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COA President Wynegar to leave at end of June

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College of The Albemarle President Robert Wynegar

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By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

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.

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