Stith named to lead North Carolina community college system
RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) -The head of the U.S. Small Business Administration in North Carolina is the next president of the state community college system.
The State Board of Community Colleges voted unanimously Monday in an online meeting to choose Thomas Stith III to lead the 58-campus system.
Stith succeeds Peter Hans, who was at the post for two years before being named president of the University of North Carolina system.
Stith was previously Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s chief of staff and a Durham City Council member.
COVID-19 is expected to be an early top priority for Stith. A majority of campus-based instruction occurred online during the fall.
Stith said he is committed to serving students and supporting the colleges as they develop the workforce and extend affordable education to residents.
“My vision for the North Carolina Community College System is guided by the principle that education translates into opportunity,” he said. “The North Carolina Community College System will lead our state’s economic recovery by providing education and training for our diverse population. The system will become a national model for educational excellence.”
Stith will begin his new role on Jan. 11.
North Carolina’s 58 community colleges serve about 700,000 students a year in associate degree programs, university transfer programs, short-term workforce training, high school dual enrollment, career and technical education and adult basic education.
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