SARANAC LAKE - Steve Tyrell will take over as North Country Community College's sixth president on June 15, pending approval by the State University of New York.
Tyrell, who is from Mooers in Clinton County, currently serves as vice president for student affairs at Alfred State College. He will replace Carol Brown, who has served as president since 2009. Brown will retire on April 30 to spend more time with her family.
NCCC's Board of Trustees made the decision at a special board meeting on Tuesday following a national search and in-depth interviews with the four final candidates: Tyrell, Mark Kosinski, W. David Pelham and Marty Clay.
"The Board of Trustees is very pleased with the process of the search and its final outcome," board Chairman Gerald Blair said in a press release. "Dr. Tyrell is an excellent choice for NCCC, the administration and faculty, and its students."
Tyrell said he is "thrilled to return home to the region.
"I look forward to working with community leaders in advancing our workforce partnerships that extends the impact of North County throughout the counties of Essex and Franklin," he said in a prepared statement. "I am also joining a community of highly dedicated professionals who continue to prepare graduates who excel in the region and beyond."
Trustee Tom Michael said that all of the finalists brought different strengths to the table, but in the end, Tyrell stood out.
"I think it's an excellent choice," he said. "He has the energy and the enthusiasm that I think the college will need moving forward."
Michael was a trustee when NCCC hired Brown two years ago, after the retirement of longtime President Gail Rogers Rice. He said the search for a new president was more streamlined this time around.
"That search was the first one the college had done in many years," Michael said. "The fact that we were able to essentially complete the search in a short amount of time is a great testament to the search committee."
That committee included students, faculty, community members and trustees. Candidate interviews took place over four two-day periods and featured public forums and tours of NCCC's three campuses: Saranac Lake, Malone and Ticonderoga.
"It was a very thorough process, and I think the results speak for themselves," Michael said.
The college set aside $50,000 for the presidential search. Michael said he believes the search came in "significantly under budget," but he didn't have hard figures Tuesday afternoon.
Speaking at a public forum earlier this month, Tyrell said he was aware of the infrastructure issues at the Saranac Lake campus. He said NCCC must continue selling itself to lawmakers in the college's sponsoring counties, Essex and Franklin, but it shouldn't rely solely on the government to fund a $65 million capital improvement plan.
Tyrell said the college needs to build strong public-private partnerships as it prepares to take on large-scale projects.
Tyrell also said he expects to stick around as president for "a while."
"That's my goal," he said at the forum. "Three, four, five years in one place may not be what it takes today to move an institution to the next place it needs to go. You need some continuity."
Contact Chris Morris at 891-2600 ext. 26 or firstname.lastname@example.org.