Tate tabbed

Published 11:30 am Monday, July 11, 2016

AHOSKIE – Pending final approval by the State Board of Community Colleges, Dr. Jimmy Tate has been selected as the new president of Roanoke-Chowan Community College.

RCCC Board of Trustees chair Andre Lassiter made the announcement Friday, but adds that all negotiations have not been finalized.

“Dr. Tate brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership experience to the table,” said Lassiter in a news release. “We are elated to have him serve as President of Roanoke-Chowan Community College. Information will be forthcoming about a formal meet-and-greet ceremony to welcome him to the campus and to the community.”

Dr. Jimmy Tate

Dr. Jimmy Tate

The RCCC Board of Trustees launched an extensive nationwide search for the next president that netted more than 50 applicants which they narrowed to 10 semi-finalists, and then to the final three. They were Dr. Stanley Elliott, Vice-President for Student Affairs at Shaw University; Mercyhurst University (PA) Senior Vice President and Associate Dean of Student Services, Dr. Gary Brown; and Tate.

A former chairman of the Pender County (NC) Commissioners, Tate is currently the Vice-President for College Advancement and Strategic Initiatives at James Sprunt Community College in Kenansville. He has nearly 20 years of community college and university experience and his duties at JSCC included responsibility for the college’s Human Resources Department, Internal and External Professional Leadership Development Programs, Campus Safety and Security, the Male Mentoring and Achievement Program, Research and Planning, and Marketing and Public Relations. In addition to his Doctorate of Education, Tate holds undergraduate degrees from UNC-Wilmington and did further study at the University of Iowa, Fayetteville State, and Shaw Universities.

During his interview, and at a community forum sponsored at the campus in Union, Tate said the college needed to work with all facets of the local community to truly be effective. Citing his tenure as a fomer County Commission chair, he also said the college must establish a good relationship with local government and that he understands how local government works.

“I understand the role of local government,” Tate said at the forum. “I can also go to Raleigh as a public leader to the General Assembly and talk to representatives from both sides of the aisle.”

He said he had been appointed to state educational leadership posts by members of both political parties.

“We have to get bipartisan support at the state level for the needs of our small institution. I believe I can do that,” he said.

Tate said his leadership style is transformational and that he will work with staff to best meet both their needs and the needs of the changing demographics of RCCC students.

“I believe in transparent decision making,” Tate acknowledged. “You have to have clear communication with faculty, staff and students. We get collaborative input. Any decision will be based on that collaborative input.”

As for being an active and effective advocate for RCCC, Tate stressed his accessibility.

“I have experience rebranding and building relationships in the community. You have to build trust in the community,” Tate said. “You have to be among the people of the community. I’m going to go to the high schools. I’m going to go to the churches. I’m going go to Rotarian clubs. I’m going to go to where the people are.

“I will be out in the community where the people are,” Tate said. “I will work with all people; people of all races, religions, socio-economic situations.”

Tate added he will establish strong ties with all segments of the community because the better informed they are, the more likely they are to support RCCC.

“I believe strongly in getting suggestions from others,” he said.

Tate said he wants more college spirit to bring life to the community college experience.

He concluded his forum presentation with a pledge, “I want to rebrand college spirit. I want to be cheerleader for this great college.”

Former RCCC President Dr. Michael Elam tendered his resignation last spring, effective June 30, after two years in the post.