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Finalists named for MTCC Presidency

The Board of Trustees of McDowell Technical Community College named three finalists today for the position of President at McDowell Technical Community College. These candidates were selected from a pool of 66 individuals who applied for the position following the resignation of the college’s former president, Dr. John Gossett, earlier this year. Gossett became president of AB-Tech in Asheville in July.

The finalists are Dr. S. Vinson Burdette of Anderson, SC; Dr. Debra S. Holley of Providence, NC; and Dr. Brian S. Merritt of Sanford, NC. Each of the finalists are currently serving or most recently served as vice-presidents of community colleges in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Each of them has taught and held administrative posts in higher education, primarily at the community college level, for at least 16 years each. 

All three of the finalists have received preliminary approval by the NC State Board of Community Colleges.

“We are impressed with the caliber of candidates who applied to become our next president,” said Gary Stroud, “and we are excited for our faculty, staff and community to get to meet and learn more about these candidates as the board continues to interview and vet these individuals.” Stroud is the chairperson of the 12-member MTCC Board of Trustees.

The board has scheduled a series of “meet and greet” opportunities in mid-October for faculty, staff and community members to meet and ask questions of the finalists. On Monday, October 12th, Dr. S. Vinson Burdette will tour the campus, have lunch with administrators at the college, participate in a candidate forum, and be interviewed by the board of trustees. On Tuesday and Wednesday of that week, the process will be repeated with Dr. Debra S. Holley (October 13th) and Dr. Brian S. Merritt (October 14th).

The candidate forum will take place at 1 pm each day in the Crane Resistoflex Auditorium in the Cedar Building on the college’s main campus. The event will be live-streamed for members of the public. Faculty and staff will be able to ask questions of the candidates, and they will be able to provide feedback to the board following the forums.

We believe that each of the candidates we have chosen will all make good community college presidents one day, but we look forward to deciding which of these finalists will make the best president for us, our students and our community today,” said Stroud. “Our board is committed to finding and selecting that person and if everything goes according to plan, we hope to have a new president join us in early January.”

Dr. S. Vinson Burdette, Vice-President of Academic and Student Affairs, Aiken Technical College, Aiken, SC. Candidate forum at 1 pm on Monday, October 12, 2020 in the Crane Resistoflex Auditorium at MTCC. Forum will be broadcast live via Zoom at the following link:  EVENT NOW PASSED

Dr. S Vinson Burdette

Dr. Debra S. Holley, Vice-President of Academic and Student Services, formerly of Danville Community College, Danville, VA. Candidate forum at 1 pm on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 in the Crane Resistoflex Auditorium at MTCC. Forum will be broadcast live via Zoom at the following link:  EVENT NOW PASSED

Debra Holley

Dr. Brian S. Merritt, Vice-President of Student Learning and Chief Academic Officer, Central Carolina Community College, Sanford, NC Candidate forum on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 in the Crane Resistoflex Auditorium at MTCC. Forum will be broadcast live via Zoom at the following link: EVENT NOW PASSED

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