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Institution and Position Profile

Institution and Position Profile

The Search

The Board of Governors of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College (SWVCTC) invites applications and nominations for the position of President. The Board seeks a strategic, innovative, and collaborative leader who will serve as the institution’s chief executive officer, shaping a vision that is aligned with the institutional mission and guiding relevant strategic initiatives to build upon the success of the College in serving the region, state, and beyond through its programs.

The Institution

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is a regional, co-educational, fully accredited two-year public institution of higher education which was established in 1971 through the consolidation of two existing branches of Marshall University in Logan and Mingo counties. It is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission for which a 10-year reaccreditation was attained in 2013 and holds selected programmatic accreditations. The institution represents one of nine community and technical college districts in West Virginia. Southern has a formal service area in the heart of coal country that encompasses approximately 1,900 square miles with locations as follows:

  • Logan Campus, Mount Gay (Logan County);
  • Boone/Lincoln Campus, Foster (Boone County);
  • Williamson Campus, Williamson (Mingo County);
  • Wyoming/McDowell Campus, Saulsville (Wyoming County); and
  • Lincoln Location: Hamlin (Lincoln County).

In 1981, the College’s service area was expanded through an interstate agreement with Kentucky which allows for students from Martin and Pike counties to attend the institution at in-state rates. Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College has distinguished itself as a premier community and technical college dedicated to excellence and quality in providing accessible and affordable education and training to its constituents.

Upon its establishment in 1971, Southern offered the initial two years of liberal arts and teacher education as well as career training programs in secretarial science and radiological technology. Over the years, academic, workforce development, and community service offerings have been notably expanded. The institution presently offers associate degrees, certificate programs, and skill set programs in Allied Health, Applied and Industrial Technology, Business, Humanities, Non-traditional, and Social Sciences and University Transfer Programs developed through agreements with colleges and universities in West Virginia, Kentucky, and other states. Over 1,838 full-time and part-time students are served by the institution’s programs.

In order to support program and facility expansion, the College launched its first major gifts campaign, Vision 2020, in September 2006. As of year-end 2008, the 2010 campaign goal of $7 million was already achieved. In January 2010, Phase 2 of the campaign started with an additional $7 million goal. A recent report reflects that a total of approximately $17 million has been raised as of 2015. By 2020, the goal is to raise a total of $20 million. The impressive achievements to date with the Vision 2020 Major Gifts Campaign clearly reflect how SWVCTC is continuing to meet its strategic goals. The resources have allowed the College to expand programs and facilities to provide ongoing quality programs and services to meet the evolving educational and training needs of the residents of West Virginia.

Mission, Vision, and Strategic Goals

The primary mission of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is to provide accessible, affordable, quality education and training that promote professional and personal success for those that the institution serves. Specifically, as a comprehensive college, Southern is committed to providing:

  • Developmental and pre-college level education for those who lack the necessary academic background for direct entry into college-level courses.
  • Programs of study leading to the associate in arts and the associate in science degrees which can be effectively transferred and applied toward the bachelor’s degree.
  • Programs of study in career and technical fields leading to a skill-set certification, certificate degree, and/or the associate in applied science degree for entry into the workforce.
  • Workforce development, continuing education, and training programs that support the needs of employees and employers and serve as a mechanism for economic development.
  • Support services that assist students in achieving their education and training goals.
  • Community interest programs and activities that promote personal growth and cultural enrichment.

The institution’s core values provide insight into how the institution strives to accomplish its mission, specifically by:

  • Achieving excellence in education and service.
  • Exhibiting integrity in all that it does.
  • Collaborating and communicating actively with others.
  • Being committed in word and deed.
  • Imparting passion and compassion to every task.
  • Leading by encouragement and support of lifelong learning.
  • Embracing change through bold actions.
  • Being creative and innovative at all levels.
  • Initiating opportunities for the community.
  • Celebrating success.

Strategic planning at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is a continuous process for aligning short-term decisions with long-term goals. The College’s 2010 - 2015 strategic goals shape and guide the College community with a focus on the future. These goals ensure that all are working toward the same end by allowing members of the institution to periodically assess and adjust the College’s direction in response to changes. While anticipating continuing work on a new strategic plan under the leadership to the new President, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College presently has the following strategic priorities for achieving its vision and mission:

  • To produce more graduates with a goal of a 20% increase by 2015.
  • To promote strong employer partnerships by delivering relevant training and professional development opportunities and expanding workforce education courses.
  • To serve more adults ages 25 and older, increasing the adult student population by 2%.
  • To build and maintain facilities with a focus on improvements to facilities and infrastructure, including enhancing the use of technology and prioritizing deferred maintenance projects.

Governance and Administration

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is one of nine publicly supported two-year institutions of higher education in the state of West Virginia. From its separation from Marshall University in 1971 to the present, the governance system has undergone several changes, ranging from legislatively-directed expansions in academic, workforce, and community service offerings to expansion of its service region to include facilities located throughout the southern region of the state. Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is a fully and independently accredited member of the West Virginia Council for the Community and Technical College System. The System operates under the direction of the Council for Community and Technical College Education. While providing for each member institution to operate under a local Board of Governors, the Council serves as a state-wide policy and coordinating board.

The Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Board of Governors is comprised of nine lay/citizen members appointed by the Governor of the State and three institutional members that represent faculty, students, and classified employees and are elected by their respective constituent group. The institution’s twelve-member Board oversees the financial, academic, and service affairs of the College and has full authority to take such actions as it deems necessary or appropriate to accomplish the purposes for which it was formed, specifically to meet the educational and training needs of the residents of the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College service district.

The members of the Board work cooperatively with the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College President and the College administration relative to institutional governance and strategic planning. A system of shared governance provides opportunities for constituent groups to participate in decision-making and serve in consultative roles to the College.  An atmosphere of collegiality and mutual respect prevails at the institution and the administration is guided by principles of disclosure, responsiveness, and accountability.  Under the leadership of the President, several administrative teams and officers are involved in internal decision-making, continuous planning, and assessment of the strategic goals approved by the Board. Among these teams are the President’s Cabinet that is comprised of the president and four vice presidents, the Executive Council, and the Academic Affairs Management Council. These two Councils report to the President and are chaired by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Services, with the Executive Council including the other vice presidents, program and area directors, division heads, and the institutional members of the Board of Governors.

There are other Governance Standing Committees, including the Enrollment Management Committee and the Quality Integrated Services Committee. Two Governance Council and Senate Committees exist, specifically the Classified Staff Council and the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Promotion Committee, the Financial Exigency Committee, and the Student Government Association Committee comprise the Governance Advisory Committees. At the local level, each campus has a manager who takes care of custodial matters and events and works with students and recruiters. Each campus also has an academic chair who oversees academic affairs.

Faculty and Staff

The main administrative offices for Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College are based at the Logan Campus in Mount Gay.  Among the multiple Southern locations, there are typically 150 faculty members, including 65 full-time faculty and 75 adjunct instructors, per semester. Faculty members are skilled and experienced with many holding a master’s degree or a doctorate or other terminal degree in their fields and most with professional experience to further support their qualifications. Student progress and success are priorities for these dedicated professionals who also advise and mentor students in and outside of the classroom.

Faculty members clearly participate in the governance of the College, serving on institution-wide and division-based committees and engaging in planning, program assessment, and curriculum development. Southern's faculty, particularly those who have full-time “term” appointments (the College has no tenure track), are impressively engaged in writing and updating curricular in their field to ensure consistency with industry trends; in some cases, these individuals are designing on-line instructional and other alternative delivery systems.

In addition to its faculty and administrative personnel, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College employs 125 classified staff members who are dispersed through the several campuses in southern West Virginia. These individuals exhibit a strong sense of pride in and commitment to the College. They are active participants in many aspects of the institution’s administrative, academic, and other endeavors.

Students and Student Support

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College serves over 1,838 full-time and part-time students who are traditional or nontraditional degree-seeking students and students in credit and non-credit programs. With an average age of 25, many students are returning professionals or adults seeking further training and skill development in their occupational fields. Females comprise nearly 65% of the student body. Racial/ethnic diversity of the student population is around 2% which is reflective of population demographics in the service areas. About 96% of students are residents of West Virginia and approximately 4% are from Kentucky. Ninety-five percent (95%) of students receive financial aid. With an open admission policy and an institutional mission of providing accessible, affordable, and high quality education and training, SWVCTC enrolls students from all economic levels with many coming from small or rural and impoverished communities who are often first generation college students. The institution also draws students from the larger towns and cities of West Virginia, particularly Charleston, which is approximately 60 miles from the Logan Campus.

With several locations throughout the southern portion of the state and a predominantly local/regional student body, SWVCTC is considered a commuter college. There are selected educational, cultural, and social activities for students. Each campus has a Student Government Association (SGA) comprised of elected officials and other appointed members. Among various responsibilities, the SGA on each campus is expected to supplement student activities for the College community. In addition, the institution offers various programs through Student Services to promote student success such as Adult Services, Veterans Assistance, Career Planning and Placement Services, Tutoring, and Counseling.

Academic Programs and Support Services

Southern offers selected associate degree programs in Allied Health, Applied and Industrial Technology, Business, Humanities, Non-traditional, and Social Science and an associate degree in arts or science through the University Transfer Programs on a tri-semester basis. Certificate and skill set programs are offered in most program areas to support students’ entry into and advancement in the workforce. In addition, the institution developed and offers transfer agreements with several private and public universities, ensuring students of access to bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. The College also offers various continuing education programs to serve the needs of its community with opportunities for professional development, personal enrichment, and recreation.

In addition to its regional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College attained and maintains programmatic accreditation in Medical Laboratory Technology, Nursing, Registered Professional Nurses, Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Care Technology, Paramedic Science, and Surgical Technology. The College’s most sought after programs are in the health sciences, with 50% of the student body seeking a degree in a health profession area; liberal arts (22%) and business (17%) are also popular programs.

An important and impressive component of Southern’s academic program is the faculty’s use of a variety of delivery modes, including online instruction, mentoring, and advisement. The College operates specialized academic centers, specifically the Academy for Mine Training and Energy Technologies and the Appalachian Leadership Academy. Two of Southern’s campuses, Logan and Williamson, house comprehensive libraries, the Harless and the Appalachian Collection, with electronic and print resources available to students at all campus locations. As previously noted, there are vital support programs and services in place to promote student success.

Financial Information and Campus Infrastructure

Over the years, impressive financial stability has been achieved and viable, transparent financial procedures have been maintained at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College due to the careful and insightful leadership of the Board of Governors and institutional leaders. As a state institution, Southern receives annual state appropriations which represented nearly $8.5 million for fiscal year 2014 and an estimated $8.3 million for fiscal year 2015. These appropriations partially cover operating expenses which were nearly $19.9 million for fiscal year 2014. Tuition and fees also contribute to operating expenses. In addition, the institution receives contracts and grants from federal, state, and private sources and from auxiliary services and other sources. To review financial statements for Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College and for the Southern West Virginia Community Cpllege Foundation for fiscal years 2014 and 2013, access the information at this site:

As previously highlighted, the Vision 2020 Major Gifts Campaign has resulted in the institution securing approximately $17 million since September 2006 to support program and facility expansion. This campaign is still in progress with a goal of $20 million raised by 2020. These resources have supplemented limited state funding and supported new and expanded current credit and non-credit programs, the construction of the Center for Allied Health and Technology, and expanded workforce development activities relative to coal mining, natural gas exploration, computer technology, allied health, and marketing.

Sound budget management and creative fundraising are among contributing factors for the institution being recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as one of the most affordable two-year colleges in the country per the 2015 College Affordability and Transparency Center list. With the infusion of significant external funds, SWVCTC students can be assured of receiving an affordable, high quality education that will prepare them well for active participation in the workforce and/or for pursuing additional education. Financial aid packages, which 95% of SWVCTC students receive, support their educational pursuits. The notable expansion of academic programs and facilities provide relevant educational opportunities for students and better meet the needs of the community.

The infrastructure of the College includes buildings and facilities for four campus locations in Boone, Logan, Mingo, and Wyoming counties. In addition, the College added a wing to the Lincoln County Comprehensive High School, constructed and opened the 55,000 square foot state of the art Allied Health and Technology Center, opened the Academy for Mine Training and Energy Technologies in Logan County, and recently completed a state of the art Applied Technology Center on the Williamson Campus. These and future facilities will allow Southern to continue to provide comprehensive education and training to meet the needs of current and future students.

The Position

The Board of Governors of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College has officially launched its search for the ninth President of the College and invites applications and nominations for the position. The Board seeks a strategic, innovative, and collaborative leader who will serve as the institution’s chief executive officer, shaping a vision that is aligned with the institutional mission and guiding relevant strategic initiatives to build upon the success of the College in serving the region, state, and beyond through its programs.

As the Chief Executive Officer of the College, the President reports directly to the twelve-member Board of Governors, nine of whom are appointed by the Governor of West Virginia. The President is responsible for executing the institution’s strategic plan and the will of the Board. The President is also responsible for developing and making recommendations to the Board on all major policy, program, and budget matters.

Strengths, Opportunities, and Challenges

As Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College continues on its exciting and successful path of providing the highest quality in education and service which has been championed by its Board of Governors and past Presidents, it is eager to build upon its many strengths, take advantage of opportunities, and proactively address challenges that the institution faces.

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College has been a positive force in the region, the state, and beyond. The institution provides critical education and training opportunities which impact the workforce and economic development.  Among the distinguishing strengths of Southern is its success in educating students from many different walks of life and the skill of its faculty and staff in providing customized training to students with diverse levels of preparation and needs. Southern has also made noteworthy advancements in the innovative and technologically sound delivery of traditional classroom and online instruction. A major opportunity for the institution is the growing trends of technology-based workforce development, technical skills development for business and industry employees, and strong career preparation and skills certification for workers and managers at mid-level positions in health sciences and business fields.

To help ensure that the College continues to advance in fulfilling its mission, capitalizing on all strengths and the myriad opportunities for community and technical colleges, the new President of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College must be cognizant of and well prepared to address the related challenges. The most compelling and immediate challenges for the new President include:

  • managing enrollment growth;
  • increasing financial support;
  • strategic planning; and
  • advancing technical skills/ensuring continuing education for faculty and staff.

In addition to greater advocacy and involvement in the communities served by Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, a major priority for the new President will be the expansion and enhancement of the College’s technology infrastructure, including continued and increased development of smart or electronic classrooms and well-equipped laboratories.

1. Managing Enrollment Growth

One of the College’s strategic goals is to produce more graduates with attention to developmental education and enrollments in non-traditional programs. This challenge includes improving retention, providing greater access to online learning, and enhancing outreach activities to appeal to a broad and diverse audience. The President must exhibit commitment to student success and well-being and strive to be involved in initiatives relative to student recruitment, retention, and graduation. Among the qualifications of the preferred candidate should be such attributes as openness, accessibility to students, and an appreciation for and willingness to promote diversity in the student body.

2. Increasing Financial Support

Continued strong leadership in fundraising is crucial for sustaining and advancing initiatives for the College to offer accessible, affordable, and quality education that is truly responsive to the needs of its service area. Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College's greatest financial achievement in the last decade has been the Vision 2020 Major Gifts Campaign. The new President will need to build upon efforts to date to reach planned milestones for this impressive campaign. The President will also need to focus on institutional advancement on other fronts to secure grants, contracts, and student financial assistance from local, regional, and national sources.

3. Advancing Technical Skills/Ensuring Continuing Education for Faculty and Staff

With the ongoing expansion of program offerings, Southern will need to hire and re-train more innovative and adaptable instructors and staff who can use various technologies in program delivery. The new President must exhibit a strong commitment to advancing the technical skills of faculty and staff and continuing education in general. Faculty will need to continuously upgrade their skills and have the ability and willingness to use technology in their work with students. The new leader will need to ensure that the College has and provides the funds, time, and avenues for continuing education and specialized training.

4. Strategic Planning

Working collaboratively with the Board of Governors, faculty, staff, and other College constituents, the President will need to develop and fully support a new strategic plan to succeed the current 2010 - 2015 plan. To provide leadership in meeting this challenge, the new President must have a vision for Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College that is based on the realities of its constituents, funding opportunities and challenges, and regional, industry, and higher education trends. This individual must also possess the capabilities to effectively guide implementation of a strategic plan and monitor results.

Expectations/Characteristics Sought in the New President

In order to build upon the success of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College in effectively serving its constituents, the Board of Governors seeks a strategic, innovative, and collaborative new president who can share a vision that is aligned with the institutional mission and guide relevant strategic initiatives. Specifically, the Board seeks an ethical and energetic president who exhibits the following traits, skills, qualities and characteristics:

  • An understanding of the mission and vision of community and technical colleges.
  • Experience in collaborative leadership, such as shared governance with a board and stakeholders.
  • A record of effective leadership in general and experience in supporting and promoting economic development and workforce preparation, including an understanding of the role of a public college in meeting education and training needs.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills and a proven ability to handle multiple competing demands.
  • Demonstrated success in institutional advancement such as revenue generation, fundraising, and development.
  • A record of success as a thoughtful, visionary, effective, team-oriented leader and manager of people.
  • A demonstrated ability to develop, motivate, and empower staff.
  • A demonstrated commitment to building partnerships and coalitions with business and industry, government agencies, public schools, other colleges and universities, and other community groups.
  • A demonstrated ability to establish, manage, and successfully address priorities.
  • An ability and willingness to make tough decisions based upon research and data.
  • Good organizational and group instincts and abilities and the ability to interact effectively with many outside organizations as an advocate for the College.
  • A demonstrated ability to develop and maintain collaborative relationships with the community.
  • A willingness to readily acclimate to the environment and provide leadership to the community as it transitions from an economy based on the coal industry to an economy that is more diversified.

Among the personal characteristics of highest priority are:

  • A demonstrated leader and proven manager with the ability to motivate, inspire, and instill confidence in others.
  • A proven strategic thinker with the highest level of integrity who is able to provide vision and collaborate with all College stakeholders, including the Board of Governors.
  • A thoughtful leader with a track record of integrating cutting edge programs and ideas.
  • An inspiring and creative catalyst with a vision that can create excitement and energy around SWVCTC’s mission and encourage others to support the organization.
  • A person comfortable with high public visibility and experience with developing partnerships and alliances.
  • An energetic self-starter who is flexible and be able to prioritize multiple tasks.
  • A superb communicator with strong interpersonal skills.
  • An active listener who is open and approachable and accessible to students, faculty, staff, and others.

Qualifications for the Position

The ideal candidate for President of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College must have:

  • A master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution; an earned doctorate is preferred.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills;
  • The capabilities to establish and maintain effective working relationships with a broad range of individuals from diverse backgrounds.
  • A record of building partnerships and coalitions with business, government, public schools, colleges and universities, and other community groups.

The successful candidate will be expected to:

  • Foster, reinforce, enhance, and expand collaboration with the communities the College serves.
  • Actively manage the affairs of the College.
  • Provide effective leadership in supporting and promoting economic development and workforce preparation, academic excellence, fundraising, marketing, public relations, and strategic planning.

Nomination and Application Process

A confidential review of nominations and application materials for the position of President is underway and will continue until the position is filled. For best consideration, application materials should be submitted by August 7, 2015. A nomination letter should include the nominee’s name, address, telephone number, and email address. An application should include: a letter describing interest in the position and relevant qualifications; a curriculum vitae; and the names of five professional references with titles, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses. All materials should be submitted electronically via MS Word or PDF attachments to: [email protected]

Confidential inquiries and requests for additional information should be directed to Dr. George E. Ayers via email at [email protected] or phone 703-418-2815.

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer