By Sarah Plummer
After a national search, New River Community and Technical College has named Dr. L. Marshall Washington its third president.
Washington was recommended by the New River Board of Governors during their Feb. 7 meeting and was then approved Wednesday by the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education.
He will begin his new duties on March 25.
“It is my pleasure to announce that the Board of Governors unanimously approved the appointment of Dr. Washington,” said Leslie Baker, chair of the NRCTC Board of Governors.
“The presidential search began last November. The college was fortunate to have a dedicated committee comprised of board members, faculty, student and staff representatives and community members. Everyone brought a different perspective, but all came to focus on the singular goal of selecting a president who could lead New River as we begin our pivotal second decade as an institution.”
Baker noted that the board found Washington to have the integrity, experience and vision necessary to carry New River into a new age.
Washington said he is very excited about coming to New River and representing the college throughout its service area.
“I readily identify with the community and have a vision for how we can work together to advance higher education across the region,” he said.
The new president said his first order of business will be to talk to people throughout the nine counties to find out as much as possible about how the college can best serve its stakeholders.
“I will be doing a lot of listening and learning,” he said.
During the question and answer session as part of Washington’s multi-campus tour on Jan. 24, staff and administrators made it clear they were searching for a candidate who can raise the funds needed to move forward on New River’s central campus project in Beaver.
Washington and his wife of almost 20 years, Tonja, have a family connection to the Beckley area. His mother grew up in the Kanawha County community of Sharon and he is looking forward to reconnecting with extended family throughout the area.
Most recently Washington has served as the vice president of the Lancaster Campus of Harrisburg Area Community College in Pennsylvania.
He previously served as vice president of student services at Kellogg Community College in Michigan. He earned a doctorate in educational studies with a specialization in educational leadership and higher education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; a master’s degree in education from Winona State University in Minnesota; and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio.
Washington replaces Dr. Ted D. Spring, who left New River last November to become president of Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, N.C.
Dr. Merle Dempsey is serving as interim president and will stay on until early April to assist in the transition period.
New River Community and Technical College has campuses in Beckley, Lewisburg, Ghent, Princeton and Summersville.
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