Seventeen named to NSCC presidential search committee

Rick Wagner • Jun 20, 2018 at 5:30 PM

NASHVILLE — The hunt is almost on for a new president of Northeast State Community College, with a search advisory committee set to have its first meeting Aug. 16 at the main campus in Blountville.

The plans are for the position to be advertised starting July 1 and a new president to be in place by the start of 2019.

The committee includes four members of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the college’s governing board, and representatives of the Northeast faculty; staff; students and alumni; and the local community, including East Tennessee State University. Regent Tom Griscom will chair the group

Former Kingsport Mayor Dennis Phillips and TBR member and Kingsport Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Miles Burdine are among the 17 members of the committee, as are Bristol Tenn.-Va. Chamber President and CEO Beth Rhinehart, and Clay Walker, president and CEO of the NETWORKS — Sullivan Partnership.


The committee has been appointed to lead the search for the next president of NSCC. Former President Janice Gilliam left June 30, 2017 after Faculty Senate and full faculty no-confidence votes cited financial issues and a “climate of fear” among employees.

TBR Executive Vice Chancellor James King has served as interim president of the school, overseeing a $5 million budget cut to “right size” the budget.

Phillips helped bring the Academic Village to downtown Kingsport and was critical of Gilliam during much of her tenure.

The committee will work with executive search firm Greenwood/Asher & Associates to receive applications and nominations from candidates from around the country, review qualifications and conduct interviews before recommending up to three finalists to the chancellor. The chancellor will conduct further interviews and gather input from the college before recommending one candidate to the TBR, which appoints presidents of all colleges in the system.

The meeting time and location on the campus will be announced closer to the meeting when details are completed, according to a news release from TBR spokesman Rick Locker, who said the position will be advertised starting July 1. Locker said the meetings will be open to the public until the point the committee discusses individual applicants, which under a change in state law are confidential until finalists are named. Under a more recent law change, the position can have one, two or three finalists instead of a minimum of three as before.

The TBR approved the criteria for the next president at its March 29 meeting. TBR Chancellor Flora W. Tydings said she expects the next president will be in office at NSCC by Jan. 1.


— Regents Tom Griscom, chair; Emily J. Reynolds, vice chair; Miles Burdine and Danni Varlan.

— Francis Canedo, Faculty Senate president, and Richard Blevins, faculty representatives.

— Austin Cox and Kevin Ball, students.

— Jennifer Starling, student affairs.

— Gordon Mobley, alumni.

— Sherry Mott, support staff.

— Paul Montgomery, retired Eastman employee and NSCC assistant president for access and development, administrative staff.

— Brian Miller of Eastman Chemical, Beth Rhinehart, Clay Walker and Dennis Phillips, all of the business community.

— Bob Plummer, ETSU associate president of university advancement.

NSCC State is a two-year post-secondary institution designated to serve Carter, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties. It has more than 6,100 credit-seeking students and more than 500 non-credit students. In addition to the main campus in Blountville, Northeast delivers programming at campuses in Elizabethton, Gray, Johnson City and Kingsport.

The College System of Tennessee, governed by the TBR, is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 100,000 students.

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