Four finalists at COA all VPs at community colleges
By William F. West
Thursday, February 16, 2017
College of The Albemarle has released the names of the four finalists seeking to be the next president of the community college.
Three currently work as vice presidents at community colleges in North Carolina. The fourth works as a vice president at a community college in Nevada.
The finalists include Deborah Grimes, Gene Smith, Keith Mackie and Robert Wynegar.
Grimes is senior vice president of instruction and student services at Lenoir Community College in Kinston.
Smith is vice president of academic and student services at Wayne Community College in Goldsboro.
Mackie is executive vice president at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory.
Wynegar is vice president of academic and student affairs at Western Nevada College in Carson City.
COA Board of Trustees Chairman Paul O'Neal said in a prepared statement Thursday that trustees are happy with the finalists and credited the college for attracting such a strong group of candidates.
“The many significant accomplishments at COA were instrumental in attracting highly competitive candidates,” O'Neal said.
The next step in the selection process will be for each finalist to participate in an open, hour-long forum at each COA campus over the next several weeks.
Smith will be the first finalist to attend the forums. He will attend two forums on Monday, Feb. 27, the first at COA’s Dare County campus from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. and the second at the Currituck Regional Aviation and Technical Training Center from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Smith will then attend two forums on Tuesday, Feb. 28, the first at the Edenton-Chowan campus from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., and the second at the Elizabeth City campus from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Mackie will be the second finalist to attend the forums. He will attend his first one at the Dare campus on Wednesday, March 1, at 2 p.m., and his second at the Currituck campus at 4:30 p.m. He also will attend forums at the Edenton-Chowan campus on Thursday, March 2, at 9 a.m., and at the Elizabeth City campus at 1:30 p.m.
Grimes will be next. She’ll attend two forums on Monday, March 6, the first at the Dare campus at 2 p.m., and the second at the Currituck campus at 4:30 p.m. She also will attend forums Tuesday, March 7, one in Edenton-Chowan at 9 a.m. and the other at the Elizabeth City campus at 1:30 p.m.
Wynegar will be the last finalist to take part in the forums. His appearances at the Dare and Currituck campuses will be on Wednesday, March 8, at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., respectively. He will then attend forums on Thursday, March 9, at the Edenton-Chowan campus at 9 a.m. and the Elizabeth City campus at 1:30 p.m.
Each forum at the Dare County campus will be held in Room 101. The forums at the Currituck campus will be in Room 107, while the forums at Edenton-Chowan will be in Room 316 and the forums in Elizabeth City will be in Building AE-208.
During each forum, finalist will be given a brief introduction, followed by a question-and-answer session with the public. Attendees also will be given feedback forms that they can complete and turn in at the end of each forum.
O'Neal said trustees then plan to meet with each finalist and interview them in a closed session. Trustees hope to have the new president hired no later than the end of March.
COA officials provided brief summaries about the backgrounds of each finalist.
Grimes holds a bachelor’s degree in special education, a master’s degree in education and a doctorate in educational leadership, all from East Carolina University. She also has served as vice president of academic and student services at Lenoir.
Smith holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology and a doctorate in educational leadership, also from ECU. He has also served as associate vice president of academic and student services at Wayne.
Mackie holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Western Carolina University, a master's degree in industrial design from Appalachian State University and a doctorate in adult and community college education from N.C. State University. He has also served as vice president of instruction at Catawba.
Wynegar holds both bachelor’s and masters degrees in mathematics from Tennessee Tech University, a master’s degree in industrial engineering from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Valdosta State University in Georgia. He has also served as dean of associate of arts at Hillsborough Community College in Florida.
The four are seeking to succeed Kandi Deitemeyer, who left at the end of the year to become the new president of Charlotte area-based Central Piedmont Community College. Deitemeyer, who had been COA's president since April 2010, tendered her resignation in mid-September.