CCC President Youngblood retires

Retiring Carteret Community College President Dr. Kerry Youngblood shares memories of his time at CCC at the beginning of the Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday in the McGee Building Boardroom. (Cheryl Burke photo)

MOREHEAD CITY — Carteret Community College President Dr. Kerry Youngblood attended his last CCC Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday ahead of his retirement at the end of the month.

Dr. Youngblood said he was grateful for the board’s support since coming to CCC in March 2009 from Western Colorado Community College in Grand Junction, Colo., where he served as president.

“Thank you all for what a privilege it’s been,” he said. “This is a very bittersweet thing.”

He also joked about his last official gathering with the trustees.

“I’ve been coming to board meetings for 29 years, and now I won’t have to wear any more white shirts,” he said at the beginning of the meeting in the McGee Building Boardroom.

The public will have one last chance to say farewell to Dr. Youngblood at a retirement party on Friday, June 23, in Joslyn Hall on the college campus. It will start with a closed reception from 5 to 6 p.m. This will be followed at 6:30 p.m. with a retirement party and celebration that will be open to the public.

The new CCC president, Dr. John Hauser, will report Monday, July 3, for his new post. He currently serves as vice president of applied career technologies and the Alleghany Center at Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro.

While trustees were low key about Dr. Youngblood’s last meeting Tuesday since they plan to celebrate with him at the retirement bash, Michael Bowen, chairman of the CCC faculty executive committee, surprised him with a couple of unique parting gifts prior to giving his faculty report.

Mr. Bowen, an English instructor, presented Dr. Youngblood with a Samurai sword and a book Mr. Bowen had written and published.

“We are going to miss Dr. Youngblood quite a bit,” he said. “I had thought about giving him a pocketknife, but since he is a leader I thought he deserved something worthy of his position.”

Following the trustees’ meeting, Dr. Youngblood said he’s grateful to the county for the encouragement and support he and his wife Kris have received since they first came to the area.

“This county, with open arms, has embraced Kris and I,” he said. “I’d like to think we’ve left things in better shape than when we came. This community is so unique with its coastal heritage and the impact of the water and commercial fishing. It really has been a privilege to live and work here.”

Dr. Youngblood and his wife love to travel, so they plan to tour the United States in an RV with their two cats following his retirement.

“We moved out of our house (in Atlantic Beach) and are already living in the RV,” he noted.

As for the most rewarding part of his job, Dr. Youngblood said it’s been seeing the personal and professional growth of his staff.

“Those are the kinds of things that are really rewarding for me,” he said.

Dr. Youngblood said he’s concerned about the future of the state’s community college system because of what he sees as a lack of support from the General Assembly.

“We are facing for the 10th fiscal cycle what is referred to as management flex cuts, which is nothing more than budget cuts,” he said. “The vast majority of challenges are political, and it’s coming from the General Assembly.”

Dr. Youngblood has been involved in adult education, job training and workforce development for more than 40 years. He began his career as a certified welder working in the oilfields of Oklahoma.

While earning his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University, he operated his own welding and construction businesses.

In 1978, he joined Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colo., where he worked for eight years as an assistant professor teaching welding.

In 1985, he earned his master’s degree in education administration from Colorado State University. He received his doctorate in Community College Leadership from Colorado State University in 2005.

Dr. Youngblood was selected in 1985 to be director of educational services for the Community Care Corporation, which provided services to chronically mentally ill adults.

In 1988, he became principal of an alternative technical high school focused on preparing individuals for entry level employment as part of the Mesa Valley school district.

He was the director of the School of Applied Technology at Mesa State College from 1993 to 1996, and the dean of the School of Industry and Technology from 1996 to 2004.

From 1993 to 2007, he also served as the executive director of the Grand Valley BOCES – a board that provided leadership and support for multiple school districts and colleges.

In 2005, he was selected as the vice president for Community College Affairs for Colorado Mesa University. He then served as the president of Western Colorado Community College in Grand Junction. Shortly after his departure as president, WCCC named one of its buildings in honor of him.

In other action, the board:

- Approved the 2017-18 class supply fees list.

- Approved Dr. Zettl as board chairman for the 2017-18 academic year, with Catherine Parker as vice chairman.

- Met in closed session to finalize the new president’s contract. When he was hired in May, trustees approved Dr. Hauser’s starting salary at $170,090, plus state benefits. His salary consists of $138,254 in state funds, which is based on a State Board of Community Colleges scale that takes into account the size of the college and years of experience, and $31,836 in county supplement funds.

Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.

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