The beauty of a short-term job

Published 10:11 am Thursday, August 4, 2016

To the Editor:

Roanoke-Chowan Community College (RCCC) found itself in need of an Acting President; the former one left in mid-June and it would be early August before a new one could be put in place. Thus, I came out of retirement to serve as the College’s Acting President for this approximately six-week period.

All my life I had needed to work to earn a living, and had taken positions with a long-term view in mind; but, still not knowing what the future would deliver. Now, I didn’t have to work, wasn’t worried about the money, wasn’t trying to build a career or advance, and knew just how long I would be working. I found all of this very satisfying.

I guess some in this situation would view themselves as merely a placeholder and try to ride out the time as easily as possible. This just isn’t consistent with my nature or work ethic. I took the approach that, for the time I’m going to be here, I’ll try to do as much as possible to contribute to RCCC.

I knew the town of Ahoskie before coming here, but not RCCC. Now, I feel like I know the College better than the town. I definitely see how the two are not only tied to each other, but in fact have a mutual dependence.

RCCC is the only local source of public higher education, one of the largest employers in the area, draws people to this area, and is a significant component of the local economy. Thus, it is important and valuable to this community.

I’m sure the community sees this and supports its Community College for these reasons. There are of course some problems and challenges, but I’ve seen these at every institution and RCCC is no different from others.

As I return to retirement, I urge all members of the campus community to give the new President Dr. Jimmy Tate your best work effort and full support. I also urge the surrounding community to fully support him and your College.

W. Eric Thomas
Elizabeth City
RCCC Acting President