03/01/07 — MOC's Byrd will resign as president

View Archive

MOC's Byrd will resign as president

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 1, 2007 1:54 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive College will begin searching for a new president next year as college president Dr. J. William Byrd moves into the role of chancellor.

At its recent board of trustees retreat in New Bern last weekend, Byrd laid out a development plan for leadership of the college, which also included beginning a search for a provost for the college this month. The provost will be responsible for all internal operations in all areas at the college except for institutional advancement, which will continue to report to the president.

Byrd's decision to change roles at the college was based on his desire to spend more time with his family and serve the college in a broader way, he said. He noted that he is not retiring, but considers this a transition to a new leadership role. Byrd's efforts will be concentrated in the area of external relations and special projects with continued oversight of institutional advancement.

Officials are expected to appoint Byrd as chancellor on July 1, 2008. The search for his replacement as president will begin in early 2008.

According to Byrd, the shift in leadership comes at a pivotal time for Mount Olive College.

"The growth of the college in every regard has been aggressive and has therefore placed increasing demands on the institution with regards to leadership and management," he said. "I am appreciative of the board's satisfaction with the progress of the college and am grateful that they value and understand the importance of continuing this momentum by carefully planning and preparing for future leadership."

Byrd's affiliation with the college has included being part of a transformation that began with the development of its non-traditional programming in 1993. His efforts have included working to improve the college's financial strength and directing the more comprehensive strategic planning effort in the college's 55-year history.

During his years as president, Mount Olive College has grown to six locations in eastern North Carolina, as well as expanding the curriculum and enrollment, increasing the endowment and adding new facilities.

In the 12 years he has served, the college has made more than $20 million worth of capital improvements, which has included the addition of a state-of-the-art communications facility, a Wellness Center, a new academic complex, and such additions to the athletics facilities as a new baseball fieldhouse, a new softball field and dugouts, a soccer field and tennis courts.

Darrell Horne, chairman of the board of trustees, expressed the board's appreciation of Byrd's service.

"I admire his vision, his passion and his leadership during the past 12 years and, as chair of the board, I look forward to his continued relationship with the college as we make this transition," he said.