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COA expected to name finalists for president's job

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By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

College of The Albemarle officials are expected to announce three finalists for the next president of COA later this week.

The presidential search committee has selected three candidates to submit to the COA Board of Trustees at the board's meeting Tuesday night.

The trustees plan to discuss those candidates in closed session.

Depending on how that discussion goes, a public announcement of the three finalists could take place Wednesday morning.

Trustees are looking for a new leader because President Robert Wynegar resigned from the college at the end of June. To manage the college’s operations until a new president is hired, the trustees have appointed Travis Twiford, a former superintendent of schools in both Elizabeth City and Camden, as interim president. Trustees hope to have the new president in place by November.

The trustees adopted a profile to guide the search that calls for the president to provide the trustees with “comprehensive, data-based policy and fiscal analyses, innovative program and service recommendations, and opportunities to improve and enhance the college in its service to students and the community.”

Managing internal operations is also cited as an expectation and responsibility.

Echoing comments made by faculty, staff and community members at "listening" sessions held on the college’s four campuses, the profile also lists as an expectation that the next president “serve as an ambassador for the college” by meeting with elected and appointed public officials, boards of education and school superintendents, chief executives of higher education institutions, business and industry representatives, and members of civic and cultural organizations. During these meetings, the next president should communicate about and advocate for partnerships that enhance the college, the profile states.

The profile also calls for the president to work alongside trustees in building strong relationships with local governments and community leaders “to foster construction of new facilities, upgrade and update existing facilities, and make other campus improvements and enhancements.”

Board of Trustees Chairman Marion Harris is on the search committee, as are trustees Travis Burke, Tommy Fulcher, Paul O’Neal, Joe Peel, Patti Kersey, and Arty Tillet. Also on 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.

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