Presidential Profile

 

 

Graphic of the Western Piedmont Community College SealThe Board of Trustees and Presidential Search Committee invite applications for the position of President of Western Piedmont Community College.

Photo from a drone of the main campus of Western Piedmont Commuinity College. Moore and Burnett Halls are in the foregroundWestern Piedmont Community College (Western Piedmont) was chartered by the State of North Carolina in April 1964 as a full member of the North Carolina Community College System. For the past 55 years, Western Piedmont has enjoyed strong program, financial and community support from educational, governmental, and civic organizations throughout Burke County and the western region of the State. This support enabled the College to provide exceptional academic, workforce, and human development programs and services to meet the needs of citizens, businesses and industries throughout Burke County. Western Piedmont is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and carries six specific program accreditations provided by both national and state accrediting bodies. The College is home to 2,250 full-time equivalent students, and has a total annual headcount enrollment of 8,874. This includes students enrolled in curriculum, occupational continuing education and basic skills instruction. Western Piedmont is located in Morganton, North Carolina.

The mission of Western Piedmont is to provide accessible, high-quality education that improves lives and promotes growth in the community.  As part of its academic and workforce development commitment throughout Burke County, the College offers 104 Associate Degree, Diploma and Certificate programs of study in both credit and non-credit instruction. Instructional programs reach across forty departments within the institution. Each program of study is driven by student interest, labor market demand, and community need throughout the service area. The College also offers over 36 Associate in Applied Science Degrees in healthcare, education, and business and industry programs that facilitate degree completion, college transfer and skills certification opportunities for students. Additionally, the College has been home to Burke Middle College (cooperative innovative high school consisting of 11th and 12th grade students) since 2006.

Four WPCC Students work together on computers in the libraryAs a member of the North Carolina Community College System, Western Piedmont Community College is an open-door institution, welcoming students from all walks of life. As reflected in the 2016-21 Strategic Plan, the College’s core values include service, success, quality, diversity, and excellence. First among the College’s strategic goals is a commitment to student success by providing all students the opportunity to become successful in pursuit and attainment of their educational goals. Additional strategic goals include employee and workforce development, community outreach and engagement, and institutional enhancement. The core values and strategic goals are accomplished through a model of shared governance between the Board of Trustees, College President, employees, students, and community partnerships. Western Piedmont enjoys strong, productive partnerships with local and state government agencies, educational institutions, local and regional businesses and industries, advisory groups and community connections.

The Role of the President

The President serves as the Chief Administrative Officer of the College, reporting directly to the Board of Trustees. The President has full authority and responsibility for the operation of the College under policies, rules and regulations adopted by the Board and those promulgated by the State Board of Community Colleges. The President also operates under authority delegated by the Board of Trustees; submits to the Board for consideration recommended policies and actions when requested or deemed to be in the best interest of the institution; and recommends all educational and co-curricular programs which serve the best interests of the citizens of Burke County and the College. Finally, the President understands the cooperative relationship of shared governance that exists between the Board and President.

The President provides executive leadership for the College’s strategic direction, institutional operation, long-range planning, program assessment and accountability, policy development, student success and institutional effectiveness. These duties and responsibilities are accomplished in many ways and means, including the following:

  • Attending, participating in, and providing counsel and recommendations to the Board of Trustees, whether they meet as a full Board, Executive Committee, or substantive committee thereof.
  • Establishing and maintaining instructional and administrative structures and systems that effectively and efficiently utilize the College’s fiscal and human capital resources in fulfillment of the educational mission. This includes building and supporting a strong team of administrators, gifted faculty and talented professional staff, all focused upon student success.
  • Representing the College before the community, and building and strengthening positive relationships and open communication with all constituencies, with particular emphasis upon education, business and industry, and governmental partners, both locally and statewide.

Opportunities and Challenges

The next President of Western Piedmont Community College will be uniquely positioned to partner with the Board of Trustees, employees, students and community to embrace the opportunities and challenges that lay before the College. As Chief Administrative Officer of the College, the President is given authority to develop and bring forward recommendations about academic programs, student success activities, enrollment growth strategies, resource and facility possibilities, and partnerships that best move the institution forward in pursuit of its mission to improve lives and promote community growth. In doing so, the next President of Western Piedmont will encounter the following opportunities and challenges:

  • Develop and implement education and training programs that provide college transfer opportunities, talent for the workforce, and skills certification credentials that facilitate expansion of existing business/ industry and recruitment of new employment opportunities.
  • Establish balanced strategies for growing college enrollment by increasing awareness and visibility of the programs and services offered by Western Piedmont; expanding outreach to adult learners and those with college credit but no marketable credentials; strengthening partnerships with all local public, private, and charter educational entities through marketing and promoting Western Piedmont as the “College of Choice”.
  • Work alongside the Board to cultivate relationships and expand partnerships with community, government, business / industry, and civic leaders that enhance the financial position of the College; provide scholarships and other resources to address the rising cost of attendance; continue the expansion and modernization of facilities and technology; and, deliver enhanced learning environments and educational experiences that support student access, progression, completion, and employment.
  • Provide leadership, support, professional development and compensation for faculty and staff in their mission of delivering expanded instructional opportunities, including proactive engagement in promoting student success, attainment of student educational goals, and co-curricular activities that lead to innovations in student ability to navigate the educational process.

Ideal Characteristics

Photo of the WPCC Pond in fall with trees showing their colorsThe Board of Trustees seeks, as its next President, an individual committed to the important role Western Piedmont fulfills in the lives of people throughout Burke County. The role of the President in this regard includes a commitment to the success of all students who enter through the open door of educational opportunity provided by the College, the development of, and engagement in, relationships and partnerships throughout the community that enhance the institutional mission, serving as an ambassador of the College at the local, state and national levels, and experiences, skill sets and personal characteristics to effectively lead the institution. The next President of the College should be an individual that:

  • Understands the challenges and opportunities that are before a rural community college such as Western Piedmont, which has a vibrant population that is experiencing growing economic development opportunities.
  • Is willing to make a multi-year commitment to the College and has progressively responsible leadership experience focused upon higher education, training, and student success.
  • Possesses leadership skills and personality traits which unite the College in the pursuit of programs and services that foster teamwork and collaboration among faculty and staff, is highly visible and able to move comfortably among and engage with both internal and external constituencies, has excellent public speaking, interpersonal and communication skills, and brings a passionate, dynamic, thoughtful, collaborative and approachable management style to the role of Chief Administrative Officer.
  • Is a participatory and visionary leader who has engaged in regional accreditation activities, led strategic and facility planning processes, been an active partner in economic and community development programs, has faculty and/or senior level administrative expertise, and has led teaching and administrative innovations that would make the College nimble in the delivery of instruction, student services, business processes, and entrepreneurial activities.
  • Values the principle of shared governance, has a strong student success focus, good analytical skills, fiscal acumen, fund raising and budget management experience, strong ethics and moral compass, practices transparency in transactions, and promotes both inclusiveness and diversity across campus.

Qualifications

  • An earned doctorate from a regionally accredited institution and a minimum of five years of successful senior-level administrative or academic administrative experience. Experience in higher education or community college is strongly preferred.
  • In lieu of an earned doctorate, a candidate must possess a minimal credential of a Master’s Degree from a regionally accredited institution and a minimum of ten years of successful senior-level administrative or academic administrative experience. Experience in higher education or community college is strongly preferred.
  • Familiarity with the administrative system of higher education in North Carolina and a commitment to the mission of a comprehensive community college is also preferred.

 

*Adopted by the WPCC Board of Trustees, 11/21/19

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