LUMBERTON — Robeson Community College’s interim president and two trustees, including a Maxton resident, were welcomed to the RCC family this week.
Paul McDowell of Maxton was sworn-in Monday for a full four-year term.
McDowell was appointed by the Robeson County Board of Commissioners in January 2015 to fill the unexpired term of former Maxton Mayor Lillie McCoy. McCoy, who had been appointed an RCC trustee in July 2012, was voted off the board for consistently missing meetings without providing any reason.
McDowell, a Maxton resident, was a Maxton police officer for 23 years. He served as chief for eight years, retiring in November 2009.
The board also welcomed William C. Aiken, who replaces retiring President Pamela Hilbert. Aiken just finished his fifth day as RCC’s interim president on Monday. He was president of Sampson Community College for 12 years and has since served as interim president at Haywood and Rockingham community colleges in North Carolina, and the Paul D. Camp Community College in Virginia.
The search for Hilbert’s full-time replacement began last month when Robeson Community College’s board of trustees met with representatives of consulting company Hockaday-Hartford Consulting LLC, which is working to find a new president who can take over the role in January. Those interested in the president’s position can find information about the job and applications on RCC’s website.
Aiken said that he has spent his first few days at RCC going from building to building meeting the college’s staff and students
“I’ve met a lot of nice people who are supportive and dedicated to this institution,” Aiken said. “Things are well here.”
Aiken said that he believes his responsibility as interim president is to ensure that the college is in “good order” when the next permanent president takes over.
“I’m looking at ways we can make some improvement,” he told the board. “I think this (interim period) is an ideal time to make some changes. There are some things that I think you may be able to streamline to become more efficient.”
Aiken declined to make any specific comments concerning what changes he has in mind.
“I’ve only been here five days. It’s still too early for me to say anything about possible change,” he said.
The new trustee, a Public Schools of Robeson County Board of Education appointee, is Harbart Edwin “Eddie” Moore. Moore, a farmer originally from Prospect and now a resident of Wakulla, will serve a four-year term.
During Monday’s meeting, the board also elected Sammy Cox to serve a second one-year term as board chairman. Shirley H. Stockton was re-elected as the board’s vice chairman.
In other business:
— Trustees were informed by Bill Mauney, RCC’s vice president of Instruction and Support Services, that after all dropouts were considered, 623 students attended RCC during the summer semester — one more than during summer 2015.
— Cox told the board that all 18 RCC registered nursing students who this year took the national licensing exam for their profession passed.
“That’s something to be proud of,” Cox said.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.