Under the Dome

Community college presidential search panel named

A search committee was appointed Friday to find a successor to Scott Ralls, president of the state’s community college system, who will leave North Carolina to become president of Northern Virginia Community College.

Wasting no time, Linwood Powell, chairman of the N.C. Community College System board, chose a panel one day after Ralls’ departure was announced. The group, whose voting members are board members, was appointed at the board’s regular meeting on Friday.

The search committee will be led by Clyde Higgs of Kannapolis. Other members are: Wade Bryan “Bobby” Irwin, Jr. of Sparta; Jimmie Ford of Goldsboro; Janet K. Lowder of Albemarle; Edward Lynn Raye of Wingate; Darrell Saunders of Archdale; Scott Shook of Greenville; and Jerry Vaughn of Charlotte. Powell, who is from Fayetteville, will also serve on the committee.

The group will also have one nonvoting member — Garrett Hinshaw, president of Catawba Valley Community College, who leads the N.C. Association of Community College Presidents.

Powell said that the committee will have a big responsibility “to fill one of the most important jobs in North Carolina.” A process and timeline will be hammered out soon.

The Community College System and the UNC System will begin their presidential searches at roughly the same time. On Monday, a search committee of the UNC Board of Governors will meet for the first time to begin the task of finding a successor to UNC President Tom Ross, who will leave the job next year.

Ralls, 50, will leave in September for the Virginia job, where he will be paid $22,000 more annually. His new salary will be $308,954, according to a spokesman with Northern Virginia Community College.