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HCC president finalists to remain off the record

The Haywood Community College Board of Trustees has decided not to release the names of its finalists for president of the community college — even though it did so during the first round of searching last year.

Three finalists have been chosen, but only the person who is ultimately chosen as the next president will be publicly named, said Chairman Bob Morris Monday.

After agreeing on three finalists, HCC’s board of trustees sent its list to the state in February to be vetted and OK’d per state policy. The state has now sent the finalists names back to HCC, and all that is left now is for the board of trustees to vote on their appointment for the next president of HCC. However, it is unknown whether the board will vote at its next meeting or call a special meeting.

“I can’t give a date,” said Trustee Richard Lanning. “We just want to make sure we get behind that person whoever it is.”

The board of trustees began looking for a new president last year after former HCC President Rose Johnson announced her impending retirement. A search company was hired, and the pool of applicants was narrowed.

After the college agreed on three finalists, their names were made public, and they were even invited to HCC to meet with stakeholders. But in the end, the trustees could not agree on whom to hire and voted to start the search process over.

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This time around, the board of trustees has kept everything under wraps — not announcing the finalists or holding any public meetings for employees, student and community members to meet them.

— By Caitlin Bowling

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