The President serves as Chief Administrative Officer of the College. The President is appointed by and reports directly to the Board of Trustees, and has an understanding of and appreciation for the principle of shared governance. As Chief Administrative Officer, the President is responsible to the Board for providing sound educational leadership, demonstrating a commitment to student success, effectively overseeing the management of fiscal affairs and equitable allocation of funds, and an ability to build consensus with public and private partners and diverse communities throughout the service area. Similarly, the Board looks to the President for guidance and counsel in pursuit of the College’s mission, implementation of the Strategic Plan, opportunities and risks that the institution faces, innovations in instructional programs and learning modalities, support services that foster academic success, economic and resource development, and the introduction of policies, procedures and activities that serve the best interests of the institution and its students.
The role of the President encompasses varied internal and external duties and responsibilities. The President builds a team of strong and effective leaders, assembles and supports a well-credentialed and accomplished faculty, and directs a compassionate and supportive staff of dedicated professionals. In addition, the President is an ambassador for the College, working with local, regional and statewide leaders and organizations in building support for the institution, and being visible in and engaged with civic and cultural organizations and business and industry. These duties and responsibilities are accomplished in part by:
• Exercising strong communication and interpersonal skills with and between the Board, faculty, staff, students, and members of the College community across Rutherford and Polk counties; collaborating on programs and projects that serve the interests of all student learners; and building consensus support for the financial needs of the institution.
• Providing leadership for creativity in the development and delivery of new academic programs and continuing education courses; promoting student engagement, retention and completion strategies; stimulating expansion of a pool of skilled labor for the workforce and economic opportunity; and advancing facility construction, renovation and utilization.
• Demonstrating an ability to coalesce individuals and groups around College challenges and opportunities, initiating problem-solving strategies and conversations, and making sometimes difficult decisions that protect the mission, vision and purposes of Isothermal.
Opportunities and Challenges --
The next President of Isothermal Community College will inherit an institution that has enjoyed excellent Board governance, experienced executive leadership, dedicated employee service with a passion for student growth and development, and strong community support throughout its history. The President will be singularly positioned to collaborate with the Board, employees, students and community members in the development of policies, procedures and processes to engage the challenges and opportunities that the College not only currently faces, but those it anticipates in the coming years. As President, the next administrative leader of Isothermal will be expected to protect the institution from external interference, while building trust within the College and generating assistance from the community in fulfillment of enrollment growth, program offering, and financial support opportunities, and in resolution of policy, operational and technology challenges. The Board and College community sees the following as imminent opportunities and challenges:
• In fulfillment of the College’s mission to improve life through learning, utilize strong education, business, and community partnerships to grow enrollment throughout the service area of Rutherford and Polk counties by offering academic and workforce readiness programs that excite both traditional and non-traditional students, leading them to successful college transfer or gainful employment opportunities. Increase the awareness of educational options, delivered by the College through multiple teaching and learning modalities, including both on-site and on-line alternatives, that through marketing and outreach communicate Isothermal is the first and best choice among post-secondary education institutions in the western region.
• Partnering with the Board of Trustees, the Isothermal Foundation, governmental and private entities, to enhance and make available financial resources to facilitate academic rigor and maintain instructional excellence, and provide students with the tools of and spaces for learning, including industry standard equipment, access to technology, laboratories and workstations, and new and repurposed facilities and learning environments. Strong executive leadership and supplemental funding is required to professionally develop, retain and reward the institution’s most valuable resource within the reach of students – College employees.
• In a post-pandemic learning environment, explore ways and means that renew the College’s commitment, as illustrated in the Strategic Plan, to support student success. Isothermal has pledged and is actively engaged in removing barriers that impede student progress, provide students with financial support, establish academic and employment pathways, and foster their growth and development. As the College reopens its doors to current and prospective students, it must devote its human and fiscal resources and to assist them in pursuit of their educational goals.
Experiences, Skill Sets and Personal Characteristics --
The Isothermal Board of Trustees and Presidential Search Committee, with participation from the College community and citizens across the service area, has identified and established the experiences, skill sets and personal characteristics it seeks in its next President. The Board and College first seek an individual who will establish residence in the service area and become a long-serving and engaged member of the community. They should be cognizant of the important role that Isothermal fulfills in its educational, economic development, and cultural mission in the lives of people in rural Western North Carolina. In this regard, the President should concern themselves with the well-being, enrichment and success of every individual that enters the open doors of opportunity that the College provides. The next President should have the requisite experiences, skill sets and experiences that the Board has established to meet the College’s opportunities and challenges, including:
• Being a strong and responsible leader, with an ability to communicate effectively with both internal and external individuals and audiences across the campus and throughout the community. The President must possess and practice good public speaking and listening skills, and be able to inspire and motivate faculty, staff, students and community members in support of the mission and vision of the College. In doing so, the President should be able to effectively speak about the needs of the institution, its ability to provide multiple education, training and support services, and be an ambassador for the College locally, throughout the region, and at the highest levels of government.
• As head of a post-secondary institution, the Board seeks a President who embraces opportunities for new instructional programs and workforce training that serve the educational and economic interests of both Rutherford and Polk counties and their citizens. This includes a proven record of academic excellence and emotional intelligence that lends itself in support of the faculty, connecting to business and civic communities served by the College, developing and nurturing partnerships, and using sound judgement in decision-making that reflects the best interests of the College and its students.
• Exploring and leading the institution in innovative engagements and new directions as the region expands, while keeping the College rooted in its community values and commitment to excellence. This includes responding to employer requests for skilled workers in health care, education and public services, while delivering world-class performing arts and public radio.
• Experience working with a Board of Trustees, understands the principle of shared governance, was involved and participated in the accreditation process, possesses strong fiscal management skills, engaged in economic development projects, has worked on strategic and facility planning activities, and worked in a comprehensive educational institution.
An earned doctorate from a regionally accredited institution and a minimum of five years of successful senior-level administrative or academic administrative experience, should possess a minimal credential of a Master’s Degree from a regionally accredited institution, a minimum of ten years of successful senior-level administrative or ten years of academic administrative experience. For all candidates, experience in the delivery of educational services and an understanding of North Carolina community colleges is preferred.