A Summary Listing of Higher-Ed-Related News from Around The Nation
NC College Leader Out After 13 Months
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The head of one of the country’s largest community college systems is stepping down just 13 months after taking the North Carolina job.
The North Carolina Community College System’s board said it accepted the resignation of James Williamson, who took over in July 2016.
No reason was given why Williamson is leaving. The announcement was sent after business hours. A spokeswoman did not respond to messages and a phone number for board chairman Scott Shook rang unanswered.
Williamson was hired last year away from the South Carolina Technical College System at an annual salary of $285,000.
Williamson succeeded Scott Ralls as president of North Carolina’s system of 58 community colleges. Ralls left in September 2015 to become president of Northern Virginia Community College.
Miss. College Starts Bike Rental Service
POPLARVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Students at a Mississippi college can rent bicycles to get around campus.
The Picayune Item reports that a rental program starts this semester at Pearl River Community College in Poplarville.
The bikes are available for an hour or two, or for several weeks at a time.
The college received a grant of just over $198,000 from the BlueCross Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. It used the money to buy 72 maroon and gold custom-painted bikes.
They can be used free for an hour or rented for $15 for half a semester or $25 for the whole year.
Santa Fe CC President Retiring
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Santa Fe Community College President Randy Grissom has announced he will retire.
Grissom said he will step down from his position October 31. The 68-year-old has led the college as president since 2013.
Under Grissom’s leadership, the college has nearly doubled its graduation rate and forged a number of partnerships with four-year colleges and universities to offer bachelor and advanced degree programs.
The college also recently received support from Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center and Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The SFCC Governing Board will announce the process for selecting an interim president at a later date.
Layoffs Hit 20 Tenn. College Employees
BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee community college has laid off 28 employees — one of many measures it’s taking to balance the budget.
Local news outlets report that Northeast State Community College announced on Monday the elimination of 28 non-faculty, fulltime employee positions as part of a plan to balance the upcoming school year’s budget. The school also didn’t renew 19 part-time and full-time temporary positions. Six vacant full-time faculty and staff positions won’t be filled.
The 2017-18 budget, which began July 1, encompasses even more reductions — including to Northeast State operations, travel and equipment budgets. The overall proposal would cut about $5 million to balance the college’s budget.
Interim college president James King says he’s “saddened” by the layoffs, but calls them “necessary to get the college’s finances back on track.”
Ariz. Assistant Coach Dies After Bar Fight
PHOENIX (AP) — Authorities say a Mesa Community College assistant football coach has died after a fight outside a Phoenix sports bar.
Phoenix police say 44-year-old Benjamin McIvor was involved in an altercation with a 47-year-old man outside the bar.
They say McIvor fell and hit his head on the ground during the fight.
McIvor was taken to a hospital, where police say he died.
Police say the other man involved in the fight left the scene, but later was contacted by authorities.
They say he’s cooperating in the investigation. The man’s name hasn’t been released.
Mesa Community College officials say McIvor was the defensive line coach and special teams coordinator and was entering his third season with the team.
Miss. Completion Effort Launches Website
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi officials have launched a new website to encourage people to complete partially-finished college degrees.
Gov. Phil Bryant and higher education officials announced the site’s launch.
The Complete 2 Compete initiative is targeting more than 130,000 former students, including more than 30,000 who have enough credits to earn a degree with no further coursework.
People can submit information to the website at no cost to determine how close they are to completing a degree. The website will suggest schools that offer classes needed to complete a degree.
Returning students may have to pay tuition, but may be eligible for financial aid, tutoring and special credits for prior learning.
Universities are developing general studies degrees for returning students, while community colleges are rolling out adult learner services.