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Finalists for VHCC President to Visit Campus in April
Posted Date: 2/28/2014
Community members will get the chance to meet the finalists vying to become Virginia Highlands Community College’s new president in April and then encouraged to offer input via an online survey before a final selection is made in late May.

Officials this week provided updated details about the process that began last fall when Dr. Ron Proffitt announced plans to retire, effective June. 30. A greatest-needs survey was launched soon afterward and revealed that the next president should be skilled at fundraising, workforce initiatives, recruiting new students, and promoting the college.

Based on that criteria, a pool of 80 applicants has been narrowed to about 10, who will be interviewed by a statewide search committee. That committee - which is led by Dr. John Capps, president of Central Virginia Community College, and includes VHCC Board members Joe Straten, Kimberly Clark, and Virgil Wimmer – will narrow the field to just three or four finalists.

“By design, the selection process is both rigorous and thorough,” Dr. Capps said. “Its goal is to identify the individual who best embodies the qualities Virginia Highlands Community College has defined for its next president. I am confident the process will achieve that goal, for we have a very strong pool of applicants — a tribute to the reputation Virginia Highlands enjoys among Virginia’s Community Colleges.”

Once the finalists have been chosen, each will spend a day at VHCC for a series of meetings with campus and community stakeholders, an interview conducted by a local search committee, and a town hall meeting featuring a question-and-answer session. Input will then be gathered via an online survey and forwarded to the VHCC College Board. The College Board will conduct a final interview before making a recommendation to Dr. Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, who is expected to select a new president in late May.

“We have hired more than two dozen presidents during my tenure and this process has served us well,” Dr. DuBois said. “The transparency of it, the chance for the community to participate, has allowed us to hire people who are both eminently qualified to lead a college and a good fit for the community the college serves. I am deeply appreciative of the people who are willing to be a part of this process.”

Dr. Proffitt is the fifth president of VHCC. He began his career in education in 1975 when he was hired to develop a regional radiography program to serve Southwest Virginia, Virginia Highlands, Mountain Empire and Wytheville community colleges. He held this position until 2000 when he was appointed Dean of Math, Science and Health Technology at Southwest Virginia Community College. In 2007, he was named Vice President of Academic and Student Services at Wytheville Community College and remained in that role until he joined VHCC three years later.