Taking the helm at BCCC

Published 7:25 pm Friday, March 16, 2012

Board of Trustees name Barbara Tansey as new president

Barbara Tansey, vice president of academic and student services at Fayetteville Technical Community College, has been named the next president of Beaufort County Community College.

Tansey’s appointment was announced Friday by Mitchell St. Clair, chairman of the BCCC Board of Trustees in an email to college faculty and staff following her approval by the N.C. State Board of Community Colleges earlier in the day.

When Tansey, who holds a doctorate, assumes her duties June 1, she will be the first woman to head the college, located about five miles east of Washington, in its 45-year history. She succeeds David McLawhorn, who will retire May 31 from the presidential post, a position he has held for almost 11 years.

“I am very confident in the decision the Board of Trustees has made in choosing the next president of the college,” St. Clair said in announcing the board’s choice. “I know we have the best candidate to move the college forward in an exciting new era.

“Dr. McLawhorn has been a great president and the passing of the baton is certainly bittersweet,” St. Clair said.  “But the Board of Trustees is looking forward to working with Dr. Tansey in her new post.”

In a statement released Friday afternoon, Tansey said she is looking forward to being a part of the community and a partner in the education of its residents. She said she is looking forward to meeting the faculty, staff and students and exploring and becoming an active participant in the community.

Before serving as vice president of academic and student services at FTCC for four years, she served more than three years as vice president of student learning at South Piedmont Community College in Polkton.

Tansey began her career in education as a teacher in rural Missouri and later became director of a program serving single-parent, displaced households while she finished her doctorate.

Tansey, in addition to her experience as an educator, has experience in the private sector. She worked several years as director of corporate training for an international construction company before accepting the position as a dean at Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz., and another position as a dean at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colo.

Tansey earned a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in education from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo. She earned a doctorate from the School of Practical Arts and Vocational Education at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. Her doctorate dissertation was titled “Strategic Planning in a Regional Technical Education Center: A Community Based Model.”

Tansey currently serves as vice president of the Cumberland-Fayetteville Arts Council and chairwoman of its Strategic Planning Committee. She is Rotarian and member of the Women’s Giving Circle.

Tansey has been an active participant in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as a member of numerous review teams. She successfully led Fayetteville Technical Community College through its 10-year review in June 2001. Next month, she plans to travel to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to serve on a SACS review team.

Tansey has two sons and five grandchildren. Her husband, Tom, is the chief executive officer of Tansey and Associates, a company that conducts training and certification programs for managers and supervisors in the construction industry. He has two children.

Tansey’s annual salary as BCCC president will be $150,324. Tansey, one of 48 people who applied for the BCCC position, was the unanimous choice of the BCCC Board of Trustees to replace McLawhorn, St. Clair said.

McLawhorn said he wishes “the very best for Dr. Tansey and the students, faculty and staff at BCCC.” He said he hopes that the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners and other community leaders will continue the strong support of the college that they have shown in the past 11 years that has led to a period of unprecedented growth of the college.

With an annual budget of some $22.7 million, BCCC serves a four-county area that includes Beaufort, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington counties. The college employs some 360 faculty and staff members and has 1,873 curriculum students and about 4,500 students through its Division of Continuing Education.