COA President Wynegar to leave at end of June
By Jon Hawley
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
College of The Albemarle President Robert Wynegar said he plans to resign by June 30 for what he described Tuesday as “personal reasons.”
In an interview, Wynegar said he plans to serve until June 30, when his current contract ends, but didn’t rule out leaving earlier. If he and his wife choose to do so, he will negotiate an earlier departure with the COA Board of Trustees and ensure an interim president is in place, he said.
Wynegar declined to explain his reasons for stepping down, saying they are personal.
Wynegar, formerly a vice president of Western Nevada College, has served just under two years as COA’s president. He replaced interim President Kennon Briggs, who held the job after President Kandi Deitemeyer left for another job in the community college system.
COA Board of Trustees Chairman Marion Harris said Wynegar advised him last week of his plan to resign, and informed the full trustee board at a special meeting on Monday. Asked if Wynegar explained his reasons for resigning to the board, Harris said he did not.
COA Trustee Paul O’Neal, who chaired the board during the presidential search that led to Wynegar’s hiring, similarly said he doesn’t know why Wynegar is leaving. Both he and Harris expressed satisfaction with Wynegar’s work at COA, and wished him well.
In particular, Harris praised Wynegar for keeping key renovation projects moving forward, specifically improvements to the Performing Arts Center and the library, and for maintaining or improving COA’s key community partnerships, such as with employers who rely on the college for workforce training.
Wynegar similarly said the renovation projects were highlights of his time at COA, and noted the library is set to formally open next month. He also praised COA for seeing growth in enrollment while other community colleges have lost enrollment. He credited that accomplishment to the excellent work of deans and student recruiters.
Wynegar also said he will continue to act in the best interests of COA, and help the trustee board transition to a new president, if requested.
Harris said trustees have already put out a request for proposals for a firm to help search for another president. It also employed such a firm to replace Deitemeyer. It will take several months to find a new president, and it’s unclear if one will be in place before Wynegar leaves, he said.
Notably, COA trustees chose Wynegar over several finalists, all of whom were from North Carolina. Asked if he had any regrets over choosing Wynegar, given his short service, Harris said no. It’s easy to “second-guess” the decision, but trustees chose the best person for the job, he said.
Harris also said COA will again choose the best person it can find, wherever they may come from.