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Presidential Search Forum Results

2019 Presidential Search Forum Results

Participants from three forums suggested the following must-have characteristics for the position of President of A-B Tech Community College:

Candidate’s Leadership Experience:

•    Bedrock of leadership – a President who has served as a President at another organization.
•    Proven track record of success
•    Ability to think on their feet
•    Ability to make acceptable and palatable changes on campus
•    Benchmark progress against other Colleges
•    Support and treat all four A-B Tech campuses equally
•    Able to take the College to a higher level to be seen on a national state
•    Seeks and understands “best practices”
•    Able to make tough decisions
•    Lead the College not manage the College
•    Mentoring skills, develop the leadership team to be a President
•    Succession planning
•    Technologically savvy
•    Understands the need for Technology and supports the IT department
•    A Candidate who has experience with all things community College – such as technical, vocational, continuing education, and transfer programs
•    Ability to bring all campus locations of the College together, including our presence in high schools
•    Experience in instruction
•    Come from or have experience in the North Carolina Community College System
•    Progressive and clear to the bottom line of education
•    Respects and invests in equity, transparency, and accountability
•    Acknowledges that sustainability is important to the College
•    Good listener
•    Knows the difference between leadership and management
•    A strong leader with good management skills.
•    Forward thinker
•    Open communication with faculty and staff, authentically listen and know and understand all programs offered at the College
•    Connect in a human way.
•    Experience with racial equity and diversity
•    Be willing to fight for what is best for the College
•    Able to be comfortable as the face of the College, and in front of the media.
•    Position A-B Tech’s value to the community
•    Values all employees
•    Strategic and visionary leader
•    Strategic thinker
•    Impeccable character
•    Cheer leader for the College
•    Trusted to make the right decisions
•    Appreciate everything about the College – faculty, staff, Asheville, the community
•    Doesn’t change everything at once
•    Understands the NC Community College System, the people, the mountain culture
•    Understands diversity in all facets and how to engage, operate and communicate with all diverse people at the College
•    Patience
•    Willing to say “let’s think about it”
•    Thick skinned and able to listen.
•    Be rational
•    Think outside of the box
•    Doesn’t take things personally
•    Smile, say hello, and recognize when another person walks by
•    Open minded and willing to admit they are wrong
•    Eat, sleep, breathe A-B Tech
•    Passionate
•    Have a backbone
•    Work with the Board professionally
•    Fight for the College
•    Listen to the College
•    Recognize that there are experts in each department and consult with them
•    Critical thinker
•    Not afraid to make a decision
•    Determine where the College is going but not be afraid to change course in an instant
•    Walk around and see what is happening on campus
•    A leader who develops leaders

Economic/Workforce Development:
•    Strong economic development background to understand and bring companies to our community
•    Guarantee to companies coming to Western North Carolina that A-B Tech can train their employees – in anything
•    Pursue businesses who will collaborate with our community
•    Understands the importance of vocational programs in middle and high schools
•    Experience with the workforce system at the local and state level
•    Understand how key partners work with the College
•    Partner with businesses
•    Use the model from NC State and create agricultural programs in Madison county
•    Partner with food sustainability businesses
•    Build a culture with industry and provide students with onsite opportunities to coincide with class work
•    Understands what apprenticeships and strong industry partners offer students
•    Work with local government to support local jobs in the community
•    Create a link between fundraising and economic/workforce development by going into underserved communities
•    Understand hiring challenges with skills gap
•    Understand the College has apprenticeships, training on the job, and training in the classroom that leads to employment for students
•    A leader who will look out and see what is different in the economy and find what will take us to increase enrollment, completion, retention, and employment

Candidate’s Financial Experience:
•    Has the Candidate ever raised funds?
•    Relationship building with potential fundraisers
•    Experience with a Foundation, scholarships, partnership opportunities, and collaborations for funding
•    Be willing to be out in the community with the Foundation to get the community excited about the College
•    Open communication with the Foundation
•    Provide support to the Director and the Foundation Board
•    Understand the importance of fund raising
•    Understands where the College is going and what programs will need to be funded in the next 5 years
•    As the primary fundraiser of the College, needs to treat all donors with respect
•    Doesn’t over commit funds or spend unwisely
•    Fundraising with partnerships – a cultural capital and understanding of racial equity to be able to show our communities what the College can do and to fundraise in underserved communities
•    Recognize that anything the College can do for the community – the community will give back to the college

Evidence of Candidate’s Innovation:
•    Agriculture/agribusiness knowledge
•    Knowledge of robotics
•    Ability to build robust programs pertinent to our community
•    Innovation is critical. Industry, work environments, and education is changing daily
•    Realize Asheville is one of the top five destinations for tech workers, and the opportunity to train highly skilled workforce to support these companies
•    Vision
•    Economic understanding of the changing nature of labor and jobs
•    Since we don’t know what the jobs will be for the next 5 to 10 years – what should we do and where should we start?
•    Understand that college is more than on campus – it is online
•    Must be able to reach untraditional students
Collaborative Experience on and off Campus:
•    All inclusive
•    People orientated
•    Student centered
•    Visible on campus
•    Attends campus activities
•    Build relationships in Mars Hill, Hot Springs, and all areas in Madison County
•    Increase articulation agreements with areas outside of Asheville
•    Build relationships with superintendents of public schools
•    Build relationships with the local government, and commissioners – year round
•    Supports the Board
•    Rebuild relations with the legislature and the county
Communication Style:
•    Good communicator with community, faculty, and staff
•    Good listener
•    Communicate honestly, with integrity
•    Inclusionary
•    Be visionary with ability to take criticism
•    Balanced and intact ego
•    Ability to talk with people from all walks of life
•    Ability to appreciate our smart students
•    Open
•    Transparent
•    Even if you don’t take someone’s advice – listen and act like you hear it
•    Run a town hall and ask for opinions from employees
•    Someone who can advocate for our needs

Legislative Experience; Local, State, and National Arenas:
•    Good relationship with Buncombe and Madison County Commissioners
•    Able to have good political relationships to fight for funding for different programs
•    Politically savvy
•    Be a community leader who keeps the foundation informed and works with all aspect of government.
•    Foster relationships
•    Someone who feels at home in a political arena

Other:
•    Ask Candidate what types of challenging decisions have been made in the past?
•    Ask candidate what unpopular decisions were made and the outcome?
•    Ask candidates what RISE means to them?
•    Ask the candidate not to do anything for the first six months in the position.  
•    Get to know the community and the culture of the College – by talking with faculty, staff, and students.
•    Wants a President who will be with us for 10 years or more.
•    It takes 2 to 3 years to learn all areas of the College and how important students, staff, faculty, community and the Board of Trustees are.
•    Please visit the candidate’s colleges anonymously – to get a real idea of the person being considered for the position.
•    It would be nice to have a President who was recognized when they walk into a room.
•    Someone experienced working within an educational body, multiple campuses and a diverse training workforce.
•    Does not want a “new” President or someone retiring in a couple of years.
•    Understands what the College does – we work with a diverse population – older, high school aged, those struggling with the English language.
•    Look for a President who will be missed – in a good way – from their present employer.
•    Someone with a long working track record – not one who jumps from job to job.
•    Deeply involved in the community.
•    Doesn’t use A-B Tech as a stepping stone to another job.