BCCC narrows search

Published 1:00 am Saturday, February 4, 2012

The search for the next president of Beaufort County Community College is narrowed.
The 47 original applicants have been whittled down to six, and next, to three.
Friday, the nine-member board tasked with replacing long-term President David McLawhorn convened to pick the top three candidates it feels are best suited for the position, but those top picks must undergo another rigorous inspection, this time by the North Carolina Community College System board, before the 12 members of the BCCC Board of Trustees can determine which candidate will be head of the school.
For Mitch St. Clair, owner of St. Clair Trucking, and BCCC trustees, the qualities needed in the new president are evident.
“We have the core values. Economic development is very important,” St. Clair said. “We need someone who’ll work well the community and get out and see what’s needed in the county.”
According to St. Clair, those needs are relatively simple: work with local organizations like the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce, Beaufort County Economic Development Commission and businesses to provide opportunities and “the education people need to fill the jobs — to get jobs.”
McLawhorn will be leaving that legacy behind, according to St. Clair.
“Dr. McLawhorn has done a great job,” he explained. “We want someone to jump right in his shoes and keep it going.”
McLawhorn was slated to retire in July 2011, but he stayed on to see the completion of the school’s new Allied Health Building construction.
BCCC’s presidential search committee expects a decision from the NCCCS by the end of March, provided the NCCCS board approves the committee’s choice of candidates. Should any of the candidates be rejected by the overseeing board, the remaining reserve candidates will be submitted accordingly.
Once the full BCCC Board of Trustees has extended an employment offer, then the process of ironing out a contract begins, an undertaking that could take several more weeks, but the announcement of the search committee’s choice for the new president of BCCC should be soon be in the offering, according to St. Clair.
“We’ve set the goal for March,” he said.