N.C. Community College System President Resigns

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The president of the North Carolina community college system, Thomas Stith, plans to step down Friday after less than two years in his role, according to a system news release sent Tuesday.

The State Board of the North Carolina Community College System will name an “experienced interim president” within the next several days and will then “begin a thoughtful and thorough search” for a permanent president of the system, according to a statement from Burr W. Sullivan, the board chair.

“The Board thanks Mr. Stith for his service and wishes him well,” Sullivan said.

No explanation was given for Stith’s departure. The announcement comes after board members held a three-hour closed session meeting Friday, partly dedicated to discussing his performance on his goals as president, the Associated Press reported. Board members have previously expressed concerns about high turnover in the system office and among campus presidents.

The board plans to hold an emergency meeting today with plans to discuss the selection of an interim system president on the agenda.

Stith said in a statement that he was honored to serve the 58-college system “alongside well-respected college presidents, professionals, dedicated educators and inspirational students.”

“While navigating the uncharted waters of the COVID-19 crisis with careful stewardship, authentic collaboration and unshakeable faith, I am thrilled that our community college system enhanced its offerings, making students more competitive for the workforce, entrepreneurship and transfer to 4-year institutions,” he said. “That was my job to do and my commitment to our state.”

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