Tansey takes BCCC helm

Published 7:39 pm Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mitchell St. Clair (left), chairman of the Beaufort County Community College Board of Trustees, and Barbara Tansey, new BCCC president, listen to a report at the BCCC board meeting on Tuesday. Tansey began her duties as college president Friday. (Contributed photo/Beaufort County Community College)

Barbara Tansey on Friday took the helm of Beaufort County Community College and began her first week with meetings with the college’s senior staff members and its trustees.

“It’s been fun,” Tansey, new BCCC president, said at a meeting of the trustees board Tuesday night. “I have enjoyed every minute of it.”

It was Tansey’s first meeting with the college leadership since she assumed her duties as president Friday. She succeeds David McLawhorn, who retired May 31 after an 11-year tenure as college president.

Mitchell St. Clair, trustees chairman, welcomed Tansey on Tuesday night and was the first to praise Tansey as she begins work in her new post.

“We’re all excited about  it,” he said.

Board member Betty Randolph agreed.

“We are excited to say the least that you are here,” Randolph said. “You are an example of this learning institution not settling for anything but the best.”

Board member Frank “Bo” Lewis also praised Tansey.

“You were the most impressive person I have ever interviewed,” he said.

Tansey, who previously served as vice president of academic and student services at Fayetteville Technical Community College, was named the new college president in March after a yearlong search.

She, one of 48 people who applied for the position, was the unanimous choice of the BCCC board to replace McLawhorn, according to St. Clair.

Before serving four years at FTCC, 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 homemakers.

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.

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.

During her first three days on the job, she organized her office with the help of Jennie Singleton, her executive assistant; met with the senior staff at BCCC and met with the Beaufort County Schools Superintendent Don Phipps, among other activities, Tansey told the board.

Tansey said she is particularly looking forward to working with Phipps in the coming weeks “looking for any opportunity” where the two institutions can cooperate to improve educational opportunities for area residents.

After hearing reports from various committees, St. Clair, who presided over his final meeting as board chairman, thanked members of the board and the BCCC faculty and staff for their service.

“It’s been a pleasure to sit in this seat for three years,” he said.

Russell Smith will succeed St. Clair as chairman of the BCCC board.

With an annual budget of $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.