Six Isothermal presidential candidates named

Walter Dalton among finalists
Feb. 02, 2013 @ 10:01 AM

Six finalists remain under consideration for the position of president at Isothermal Community College, officials said Friday.

The college’s Board of Trustees agreed Tuesday to interview the finalists upon recommendation from a larger Presidential Search Committee that narrowed the field from a pool of 25 applicants. The release of the names was delayed to allow time to notify all of the candidates.

In alphabetical order, the finalists are Dr. Gene Couch, Walter Dalton, Dr. Kim Gold, Dr. Mark Kinlaw, Dr. Matthew Meyer and Dr. Kristi Snuggs.

Four of the finalists are vice presidents at North Carolina community colleges; one is a vice president at the system office; and one is the former lieutenant governor of North Carolina.

“I am impressed with the many talents demonstrated by our finalists,” said Grady Franklin, chairman of the Isothermal Board of Trustees.  “As our presidential search process moves forward into the interview stage, I am confident whichever candidate becomes president of Isothermal, he or she will do a good job of leading the college in service to the people of Rutherford and Polk counties.”

The search was prompted after Dr. Myra Johnson announced in November she would retire from the post this spring. She became Isothermal’s president in July of 2007.

In coming weeks, interviews with the finalists and campus visits will be held. 

Following are some biographical details on each finalist:

Couch is executive vice president at Alamance Community College in Graham. He has served in that capacity since June 2011. Prior to that, Couch worked at Southwestern Community College since 1985 as vice president of Instruction and Student Services, associate vice president of Program Development, Title III director and chair of the Health and Human Services Division. He also taught at Garland County Community College in Arkansas, East Tennessee State University and Western Carolina University. He earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership from East Tennessee State University; Ed.S. and M.A. degrees in Educational Administration – Two-Year College from Western Carolina University; a B.S. in Allied Health from Mars Hill College; and an A.A.S. in Radiologic Technology at Southwest Virginia Community College. He lives in Burlington.

Dalton was North Carolina’s lieutenant governor until recently. In the November 2012 election, he was the state’s Democratic candidate for governor. Currently, he is teaching at Gardner-Webb University and serves as special assistant to GWU’s president. Dalton is an attorney who served in the North Carolina Senate from 1996 to 2007. He has served on the State Board of Education, the State Board of Community Colleges and the North Carolina Economic Development Board. He chaired the Senate Education and Appropriations committees. He is a former chair of the Isothermal Community College Board of Trustees. He earned his Juris Doctorate and a B.S. in Business Adminstration from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He lives in Rutherfordton.

Gold is vice president of Academic and Student Services and Institutional Assessment at Isothermal Community College. She has served in that capacity since 2009. Before that, she was the college’s dean of Business Sciences and an instructor of economics, management, accounting, finance and marketing. Before she started at Isothermal in 1999, she was an adjunct professor at Montreat College. Gold co-authored the application and implementation plan that created the Rutherford Early College High School (REaCH). She earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership and an Ed.S. in Higher Education Administration from Appalachian State University; a certificate in Economics from East Carolina University; a M.B.A. from Western Carolina University; and a B.S. in Business Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill. She lives in Rutherfordton.

Kinlaw is vice president for Instruction and Support Services at Robeson Community College in Lumberton. He has served in that position since 2001. He came to work at RCC in 1988 as the director of Planning and Research. Since then, he has directed the college’s Title III Technology Grant, served as chair of the Early Childhood/Social Sciences Department and taught history and education courses. Kinlaw started his career as a teacher and coach in Robeson County Public Schools. He earned his doctorate in Adult and Community College Education at North Carolina State University; a M.A. in Administration and Supervision at UNC-Pembroke; and a B.A. in History at Wake Forest University. He lives in Lumberton.

Meyer is associate vice president for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Innovations at the North Carolina Community College System. He has held that position since 2011. He came to work for the system office in 2006 as the director of the NCCCS BioNetwork before becoming associate vice president of Innovations and Biotechnology. Meyer worked as the dean of Workforce and Economic Development for the Community College Workforce Alliance in Virginia from 2003 until 2006. He worked at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College from 1994 to 2003 as an instructor and chair of Mechanical Engineering Technology and dean of Corporate and Economic Development. Meyer earned a doctorate in Community College Leadership at Old Dominion University; a M.S. in BioEngineering at Clemson University; and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at University of Dayton. He lives in Cary.

Snuggs is the vice president of Instruction at Edgecombe Community College in Tarboro. She has served in that capacity since 2005. Prior to that, she spent four years in the North Carolina Community College System office in Raleigh as an educational consultant on Early Childhood, Teacher Education and Public Services Techniologies. She was the head of the Early Childhood Education program and director of the Child Development Center at Montgomery Community College in Troy from 1994 to 2001. Prior to that, she taught in the Adult High School and early Childhood programs at Stanly Community College. Snuggs earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership at East Carolina University; a M.A. in Child and Family Development/Child Psychology at Appalachian State University; and a B.S. in Pre-Professional Biology and Chemistry, also at Appalachian State University. She lives in Wendell.