COA trustees name search panel for new president


Staff Photo by Thomas J. Turney Marion Harris Jr. gives the commencement address during the College of the Albemarle Spring Commencement, Wednesday, May 11, 2016


By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Saturday, April 20, 2019

College of The Albemarle has established a presidential search committee that includes representatives of the four counties that are home to a COA campus.

The search committee is needed because COA President Robert Wynegar has resigned and said he plans to depart by June 30. The COA Board of Trustees plans to name an interim or acting president to succeed Wynegar until a permanent president is hired and reports for work. 

Board of Trustees Chairman Marion Harris told the board at its regular meeting earlier this week that he had appointed a search committee that includes trustees, COA faculty, staff, and a student representative.

Harris will be on the search committee, as will trustees Travis Burke, Tommy Fulcher, Paul O’Neal, Joe Peel, Patti Kersey, and Arty Tillet. Also named to the panel are COA faculty members Jeff Carter, who chairs the Allied Health Department, and Lucretia White, program coordinator for development reading and English. COA staff named to the panel include Wanda Fletcher, director of basic and transitional studies, and Sherri May, coordinator of workforce development and career readiness at COA’s Dare Campus.

COA has campuses in Pasquotank, Chowan, Currituck and Dare counties. Kersey is a Chowan resident, O’Neal is a Currituck resident, and Fulcher and Tillet are Dare residents.

When trustees asked whether there would be community representatives on the search committee, Harris said there would not be for this search.

The board will seek community input, however.

In fact, Jennifer Haygood, vice president and chief of staff of the State Office of Community Colleges, said in a video conference session with the board at Tuesday’s meeting that community input is a requirement of the presidential search process. She also noted that trustees are required to interview at least two candidates for the job unless the State Board of Community Colleges waives the requirement.

Trustees also voted unanimously to use ACCT as the consulting firm for the search. Trustees noted that Kennon Briggs, who served as interim COA president prior to Wynegar’s arrival, will be working on ACCT’s behalf with COA on its current presidential search.

The trustees’ Finance Committee last week narrowed the selection of consulting firms down to ACCT and Executive Leadership Associates. ACCT is based in Washington, D.C., but employs Briggs as a consultant in North Carolina. COA used ACCT in the presidential search in 2017 that brought Wynegar to COA.

ACCT has proposed a flat fee of $30,000. That does not include costs for expenses such as travel.