By Wendy Holdren
Dr. Merle Dempsey has been chosen as interim president at New River Community and Technical College by the institution’s Board of Governors.
Beginning Nov. 3, Dempsey, who retired as executive vice president of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College in 2010, will serve in the interim position until the search is completed to fill the position vacated by Dr. Ted D. Spring.
Spring has been named president of Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, N.C., and his last day at New River will be Nov. 2. He served as president at New River since 2005.
Board of Governors Chair Leslie Baker said Dempsey comes with a great deal of community college experience and expertise that will serve New River well during this transitional period.
He began his career as a teacher and principal in Mingo County Schools. He joined Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College in Mount Gay in 1987 as assistant director of telecommunications and educational services.
He was named vice president for instruction and student services in 1990 and later served as vice president for student affairs and vice president for academic affairs and student services. He served as interim president for five months in 1999 before being promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer, a position he held until his retirement. He now works as an educational consultant.
Dempsey is a Marshall University graduate, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in teacher education, a master’s in education administration and a doctorate in educational leadership with an emphasis on higher education administration.
New River Community and Technical College is part of the West Virginia Community and Technical College system. New River serves nine counties in southeast and south central West Virginia from campus locations in Beckley, Lewisburg, Ghent, Princeton and Summersville.
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