August 8, 2022 – Macon, GA-based Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting has been enlisted to find the next president for Pierpont Community & Technical College in Fairmont, WV. Leading the search are Emily Parker Myers, CEO, and Kenny Daugherty, president, along with Jennifer Barfield, senior vice president. “This presidential search is an opportunity to lead one of West Virginia’s largest community and technology colleges,” said Myers McRae. The college’s new leader will be expected to further strengthen and expand programs, technology, and services while introducing ones that address emerging trends and needs in the marketplace, said the firm. The president must also provide college-wide leadership to multi-campus programs and initiatives. A high priority will be to enhance Pierpont’s profile across its service region and throughout the state.
The president will be charged with working collaboratively with others, finding common ground when there are diverse viewpoints. Both a decision-maker and strategic planner, the executive officer must understand how to balance and prioritize challenges and opportunities. It is also critical that this individual foster a work and learning environment that values and embraces the college’s diverse, inclusive, and equally accessible campuses in its rural environment.
A key aspect of the role will be to seek partnerships that strengthen and expand programs and, as the principal fund raiser for the institution, maintain established and develop new relationships, both public and private, that result in increased financial resources to achieve goals. The president must lead collaboratively as a valued member of the local community, as well as North Central West Virginia.
Candidates must have a doctorate or other terminal degree and at least 10 years of administrative and teaching experience at a community college or other degree-granting institution, said Myers McRae. An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered.
Candidates must be student centric with a focus on service for all customers, internal and external. Leadership, initiative, creativity, team spirit, and sound judgment are essential. Prospects should further have management/supervisory experience (both program and human resources). The ability to interact with the business and foundation communities is also vital.
Founded in 1974, Pierpont Community & Technical College specializes in preparing students in two years or less for practical hands-on careers, such as culinary arts, physical therapist assistant, graphic arts, or aviation maintenance. Pierpont offers a variety of types of training, including skill-sets, certificates, technical studies (in partnership with career technical education centers in the region), occupational development (in partnership with employers and trade unions), associate degrees, and non-credit training. Studies at Pierpont can also prepare students to continue for four-year or graduate degree programs. Pierpont serves a 13-county region in North Central West Virginia, including Barbour, Braxton, Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, Lewis, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Randolph, Taylor and Upshur counties.
Myers McRae serves colleges, universities, independent schools, and other not-for-profit institutions. Nearly all of its search professionals have a minimum of 20 years of experience in higher education. The majority of the firm’s searches have been for presidents, chancellors, provosts, vice presidents, deans, and other senior academic and administrative leaders. Myers McRae recently placed the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Rhode Island College, provost of Methodist University and president of West Virginia Northern Community College, among others.
Ms. Myers has led Myers McRae since 2008. As the firm’s executive officer, she has broadened the firm’s scope and modernized processes, emphasizing responsiveness, timeliness, effectiveness, and affordability. While utilizing new technology in the executive search process, Ms. Myers said she remains committed to the firm having person-to-person connections with candidates and that clients stay at the center of every search.
Known for her leadership expertise and commitment to excellence, Ms. Myers brings to the firm’s searches her extensive first-hand knowledge and experience in higher education administration. For most of her career, she served as senior vice president of university advancement and external affairs at Mercer University.
Mr. Daugherty has an extensive background in higher education administration, having served 28 years in public and independent institutions. Throughout his career in higher education, he had personnel responsibilities and served on numerous search committees for professional staff and administrators for the institution. Mr. Daugherty has conducted hundreds of searches for schools across the nation, including presidential searches for the University of Montana Western, Northwest Missouri State University, McDaniel College, Oakwood University, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Pasco-Hernando State College, Pierpont Community and Technical College, Wichita Area Technical College, and the Georgia Independent College Association.
Ms. Barfield works directly with colleges and universities on the recruitment and evaluation of candidates to fulfill their search needs. She brings more than 20 years of experience in education in fundraising, public relations, program development, strategic planning, and alumni and donor relations to our clients. Her career experience ranges from stints at a private college-preparatory school, First Presbyterian School; a private university, Mercer University; and a state university, Middle Georgia State University.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media