RCCC Board Chairman resigns

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 28, 2007

AHOSKIE – Dr. Claude Odom is stepping aside.

The Chairman of the Roanoke-Chowan Community College Board of Trustees announced his decision to resign from his post as trustee and chairman during Tuesday night’s meeting of the board.

In a telephone interview Wednesday morning, Dr. Odom made it clear his reasons for stepping down were solely work and family related. He emphasized how pleased he was with the work going on at RCCC, but said it was time for someone else to step into the place of leadership.

The main factor in his decision to leave the community college post is the demanding nature of the work he does with the North Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice.

“My job is requiring more time and attention,” he said Wednesday. “That along with my family obligations (are the main reasons).

“My responsibilities have increased over the months,” he continued. “I travel a lot and want to do a good job.”

RCCC President Dr. Ralph Soney said Odom’s decision to step down was not a surprise.

“We had spoke several weeks ago about Dr. Odom’s decision to resign from his position here at the college,” Soney said. “Of course I’m disappointed because we are losing someone who brought great leadership to our institution, but I can understand him wanting to devote more time to his family.”

Dr. Odom was appointed at a tumultuous time in the history of Roanoke-Chowan Community College. He came in after the entire board was removed by North Carolina Community College President Martin Lancaster.

Since that time, the college has made steady progress towards answering the concerns leveled at them during that period in its history.

“I feel good about where the college is,” Dr. Odom emphasized. “We’ve turned the corner in terms of making key decisions and putting in key programs.

“We’re doing some fantastic stuff,” he said. “The college is on the right track in providing services to the community.”

Soney agreed with Odom’s assessment.

“We have made great strides under the stewardship of Dr. Odom,” Soney said. “We will miss his leadership immensely.”

Dr. Odom said he had enjoyed his four years on the Board of Trustees, calling it one of the best times of his life.

“It was the best time of my life in the sense of seeing where we were to where we are,” he said. “Dr. Soney and his staff have put together a first class institution as far as bringing in good people.”

He went on to say he felt the community college was in a place to make a significant impact on the community and that he believed the school’s priorities were in order.

“The college is getting there in terms of program delivery and community outreach,” he said. “There are a lot of positive things happening.”

Dr. Odom talked about the nursing program and Saturday programs as two areas of recent success.

“I don’t feel bad,” Dr. Odom said of stepping aside. “I just need to do it because of the time being required.”

He said he worked 10-to-12 hours per day and the time constraints were too much. He also indicated he would be stepping down from other boards on which he serves.

“I’ve been volunteering for 40 years,” he said. “Somebody else needs to share some of the blessings.”

(Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald Staff Writer Curly Morris contributed to this story.)