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Thomas Stith resigns as leader of the North Carolina Community College System

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  • Effective Friday, Thomas Stith will no longer be the head of the North Carolina Community College System. Stith was the sixth president of the system in seven years.
  • In Stith's first year in office, many of the system's leaders departed. More recently, the system's board undertook an evaluation process of both themselves and Stith, leading to the development of specific goals for Stith and the board to pursue.
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Update: 10:26 a.m., July 20, 2022: Bill Carver, president of Nash Community College, has been named interim president of the North Carolina Community College System. He has served in this interim role before.


Effective Friday, Thomas Stith will no longer be the head of the North Carolina Community College System.

In a statement sent out over email, Burr Sullivan, the chair of the State Board of Community Colleges, said he had accepted Stith’s resignation, which is effective on July 22.

“The Board thanks Mr. Stith for his service and wishes him well. 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,” Sullivan said in his statement.

Stith took over the system after Peter Hans left in June 2020 to take the helm of the University of North Carolina System. Stith was the sixth president of the system in seven years. Two of the presidents in those years were acting only in an interim capacity.

In Stith’s first year in office, many of the system’s leaders departed. More recently, the system’s board undertook an evaluation process of both themselves and Stith, leading to the development of specific goals for Stith and the board to pursue.

“It has been an honor to lead the NC Community College System alongside well-respected college presidents, professionals, dedicated educators, and inspirational students,” Stith said in a comment sent out via email. “While navigating the uncharted waters of the COVID-19 crisis with careful stewardship, authentic collaboration, and unshakeable faith, I am thrilled that our community college system enhanced its offerings, making students more competitive for the workforce, entrepreneurship, and transfer to 4-year institutions. That was my job to do and my commitment to our state.”

Alex Granados

Alex Granados is senior reporter for EducationNC.