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Three finalists named for McDowell Technical Community College presidency

Three finalists named for McDowell Technical Community College presidency

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The Board of Trustees of McDowell Technical Community College named three finalists Friday for the position of college president.

These candidates were selected from a pool of 66 individuals who applied for the position following the resignation of the college’s former president, John Gossett, earlier this year. Gossett became president of Asheville-Buncombe Technical College in July.

The finalists are S. Vinson Burdette of Anderson, S.C.; Debra S. Holley of Providence; and Brian S. Merritt of Sanford. Each of the finalists are currently serving or most recently served as vice-presidents of community colleges in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Each of them has taught and held administrative posts in higher education, primarily at the community college level, for at least 16 years each, according to a news release.

All three of the finalists have received preliminary approval by the N.C. State Board of Community Colleges.

“We are impressed with the caliber of candidates who applied to become our next president,” said MTCC Board of Trustees Chairman Gary Stroud, “and we are excited for our faculty, staff and community to get to meet and learn more about these candidates as the board continues to interview and vet these individuals.”

The board has scheduled a series of “meet and greet” opportunities in mid-October for faculty, staff and community members to meet and ask questions of the finalists. On Monday, Oct. 12, Burdette will tour the campus, have lunch with administrators at the college, participate in a candidate forum, and be interviewed by the board of trustees. On Tuesday and Wednesday of that week, the process will be repeated with Holley (Oct. 13) and Merritt (Oct. 14).

The candidate forum will take place at 1 p.m. each day in the Crane Resistoflex Auditorium in the Cedar Building on the college’s main campus. The event will be live-streamed for members of the public. Faculty and staff will be able to ask questions of the candidates, and they will be able to provide feedback to the board following the forums, according to the news release.

“We believe that each of the candidates we have chosen will all make good community college presidents one day, but we look forward to deciding which of these finalists will make the best president for us, our students and our community today,” said Stroud. “Our board is committed to finding and selecting that person and if everything goes according to plan, we hope to have a new president join us in early January.”

Here’s more information about how you can participate in the process:

S. Vinson Burdette, vice president of academic and student affairs, Aiken Technical College, Aiken, S.C. Candidate forum at 1 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 12 in the Crane Resistoflex Auditorium at MTCC. Forum will be broadcast live via Zoom at the following link:

https://zoom.us/j/96301627504

Or iPhone one-tap: US: +16465588656, 96301627504# or +13017158592, 96301627504#

Or Telephone: US: +1 646 558 8656 (to listen only)

Webinar ID: 963 0162 7504

Debra S. Holley, vice president of academic and student services, formerly of Danville Community College, Danville, Va. Candidate forum at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 13 in the Crane Resistoflex Auditorium at MTCC. Forum will be broadcast live via Zoom at the following link:

https://zoom.us/j/99915678837

Or iPhone one-tap: US: +13017158592, 99915678837# or +13126266799, 99915678837#

Or Telephone: US: +1 301 715 8592 (to listen only)

Webinar ID: 999 1567 8837

Brian S. Merritt, vice president of Student Learning and Chief Academic Officer, Central Carolina Community College, Sanford. Candidate forum on Wednesday, Oct. 14 in the Crane Resistoflex Auditorium at MTCC. Forum will be broadcast live via Zoom at the following link:

https://zoom.us/j/96861235006

Or iPhone one-tap: US: +16465588656, 96861235006# or +13017158592, 96861235006#

Or Telephone: US: +1 646 558 8656

Webinar ID: 968 6123 5006

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