will begin a thoughtful and thorough search for a permanent president to lead the NC Community College System.”

August

The State Board appointed a bipartisan search committee in a closed-session meeting on Aug. 19.

At that meeting, the Board unanimously voted to hire a firm experienced in higher education leadership searches. The system said in a release that the search committee would consist of 14 voting members – 10 Board members and four others with community college and business experience.

September

The system announced the names of the now 13 voting members on the committee following its annual planning retreat. The search committee held its first meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 21, to discuss finalizing a Request for Approval (RFP) to hire a search firm.

The full Board voted in September to give the search committee delegated authority to approve the completed RFP. The Board will consider the selected firm at its November meeting, Co-Chair Shirley Carraway said then, if not before. The firm must then be approved by the state Department of Administration.

At the first search committee meeting, members discussed the RFP and decided to meet with plans to approve the document. The committee also said it would hold meetings twice a month on Wednesday mornings, starting Oct. 5 and going through Dec. 14.

“Selecting a firm will have a critical impact on the search calendar and ultimately, on the speed at which we can acquire a new president,” Carraway said. “This is the beginning of this process.”

October

The committee worked on drafting survey questions and a presidential profile at its Oct. 5 meeting. The profile drafted at that time is a starting point for the search. The official profile for the search will include input from the survey and expertise from the vendor hired for the search.

Before that meeting, the search committee also approved its RFP for a search firm.

The committee met on Wednesday, Oct. 19, ahead of the full Board’s regular meeting Oct. 20-21, to prepare for interviews with vendors. Those interviews are set to take place on Monday, Oct. 24.

The full Board is scheduled to meet next Nov. 17-18, although there may be a virtual Board meeting the week of Nov. 7, per the agenda for the October meeting. The Board does not typically meet in December, but if a meeting is required, it will take place Dec. 15-16.

Hannah McClellan

Hannah McClellan is an EducationNC reporter covering community colleges, postsecondary access and faith.