The Tennessee Board of Regents has officially chosen the next president of Cleveland State Community College.
Dr. William Seymour, the current vice president for institutional advancement at Jackson State Community College, will begin his position with the college on Jan. 2, 2014.
During a meeting in Nashville on Thursday, Chancellor John Morgan gave his recommendation to the board based on who was chosen by the Presidential Search Advisory Committee, which included representatives from Cleveland State and other members of the community.
Some TBR members expressed optimism for the college’s future with the new president at the helm.
Prior to the vote, Tom Griscom, the TBR’s media and communications consultant, spoke of how he and other members of the search committee ended up with the choice Morgan was about to recommend.
He said the committee had 53 applications to go through before narrowing the choices down to the three who interviewed for the position on Nov. 6.
“There was unanimous support for the recommendation that he’s making,” Griscom said.
Before actually sharing Seymour’s name with the uninitiated in attendance, Morgan said the candidate was the “best choice” for the college presidency.
Seymour’s experience includes being the final president of a now-defunct college — Lambuth University — as it was shutting down, which Morgan said was evidence that he could handle running a college even during an “extraordinarily difficult” time.
“I feel like he is the right person at the right time for Cleveland State Community College,” Morgan said.
He added that Seymour seemed to be well received by people both on campus and out in the community. The search committee also consisted of a diverse group of people, ranging from faculty to representatives from local companies.
After Morgan revealed the name of the search committee’s pick, the TBR unanimously voted to make Seymour the new Cleveland State president.
“I couldn’t be more proud to be provided with this position,” Seymour said shortly after. “I look forward to starting.”
However, he also jokingly acknowledged that he had “big shoes to fill,” both figuratively and literally. He said that when he visited Cleveland State for his interview, he learned that current President Dr. Carl Hite, who is a former basketball player, wears size 13 1/2 shoes.
Seymour said he and his family would soon begin looking for a new home in Cleveland, possibly arriving to look at houses as soon as today.