SCC names three presidential finalists

SCC presidential finalists, from left, Dr. Michael V. Ayers, Dr. Christopher English and Dr. Brian Merritt

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

     Three veterans of North Carolina’s community college system, including a current Southeastern Community College vice president, are finalists to be the next SCC President.

     SCC Vice President of Academic Affairs Michael V. Ayers, D.M.; Blue Ridge Community College Vice President of Economic and Work Force Development Christopher English, Ed.D.; and Central Carolina Community College Vice President of Learning & Workforce Development Brian Merritt, Ph.D.; were named finalists by SCC’s Presidential Search Committee, a college news release Wednesday said.

     Open forum broadcasts with each candidate next week will be followed by interviews with SCC’s Board of Trustees, who will ultimately choose the next college president.

     An extensive nationwide search drew “a strong and diverse pool of applicants,” the news release said, from which the finalists were chosen.

     “I would personally like to thank the entire college community for your continued interest and support in the process to identify our next President,” said Board of Trustees Chair henry Edmund. “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank each member of the Presidential Search Committee for their exceptional work and effort.”

Open forums

     Open forums with each of the finalists will begin at 3 p.m. next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, broadcast live on SCC’s YouTube Chanel, with a link to the livestream to be posted on the SCC website and its Facebook page.

     Each forum will be aired on EDU-Cable in the following days.

     The forum with Dr. Merritt will be broadcast May 26, Dr. English on May 27, and Dr. Ayers on May 28.

     Anyone with questions for the candidates may email them to Kennon Briggs by 4 p.m. Monday, May 25, to kennondb@gmail.com.

     “All forums are open to faculty, administrators, staff, students, and the general public,” the news release said. “Mr. Kennon Briggs, ACCT Search Consultant, will facilitate all forums.

     “There will be a brief introduction of each candidate, followed by a question and answer session. Feedback will be collected via an electronic survey and given to the Board of Trustees for review.”

     Following interviews with the finalists, the Board of Trustees will make a recommendation to the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges for possible approval in June, with SCC hoping to announce the name of the next president in July.

Bios

     Background information on the finalists, provided by SCC, includes:

  • Dr. Michael V. Ayers is currently Vice President of Academic Affairs at Southeastern Community College in Whiteville. He previously served as Dean of Math, Science, and Technologies at Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem.

     Dr. Ayers earned a Doctorate of Management in Community College Policy and Administration from the University of Maryland University College in Adelphi, Maryland; a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Appalachian State University in Boone; and an Associate of Arts and Associate of Science from Surry Community College in Dobson.

  • Dr. Christopher English is Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development/Continuing Education of Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock.

     He previously served as Dean of Advanced Technology at Blue Ridge Community College.

     Dr. English earned a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee; a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces; a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Technology Management from Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport; and an Associate of Applied Science in Industrial Technology from Greenville Technical College in Greenville, South Carolina.

  • Dr. Brian Merritt is Vice President of Learning & Workforce Development of Central Carolina Community College in Sanford.

     He previously served as the Vice President of Student Learning at Central Carolina Community College in Sanford.

     Dr. Merritt earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration from Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota; a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration from Appalachian State University in Boone; and a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Social Sciences Education from Appalachian State University.