Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

FY21-23 State Budget

Posted on: July 20th, 2022 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

FY 2021-23 State Budget

State-wide Items

Information Technology

Economic Development


Spotlight on Community College Leaders: Pitt CC Trustee Gloristine Brown

Posted on: April 26th, 2022 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

Spotlight on Community College Leaders:

Pitt Community College Trustee Gloristine Brown

“I know my calling; my calling is to serve,” says Mayor Gloristine Brown. Brown heeds that calling daily. Beginning in 1999, Brown served as commissioner of the town board of Bethel, North Carolina. Since 2014, she has served as the town’s mayor. She is also on numerous local and statewide boards and committees, is in her sixth year as a Pitt Community College (PCC) trustee and is on the NCACCT Executive Board. Most recently, Mayor Brown announced her candidacy for the North Carolina House of Representatives.

In her involvement as a community college trustee, Brown says it was not until after she joined the board that she learned it was her job to support the college president rather than to help manage the college. She said that if a trustee realizes there are concerns at his/her college, then the trustee should talk to the board chair or to the President. “The President is the one who makes the decision about what to do,” she says. One thing Brown quickly learned when she became a trustee was that she needed to be involved in the college to respond to community comments and questions about college activities. She said she likes to be at every committee meeting so she can hear information firsthand.

Brown suggests new trustees stay engaged as much as possible by attending board and committee meetings and by interacting with those who are on campus. She advises to never assume; always ask questions. She also warns that trustees should not make promises or speak negatively about their schools. A trustee, she says, should be the true champion for a college. “People will know if you really care about your college,” says Brown.

Brown sees the important roles community colleges play in our communities and beyond. She understands that for students who want to go to a four-year university, beginning their educational journey at the community college can save students money. She also sees how community colleges can provide one-on-one attention to help students determine what they want to do for a living so they do not waste valuable time and money. “I look at community colleges as being a savior for students,” says Brown.

At PCC, Brown is especially proud of the numerous ways the school helps students continue their education. She is impressed with PCC’s early college program, as well as the school’s reentry program, which works with the county’s sheriff’s department to help those who have been in detention or imprisoned receive education they need to get into the workforce. She is proud of the school’s VISIONS Career Development and Scholarship Program, whose purpose is to provide mentoring, career guidance and $1,000 per year scholarships to selected Pitt County public high school students. Programs like that, says Brown, provide funding that help students who may otherwise not be able to continue their education.

As for the community college system as a whole, Brown loves the way the colleges work together as a family. She says that even though colleges are in different parts of the state, the goal is the same. “We are all trying to be one voice. Colleges work together; I love that. There is no ‘I’ in team,” says Brown. “We can show the United States that North Carolina is truly the great 58,” she says.

Although she is currently a full-time politician in her mayoral role in Bethel, Brown’s occupational history has included working a bit in the nursing and insurance industries. In fact, if she could do it all over again, she says she would use her calling of service to become a registered nurse. A mother of two now-adult children—a daughter and a son—Brown said that it was her daughter who encouraged her to get her Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems and a master’s degree in Public Administration. While she is glad she accomplished these educational goals, she wishes she had received her degrees at an earlier age.

As mayor, one of Brown’s biggest success stories was when she was able to affect the citizens of Bethel in a positive financial way. Brown helped Bethel’s residents reduce their water and sewer bills by an estimated 23 percent. The town partnered with the Greenville Utilities Commission to assume ownership and management of the town’s water and wastewater systems.

Brown is also proud Bethel has a workforce development center that is partnering with PCC and that the town now has a thriving youth center. She said she is pleased that some of the town’s younger citizens want to restore some of the youth programs that Bethel once had. “Seeing community involvement was one of my prayers. That’s what makes a community,” says Brown.

When asked why she wanted to run for a seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives, Brown stated that several people approached her about running. After giving it some consideration, she decided she would like to use the same energy she was using to serve her community in Bethel and extend that service to her district. If elected, Brown says she could check running for state office off of her bucket list, as serving at the state (and perhaps later, the federal) level is something she has wanted to do for a while now. Brown wants to serve the rural area of her part of the state by giving her constituents a voice in Raleigh. “It’s not about my agenda. It’s about what is best for the people,” says Brown. “The heart I have for my town is the same I would have for my district.”

With the experience she has gained as a trustee, Brown says if she succeeds in her run for the House of Representatives, she knows she could be a strong voice for community colleges. “I’ve been in the trenches,” she says. “I’m on the inside looking out.” Brown wants to be the person who can emphasize the positive effects community colleges have on our communities and in turn, help community colleges receive the funding they need to be even more effective. If elected, Brown said one of her top priorities would be community colleges. She also said she wants to make sure North Carolina’s citizens have affordable healthcare and jobs in which they are well paid.

In her free time, Brown loves to read, play word games, sing, and, of course, volunteer. “I will give my last if I need to. Children and seniors are my heart,” says Brown.

2022 NCACCT Law-Legislative Seminar Presentations

Posted on: April 5th, 2022 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

The following are the Presentations from the 2022 NCACCT Law-Legislative Seminar in Raleigh:

Board Decision Making and Relationships

Community College Governance

Derek Steed – Business Partnerships

Ethics Training

Legal Challenges after Covid

Legislative Agenda

Orientation Presentation

Strategic Planning

Spotlight on Community College Leaders: James Sprunt CC Trustee Ed Emory

Posted on: February 21st, 2022 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

Spotlight on Community College Leaders:

James Sprunt Community College Trustee Ed Emory

In his 12th year as a James Sprunt Community College trustee, Ed Emory says he has been (pleasantly) surprised to learn two things since becoming a trustee. First, he has been surprised to learn the depth of the course offerings that our North Carolina community colleges have to offer. Secondly, with the advent of the Career and College Promise program, he has learned that high school students can get college credits and can even graduate with a two-year degree—a fact he shares with high schoolers he encounters.

Retired as the Duplin County Extension Director with North Carolina Cooperative Extension at NC State University, Emory has a background in agriculture and education. Additionally, as Extension Director, Emory led educational programming in agriculture, 4-H youth development, family and consumer sciences and community development.

Spending his entire career in education, Emory sees the opportunities community colleges can provide to both college-age students as well as to older adults. He also sees how community colleges help sustain local economies by providing continuing education for workforce development. Emory says that while trustees need to work together for statewide funding, they also need to show the individual county governments how much their contributions are appreciated and how essential they are to the success and growth of our community colleges.

Serving as a trustee has given Emory the chance to be involved in selecting a college president, which he believes is a task of the utmost importance. Selecting and supporting a good president results in a growing faculty and staff. That, in turn, supports the students, which as Emory puts it, is “what we’re all about.” Emory has also come to understand that setting policies and providing leadership and support to the president is also an invaluable part of being a trustee.

Emory also commented that he has been glad to be involved with the North Carolina Association of Community College Trustees because trustees do not “come to the table” with the complete set of skills of how to be a good trustee. “The Association provides us with the important training we need,” Emory says. He says it teaches trustees about organizational and board development and makes trustees more effective by informing them about state and national issues that relate to community colleges.

Showing community college employees and students that they are valued is an issue of concern for Emory. He says when we look at our employees, we need to focus on how to raise their salaries to increase capacity to serve our students. To show our students they are valued, he says we must first eliminate enrollment barriers so they can be successful. We also must consider diversity, equity, and inclusion. “I don’t think those are just the buzzwords of our time,” says Emory. “We have to make sure every student feels welcome and safe and that they have the resources they need to succeed.” Then, he says, our students will be successful. He says to eliminate barriers, we first must develop relationships with students and parents in elementary, middle, and high school, and make them know what a significant resource the community colleges are–especially now that we have dual enrollment and early college high school. He says it is important to show students they can obtain college credits and that they can save money while doing it.

As a James Sprunt Community College trustee, Emory says he is proud of the family approach his college takes when someone becomes a student there. When students enroll, they become a part of the “James Sprunt Family,” and he appreciates how the school does all it can to ensure their students’ successes. He would love to see the workforce development program continue to grow at James Sprunt as well as see growth in their high school recruitment.

Although Emory officially retired in 2009, that does not mean he has stopped working. He was president of the NC Farm Families organization for three years. He also works part-time for the University of Mount Olive’s agricultural program. There he coordinates the AgPrime Tobacco Trust Fund grant program for farmers in 33 eastern North Carolina counties. He also works with county governments to develop farmland preservation plans.

In his free time, Emory likes anything relating to Wolfpack sports. He also enjoys working on his family’s farm in Carteret County. Emory loves to be with family and friends, and he enjoys being outside. He even started a 25-member golf travel group 32 years ago that is still going strong. The group, who all happen to be from Duplin County, gather annually in Pinehurst.

Emory also loves to travel. He recalled a trip to Eastern Europe about five years ago that he says was his best vacation. Learning about the history and cultures of places he had never thought to visit before was so interesting to Emory. He also recollected the surprise he felt when he visited Cuba shortly after the country’s reopening. Being made aware of all that Cubans had forgone for so long made him feel a compassion for them that he had not expected. Emory’s love of travel is infinite to the point of stating that if anyone says to him, “Let’s go there,” he will say “Yes!” It does not really matter to him where they are going; he just likes to go!

Too humble to really use the word “proud” to define any of his life’s accomplishments, Emory states he truly has had a blessed life. He says he is happy to be involved in a community where he can give back just a portion compared to what has been given to him.

Advice he would share with a new trustee would be analogous to the best advice he ever received from former County Extension Director Lois Britt, which was, “Never stop learning.” His advice to new trustees would be to learn by attending all the board meetings you can, be an active member of the NC Association of Community College Trustees (NCACCT) and if you are able, be involved in the national Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT). Being active in these groups, he says, provides valuable tools and relationships that will help you be a better trustee.

Spotlight on Community College Leaders: NCCCS President Thomas Stith

Posted on: December 17th, 2021 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

Spotlight on Community College Leaders:

NC Community College System President Thomas Stith

Whether leading the U.S. Small Business Administration’s response to COVID-19 in North Carolina, serving as a local councilman and entrepreneur, directing a program focused on improving eastern North Carolina economies, or serving alongside a North Carolina governor – Thomas Stith has specifically chosen professional opportunities that improve the lives of others.  Now, as President of the North Carolina Community College System, Stith says his current role allows him to continue that life of service while strongly advocating for educational opportunities and driving economic growth in the state he loves.

Since he took the helm as the System President in January, North Carolina has navigated a pandemic while quickly pivoting in order to rebuild small businesses and draw in big businesses and jobs.  For example, he mentions Toyota’s recent announcement that the company will open a lithium battery plant at the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite, which is expected to lead to the creation of 1,750 jobs.

“While incentives matter, the number one reason Toyota selected the site in Randolph County is because of the workforce,” Stith said.  “Our community colleges are fueling the job engine in North Carolina and are the key reasons businesses are expanding and locating here.”

Stith has more than three decades of experience in economic development and government relations.  He was chief executive of several businesses and consulting firms, including the Michael Thomas Group in Durham and LJP Lab, a toxicology lab and health care consulting company in Kernersville.

He served as chief of staff to former Gov. Pat McCrory from 2013-2017 and was a three-term city council member in Durham from 1999-2007.  During his time in the Governor’s Office, he led special initiatives, including the establishment of the Venture Capital Multiplier Fund (a $60 million venture fund), the Governor’s initiative on historically black colleges and universities and Hurricane Matthew recovery.

Stith’s political acumen helped him navigate one of the longest “long” sessions in North Carolina history as he had to hit the ground running to advocate on behalf of the NC Community College’s systemwide legislative priorities.  Ultimately, the System received a final biennial budget of $1.46 billion – the largest received in more than a decade.

“Lawmakers heard from our entire community college family – the State Board and System Office, along with the local Presidents and the Trustees,” Stith said.  “That consistent message and that unified voice made a big difference for our legislative agenda.”

He continues: “This biennial budget reflects the critical and long-term role that the Community College System serves in our higher education and economic development ecosystems,” Stith said. “The appropriated State funds will help our community colleges to continue their mission of maximizing student success by providing the support, training and education needed for high-quality, high-demand, high-skilled, and high-wage careers.”

Stith looks forward to the System building on that momentum as the community college partners develop a three-year legislative strategy.   Part of that strategy will be a continued request for additional salary increases for faculty and staff.

“We are currently in the process of asking colleges for specific information about how they are having difficulty recruiting and retaining qualified people to work on their campuses,” he said.  “Our people are our greatest resource and we can only serve students when we have the faculty and staff to support them.”

While he has walked the halls of the General Assembly, talked to the state’s policy and business leaders, and represented the System in a variety of business and educational forums, Stith says he is most inspired when he visits the community college campuses.  Today, he announced to the State Board that he has now visited all 58 colleges.

“I have been afforded the opportunity to serve as the President of the North Carolina Community College System,” Stith said.  “I am grounded in my faith.  This job is not just professional – it’s personal, and I have been blessed with this opportunity.    Many roads have led me to this point, and I will never take it for granted.  I will work hard every day to ensure that our students get what they need and deserve to be successful.”

Spotlight on Community College Leaders: SBCC Chairman Burr Sullivan

Posted on: October 19th, 2021 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

Spotlight on Community College Leaders:

State Board of Community Colleges Chairman Burr Sullivan

With a mind for business and a heart for education, Burr Sullivan has hit the ground running as the new Chairman of the State Board of Community Colleges.  He was elected Chairman in September for a two-year term, and he is optimistic about the opportunities that lie ahead for the System and its students.

A native of West Virginia, Sullivan graduated form Marshall University and became an Army officer in May 1968.  He served in Vietnam as an infantry platoon leader and then came to North Carolina where he earned an MBA at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  His was the sixth graduating class at UNC-CH’s MBA Program, now Kenan-Flagler.

His career led him to Lexington where he served as a division controller for Burlington Industries –one of the largest and most diversified manufacturers of textile products in the world.  He worked on the financial side of the company and then launched his own business venture in 1979 with the purchase of Dorsett Printing Corporation, which made packaging products for manufacturers in the Southeast, then around the country, and then all over the world as global markets opened.

Sullivan sold the company in 2007 and tried to retire, but says “that was the most boring six months of my life.”   Then, local business leaders came calling.  He was asked to lead the Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce to a better economic situation as it was struggling during the recession at that time.  He is credited with ultimately saving the Chamber in Lexington from closing its doors.  It took him two years to turn things around, but he stayed there six more years because he enjoyed building coalitions among business partners and liked working with young people.

He quickly discovered that one of the strongest business partners – and strongest economic drivers – in the Lexington area was Davidson County Community College (now Davidson-Davie Community College).    Under his leadership, the Chamber worked with the community college to determine the best customized training programs needed to optimize the success of larger businesses in the area.  He also directed other businesses to the Small Business Center, which Sullivan lauds as a key tool to helping smaller companies grow, thrive, and learn new skills.  Sullivan was recognized by Davidson-Davie CC with an honorary degree in May, 2021 for his 50 years of community service.

At the state level, Sullivan was asked by then NC Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco  and the General Assembly to serve on the North Carolina Economic Investment Committee (EIC), which evaluates potential Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) projects and makes decisions on business recruitment incentive funding.

“Serving on the EIC was truly an eye-opening experience,” Sullivan said.  “It was amazing to see how community colleges were so important to new companies that were considering a move to the state.  In fact, that was the first question:  ‘Can your State deliver a trained workforce to my business?’   We heard that over and over.  And, ultimately, it’s the community colleges that enable North Carolina to deliver that trained workforce so that our state can recruit businesses and bring jobs to the state—-or help existing industries expand.”

As the new leader of the State Board of Community Colleges, one of his first priorities is to schedule regional meetings for individual State Board members  and senior staff to travel throughout North Carolina to engage local Trustees, Presidents and other community college leaders and  hear what they believe to be the System’s future priorities.

“We want to get input at these regional meetings to help us to develop a new  Strategic Plan for the System, which will begin in July 2022 and continue through July 2026,” Sullivan said.  “The State Board is a group of volunteers, like the local Boards of Trustees are volunteers.  We all come to the table wanting to help people and impact their lives in a positive way.”

More information will be distributed in the next few weeks about the regional meetings.  “We will be learning by listening and interacting” Sullivan said.  “The State Board wants to learn more about opportunities/challenges facing our colleges, and we want our colleges to learn more about our Board.     If we can all continue to work collaboratively for the same goals of supporting our colleges and our students, then I know that we can make a real difference – TOGETHER.”

Moseley Architects – Design Build Projects (NCACCT Business Partner Article)

Posted on: August 20th, 2021 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

Design-Build Projects


What is the Design-Build delivery method?  

The best construction projects on college campuses result in facilities that fully meet the needs of faculty and students alike. To achieve this, campus leaders must first choose how to approach their construction project, which starts by deciding on a project delivery method. The project delivery method is outlined by a contractual agreement defining the roles, responsibilities, and integration level of the three primary parties in a construction project: the owner, contractor, and architect. Choosing the right project delivery method for your campus is critical to fostering an efficient process resulting in a project that maximizes value while also meeting both your program and aesthetic needs. There are benefits and challenges to every project delivery method, but some are more poised than others to engage with community college owners in a streamlined, transparent, and integrated way.

In North Carolina, the Community College System and the State Construction Office (SCO) offer the option for colleges to utilize the Design-Build project delivery method as an alternative to the more traditional Design-Bid-Build (DBB) — also known as low-bid-method. Unlike traditional DBB projects, where the contractor is not involved in the design, a Design-Build project incorporates the owner, architect, and contractor early in the design process via a sole source contract. As a result, it encourages problem solving with all team members’ full ownership from design through construction. This occurs when the contractor brings critical trade partners into the process for a fully integrated design without surprises in the field. Consequently, the only change orders experienced through a Design-Build delivery method should be a result from clear changes in scope.

How do you know if the Design-Build delivery method is the right fit for your campus?  

Exploring the Design-Build delivery method starts by having an open dialogue with the SCO. The SCO will help identify potential challenges and advantages for your specific project. One of the benefits of the Design-Build process is having a simplified contractual structure, meaning your staff will only have one point-of-contact for the entire project. The contractor is typically the primary point-of-contact in a Design-Build agreement, while the architect and engineers work as consultants under the contractor’s prime agreement. With an experienced team, a Design-Build process streamlines communication for the college and can virtually eliminate design change-orders in the project. Because of this integrated team approach, Design-Build projects enjoy the benefit of real-time feedback from the contractor regarding constructability, material lead times, cost, and sequencing. This helps to maximize the budget and value, often accelerating the project completion in comparison to a traditional DBB process.

What are the drawbacks to Design-Build?  

With a Design-Build project, selecting a team committed to being collaborative and transparent is essential and can mitigate most drawbacks. Unlike other states which select Design-Build teams based on price, North Carolina institutions choose Design-Build teams based solely on qualifications. Making qualification-based decisions is advantageous for our community colleges because it gives more freedom in determining what is most important in a Design-Build team for each institution. We have included other items to consider when selecting a Design-Build team below.

  1. Does the team have successful Design-Build experience with the State Construction Office?
  2. Do the contractor and architect have successful experience working together on any project delivery method?
  3. Does the architect have relevant experience for your building program?
  4. Does the team commit to a fully transparent and collaborative process?

With the right team, this integrated approach can foster an environment of collaboration, transparency, and buy-in from everybody, resulting in a streamlined project that maximizes the budget.

Moseley Architects had the privilege of partnering with Wayne Community College (WCC), one of the great 58 community colleges, to realize two projects through the Design-Build delivery method. Our first project with WCC was featured at the 2020 State Construction Conference and can be viewed by scanning the code below.


As architects dedicated to student-first educational design, Moseley Architects is committed to our North Carolina Community College System. We welcome any opportunity to engage and discuss if Design-Build is right for you and your college. ­­

Written by Brad Lockwood, AIA, Stephanie Cooper, AIA, and Suzanne McDade, AIA of Moseley Architects

Aviso – Partnering with NCCCS to Help Students Succeed (NCACCT Business Partner Article)

Posted on: June 11th, 2021 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

Aviso logo for NC_

Aviso – Partnering with NCCCS to Help Students Succeed

Since 2012, Aviso Retention has partnered with NCCCS to identify at-risk students and to provide technology-enabled holistic student support through predictive analytics, early alerting, messaging, and reporting features – built upon best practices – to increase student retention and degree completion. From the time of our initial partnership with NCCCS, Aviso has gone from working with 33 NCCCS colleges to 42 out of the 58 in the community college system. This increase is a direct result of our record of success in implementing and training two-year community colleges and technical colleges with our innovative programs and ground-breaking research, such as the Minority Male Success Initiative and our First in the World research.

The Minority Male Success Initiative (MMSI) was developed to focus on increasing the progression and completion rates of minority male students and to help strengthen minority male student outcomes by encouraging participation and collaboration among student participants, peers, college departments, and administration.

In developing the program, Aviso is partnering with 11 NCCCS colleges for a three-year commitment to assess and augment the student success rates of minority male students. To this end, Aviso is helping partner colleges to configure software that will meet their unique needs and to track specific student cohort groups of new minority male students and other at-risk groups.

This spring, with the conclusion of the first year of the MMSI program partnership, Aviso analyzed the collected data from the Aviso Predict data warehouse, which was used to build and support the various risk models associated with assigning and displaying student risk profiles. The data also contained many points of interest that could be used when examining the long-term impact of student success initiatives on campus.

The completion of the first year of the MMSI program found positive outcomes for minority males both in terms of course completion and persistence. Minority male students who were part of the MMSI program were found to have a 1.8% increase in course completion and a 1.5% increase in persistence.

Preliminary results demonstrated:

1. Racial/Ethnic Gaps in Persistence Decreased

Minority male persistence rates are closer to white male persistence rates than previously noted. This is good news, possibly pointing to evidence that use of Aviso Engage, an equity solution that makes it easy to reach out to students, helps to identify issues preventing students from succeeding, and develop strategies to address them.

2. Racial/Ethnic Gaps in Course Completion Decreased
Course completion rates also decreased between historical and impact terms. The ongoing gaps, in part, were likely as a result of online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All these gaps decreased from historical terms, but still have room for improvement.

Preliminary results from the MMSI program suggest that success coaching through the MMSI program is an effective way to help ensure minority male students persevere in their studies and complete their academic programs. These findings also suggest that by partnering with Aviso and implementing software programs that meet each learning institution’s unique needs, partner institutions were successfully able to track cohorts of new and returning male minority students and other at-risk groups.

Aviso has also been committed to research efforts to determine if proactive and individualized success coaching at 10 NCCCS colleges improved student retention. The First in the World (FITW) program used a unique combination of targeted student success coaching, predictive analytics, technology supports, and business process changes to discover if this combination of efforts had the potential to significantly improve student success.

Key findings of the FITW research program include:

*Impacts of success coaching grow larger over time.

*Male students and black students experience larger benefits from coaching.

*Strong institutional support and low coach turnover increase the impacts of success coaching on student retention and completion.

The FITW research program yielded impressive results for participating colleges:

*9% increase in longer-term retention for students who had success coaches.

*12% increase in credential completion for students who had the same coach for the duration of the study.

*18% increase in likelihood to stay enrolled for two academic years for black students assigned to a coach.

*9% increase in credential completion for students who had success coaches.

Aviso is devoted to helping NCCCS colleges be able to easily identify at-risk students who may benefit from student success initiatives. We have been grateful for the partnership that we have forged with NCCCS and will continue to support our NCCCS partnerships as they move forward.

Learning institutions that are interested in learning more about Aviso’s industry-leading student retention programs can contact us today. Aviso programs are easy to integrate, intuitive to learn, and scalable for any size institution or budget. Please visit for more information.

Best Practices for Boards of Trustees Hiring a Firm to Assist with a Presidential Search (NCACCT Business Partner Article)

Posted on: February 2nd, 2021 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

Best Practices for Boards of Trustees Hiring a Firm

 to Assist with a Presidential Search

by Kennon Briggs, ACCT Presidential Search Consultant

and Julie Golder, ACCT Vice President for Search Services


A Board of Trustees’ legal authority is defined in both North Carolina General Statutes (N.C.G.S.) and State Board of Community College Code (SBCCC). The clearest expression of a local Board’s authority is found in N.C.G.S. 115D-20.  This statute enumerates the powers and duties of each local Board in the North Carolina Community College System.


The first power delegated to the local Board is the election of a President. The significance of this authority being delegated to the local Board reflects the intent of the General Assembly that the Board would unquestionably be the governing body of the College, but through a model of shared governance, would employ a President to manage the daily operations of and provide executive leadership to the institution. It has been generally understood that perhaps the most important decision the local Board will ever make is the selection of its President.


In the presidential selection process, local Boards often seek a search firm to assist them with the selection of a President. While there are different models which can lead to a successful outcome and there is State Board policy that governs the search process, it should be understood that the Board owns and is responsible for the process.


Setting the stage for an open, transparent, equitable and participatory process is the essential foundation of a strong and healthy presidential search. As such, both the search process itself and the process to identify a Board’s search firm should be a competitive process. Competition is healthy and helps ensure the best possible presidential “fit” and outcome. A Board should consider working with its Procurement Officer, and if necessary its General Counsel, to fully understand internal and statewide regulations and guidelines. The Board will want to issue a Request For Proposals (RFP) for search services. The Board should also consider the following:


Before selecting a search firm, the Board should request and call references. Ask references about the outcomes of their searches, firm responsiveness, communication strategy, and any other concerns the Board may have. Also, to be fair and consistent, the same questions should be posed to each reference.


Search firms provide a variety of services. Therefore, as the Board assesses potential firms, they should consider the following:


In partnership with the College Attorney, the Board should review the outgoing president’s contract. The full Board should be familiar with the contract, seek advice on where it needs improvement , discuss compensation, and be compliant with State Board Code.

Keep in mind with respect to search firms: “Cheap can ultimately be expensive.” This is true with both presidential compensation, hiring the right firm and selecting the best consultant.

In summary, a Board of Trustees should take their time, be intentional, and select the search firm that that will result in selection of the best fit for the Board, college and community.


Julie Golder ( / 202.384.5816) is Vice President for Search Services and Kennon Briggs ( / 919.621.7988) is a Presidential Search Consultant at the Association of Community Colleges Trustees (ACCT) in Washington, D.C.  ACCT is the national membership organization for Boards of Trustees and an NCACCT Business Partner. Both Ms. Golder and Mr. Briggs are available to provide additional information or respond to questions about the search process.

Spotlight on Community College Leaders: Fayetteville Tech CC Trustee Billy Wellons

Posted on: September 5th, 2020 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

William Wellons

Spotlight on Community College Leaders: Fayetteville Technical Community College Trustee Billy Wellons

By Ashley Blizzard, NCACCP/NCACCT Communication Coordinator & Events Manager

A member of Fayetteville Technical Community College’s Board of Trustees for 17 years now, Billy Wellons admits that the college’s board and the Executive Board of the NC Association of Community College Trustees are the only two boards on which he now serves. The reason? Because he feels they really make a difference.

Wellons, who is in the real estate, development, property management, hotel and Harley Davidson business, is no stranger to board participation. However, after having served on many boards over the years, he finally made the conscious decision to only serve where he knew he could make an impact. The community colleges, he had discovered, was where that could occur.

Wellons said serving on the college’s board has given him a deeper perspective of what is around him. He has seen the years of opportunities and challenges faced by students and communities alike. It has been fulfilling for him to see students succeed and then become important contributing factors to the economy and to society.

Two major concerns Wellons sees the community colleges facing now are both finance related. First, he sees where community colleges need ongoing funding from the state. Secondly, Wellons believes community colleges need to be able to maintain flexibility in our financial services to an ever-changing population. “People are always moving and shifting…and they need support and encouragement. That’s part of what we do in our community college system. We help families face difficult circumstances [they] face in life,” said Wellons.

Community colleges are important to Wellons because he has seen the value community colleges provide to its students. Wellons shared a story in which one of his own employees was encouraged to go back to school when the employee attended his daughter’s graduation at FTCC. At the commencement ceremony, Wellons was one of the speakers. Wellons was unaware that because of his speech, his own employee made the decision to enroll at the community college to further his education. Cases like that prove the importance of community colleges to Wellons. Wellons said that deciding to go to the community college provides hope and greater opportunities for personal and professional fulfillment for those who may not have the resources necessary for success.

As a trustee, Wellons was surprised to learn how the community college accepts everyone—young and old, single parents, working parents, and those who may be challenged academically or financially. “We educate and train people to do real work in all trades and form our local communities and economy,” said Wellons. One thing that has really surprised Wellons is when the college has had its students speak at events and the students share how the school has treated them like a family. “The students really appreciate that,” he said.

During Covid, Wellons admits that keeping that sense of family and community has not been easy because the college is doing it from an absentee mentality. However, proper funding certainly helps. He praised the numerous online classes the college provides, even before the pandemic. Due to the fact that so many of FTCC’s students are in the military, many of its students are stationed all over the world. The ability for the college to provide them flexible, online classes with accommodating professors has given those students that sense of community.

Wellons is most proud of the way in which FTCC works with Fort Bragg. Wellons said the Fort Bragg Army General calls the college a “force multiplier” with the work the school does to train and educate our military. In military terms, the force multiplier is the factor that gives people or weapons the skills necessary to make greater achievements than they would without it. “At the heart of all of it, our people work in concert with our community that forms the magic that makes it all happen,” said Wellons. For the 17 years he has been on the college’s board, he said they have never had a trustee who had his/her own agenda. He is proud the college has a president and board who “work hard in working together.”

Wellons’ advice to new trustees strongly relates to the pride he has in his FTCC board. “Don’t come on the board unless you are serious about being a good trustee,” he says. “Don’t do it just because it’s an appointment. Come in with an attitude of harmony.” He also says to be involved and participate. With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Wellons said advice he would share with new trustees is that you have to be flexible, you have to listen to your leadership, and you have to be creative and innovative. He said trustees have to demonstrate they care.

In order for the college to accommodate new technologies, one advancement Wellons would like to see at FTCC is a continued refinement and development of its information technology infrastructure. He would also like to see that FTCC’s faculty and staff are people who have been in the “real world” so they can share that experience with the students. Lastly, Wellons wants to continue to have the best equipment for instruction purposes. In a nutshell, he said, “We want to lead the way!”

When asked about his hobbies, Wellons’ first response was, “How long have you got?” His hobbies vary widely and include collecting guns and knives, bird hunting, his ownership of 20 Tennessee Walking Horses, photography (although he enjoyed it more before digital photography became popular), and a love of all kinds of music. For 10 years, Wellons was even part of a rhythm and blues band (named the Men of Distinction) that headlined for numerous Motown groups.

His favorite place to relax is at a family farm in Falcon, NC. There he can hunt, fish and ride his Tennessee Walking Horses. Wellons also said he relaxes when he rides motorcycles, which he has been doing since he was 18 years old. A partner and owner in two Harley Davidson dealerships, Wellons said he has had two very memorable vacations. The first vacation was when he was 20 years old and his dad took his family on a 30-plus day international trip that began in London. Wellons and his family traveled as far east as Moscow, as far south as Cairo and ended the trip in Switzerland with stops along the way that included Paris, Warsaw, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Rome and Athens.

His other memorable vacation was when he and one of his best friends rode 12,680 miles over the course of 40 days…on motorcycles! Their route began in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where they traveled into parts of Canada, then back into the United States where they journeyed across the northern states of the United States, back into Canada and then to California. Then after making several other stops that included Lake Tahoe and the Salt Lake Flats, they traveled to Milwaukee and joined 350,000 people for the 100th anniversary celebration of Harley Davidson.

In spite of the fact that it sounds like Wellons has “done it all,” he actually does have something left on his bucket list. He would like to rent a house and spend a couple of weeks in a village on the coast of Italy.

Some of the best advice Wellons ever received came from his dad. Wellons stated that throughout his life, he was always worried about his competition. However, Wellons said his dad told him that if he got up before everyone else and if he worked harder than everyone else, he would beat the competition every time. Wellons also said his dad would not ever accept the words, “I can’t.” According to Wellons, that mentality has given him a positive attitude that he could do what he wanted to do. Lastly, Wellons’ dad told him, “Put God first, family second, work hard, and you’ll be a good man.”

Wellons has several life accomplishments of which he is proud. First, he is an Eagle Scout. Second, he is the only one in his family who graduated college. He is also proud of his accomplishments as a businessman. Finally, Wellons said he is proud of his hard-working wife, who has owned her own hair salon for 28 years, as well as his two sons and one daughter.