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COA trustees release names of 3 president finalists

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Dr. Jack Bagwell

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Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The three finalists to be the next president of College of The Albemarle will be in the region next week to meet students, staff, faculty and the general public.

The presidential finalists are Jack Bagwell, vice president for academic affairs and chief academic officer at Piedmont Technical College in Greenwood, S.C.; Jeff Jochems, president and vice chancellor at the Richwood Valley Campus of the Ozarks Technical Community College in Nixa, Missouri; and Richard Pagan, vice president for academic and student affairs at New River Community and Technical College in Beaver, West Virginia.

Bagwell previously served as associate vice president of academic affairs at York Technical College in Rock Hill, S.C. He earned a doctorate in educational studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, in Lincoln, Nebraska, and a master of science and a bachelor of science in biology at Winthrop University, in Rock Hill, S.C.

Jochems previously served as assistant vice president, administrative services, at Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield, Missouri. Jochems earned a doctorate in higher education leadership at the University of Arkansas, in Fayetteville, Ark.; a master of science in higher education-student personnel at the University of Kansas, in Lawrence, Kansas; a bachelor of business administration in management at Washburn University, in Topeka, Kansas; and an associate of science in business at Pratt Community College, in Pratt, Kansas.

Pagan previously served as senior vice president and campus director at the National Aviation Academy in Bedford, Mass. He earned a doctorate in higher education leadership at West Virginia University, in Morgantown, West Virginia; a master of science in aeronautical science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, in Daytona Beach, Florida; a bachelor of science in general studies at Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Virginia; and an associate of applied science in avionics technology and occupational instruction at the Community College of the Air Force, in Montgomery, Alabama.

Marion Harris, chairman of the COA Board of Trustees, said during the trustees’ meeting Tuesday evening that he is excited about all three finalists. Harris credited presidential search consultant Kennon Briggs, who has extensive experience working with COA, with helping the search committee to find three candidates for president he described as outstanding.

Each presidential finalist will participate in four forums, one each at the college’s four campuses. The forums are open to all COA faculty, administrators, staff, students as well as the general public.

Each forum will follow a process similar to the one the college used in its 2017 presidential search, with a brief introduction of the candidate followed by a question and answer session. Feedback forms will be given to all who attend and the completed forms will be collected at the end of each forum and given to the COA Board of Trustees for review.

The forum schedule is:

• Tuesday — Jeff Jochems: 8-9 a.m., Room 201, Edenton-Chowan Campus in Edenton; 10:15-11:15 a.m. Room 201 at the Dare County Campus in Manteo; 12:45–1:30 p.m. Room 104 at the Regional Aviation and Technical Training Center in Barco; 2-3 p.m. in Room 208 of the AE Building on the Elizabeth City Campus.

• Wednesday — Richard Pagan: 8-9 a.m., Room 201, Edenton-Chowan Campus in Edenton; 10:15 – 11:15 a.m., Room 201 at the Dare County Campus in Manteo; 12:45–1:30 p.m., Room 104 at the Regional Aviation and Technical Training Center in Barco; 2-3 p.m. at the Elizabeth City Campus, AE Building, Room 208

• Thursday, Aug. 29 — Jack Bagwell: 8-9 a.m., Room 201, Edenton-Chowan Campus in Edenton; 10:15–11:15 a.m., Room 201, Dare County Campus in Manteo; 12:45–1:30 p.m., Room 104, Regional Aviation and Technical Training Center, Barco; 2-3 p.m., Room 208, AE Building, Elizabeth City Campus.

“We are looking forward to a successful completion of the presidential search process,” the college said Wednesday in a prepared statement.

Robert Wynegar, who served as president of COA from April 2017 through June of this year, resigned effective June 30. The college’s trustees have said they hope to have a new president in place by November.

Travis Twiford, a former superintendent of the Camden and Elizabeth City-Pasquotank school districts, is serving as COA’s interim president.

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