Former RCCC president takes NCCU post

Published 10:09 am Thursday, August 17, 2017

DURHAM – Dr. Jimmy Tate, who abruptly resigned earlier this month as president of Roanoke-Chowan Community College (R-CCC), has accepted a post here as North Carolina Central University (NCCU) Chief of Staff.

Tate submitted his letter of resignation at R-CCC on Aug. 3 at a specially called meeting of the college’s Board of Trustees. At the time he stated he was still in negotiations for a new position in higher education, but could not comment because it had not been finalized. Then last week came the announcement from NCCU that he had taken the post there.

It was believed that Tate might accept a position with the NC Community College System in Raleigh.

“I was offered a job at the System office, but then decided only very recently to take the job at (NC) Central,” Tate said in an interview last week after announcement of his NCCU post became public.

The late decision may have been affected by the resignation of Community Colleges System President Dr. Jimmie C. Williamson, who himself abruptly resigned his state position on July 31. Jennifer Haygood will serve as acting community colleges president until a new president is named.

Dr. Jimmy Tate

“I was planning on being at Roanoke-Chowan for all three years of my contract,” Tate added. “I would have still been there if conditions had been different.”

He would not elaborate on those conditions.

Tate, appointed in August of 2016, was the eighth president in school history and R-CCC’s fourth president in the past 16 years.

Tate has an extensive career that spans more than 20 years in higher education, both in the UNC system and with the community colleges. His position prior to coming to Ahoskie was as vice president for College Advancement and Strategic Initiatives at James Sprunt Community College in Kenansville, N.C. He was also executive director of the college’s Foundation, where he launched its first capital campaign, raising nearly $3 million for scholarships and endowments.

Tate is a graduate of University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He holds a Doctor of Education degree in Leadership and Management and completed additional training with the North Carolina School of Government at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Tate has also been an adjunct history professor with several colleges and universities, including Campbell University, Shaw University and Barton College. He is a native of Willard in Pender County and a former member of the Pender County Board of Commissioners, having served as vice chairman twice while being the board’s youngest and only minority member.

While president of Roanoke-Chowan Community College, Tate’s leadership is credited with leading to a 35 percent enrollment increase within the first month of his presidency. He maintains that while at R-CCC he was also instrumental in strengthening relationships with the community, businesses, industries, institutions of higher learning, and secondary-education institutions.

“The community college system has been very good to me the past 20 years and now I’m returning back to the university system,” he noted.

His leadership led to the implementation of credentialing partnerships with Elizabeth City State University and Shaw University, creating a seamless transition for R-CCC graduates to attend four-year colleges and universities. Several other new initiatives included a new partnership with Northampton County Public Schools, and the start of an Adult High School Program and an Executive Certificate in Leadership in Ministry and Leadership Northeast Programs. The college’s Occupational Prison Programs noted a dramatic increase in FTE by 157 percent and enrollment in the program by 101 percent.

“I’m not interested in serving anything any higher,” Tate maintained. “I’m not interested in serving in another presidency, unless that changes; but, at this time I’m just happy to be able to support Chancellor Akinleye.”

Tate’s new boss, former Provost Dr. Johnson O. Akinleye, was named Chancellor at NCCU on June 26 after serving as interim Chancellor since January 2017after serving in the role of Acting Chancellor since August 2016. Akinleye and Tate served together at UNC-Wilmington where Tate was in the Academic Affair Division and Akinleye was Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs and Associate Vice Chancellor for External Programs.

In March of this past year, Akinleye was the featured speaker for RCCC’s inaugural Men Building Leaders Conference designed to prepare students for 21st century leadership opportunities; part of the Community College System’s Minority Male Success Initiative.

“After serving that year at Roanoke-Chowan I’m happy to say I’m looking forward to supporting Dr. Akinleye’s vision for this University,” Tate stated.

As he moves on to his new position, Tate says he will carry fond memories of the Roanoke-Chowan with him.

“I’ve met some wonderful friends in Hertford, Bertie, and Northampton counties,” he claimed. “A lot of people have reached out and thanked me for my work there and I really want to thank them for allowing me to come there and serve as their president. I never had any idea I would leave so soon, I just wanted to be of service and do the best job I could.”

He also had some parting words of encouragement for his former students.

“Tell them when they get ready to transfer to a four-year institution to give their former president a call, I’ll be right there for them,” he said.