Monday, June 17, 2013

Dr. Aiken's Farewell Letter

Waynesville Mountaineer's Letter to the Editor submitted by Dr. William C. Aiken, HCC Interim President

To the Citizens of Haywood County:

For the past eight months, I have had the privilege of serving as Interim President of Haywood Community College.  The purpose in my writing is to thank the entire Haywood County community for their kindness toward me and their continued support of the college. 

First, the faculty and staff of the college have been very cooperative as I have attempted to lead the college forward.  Together, we have worked toward improving college policies, strengthening relationships with the community, and increasing our emphasis on meeting the needs of the industrial community.

In my opinion, the college has a two-fold purpose--serving the needs of those who seek to advance their educational and training needs, and meeting the needs of business and industry. A dedicated faculty and staff have helped advance these purposes.  I would ask that the community continue to support the efforts of these talented individuals.  The dedication of the faculty and staff is an impressive one, and I hope you will provide them the respect they have earned. 

I am most appreciative of the support I have had from the Haywood Community College Board of Trustees.  Each one of them has been receptive to new ideas I have introduced.  Many times my ideas may have been a divergence from traditional college operations; nonetheless, the trustees have allowed me the flexibility of trying these new approaches.  My tenure at the college would not have been successful without their tolerance and support.  I thank them wholeheartedly for their cooperation, support, and patience.     

While our academic focus is critical, our advancement of economic development in Haywood and surrounding counties is of equal importance.  A primary emphasis of the past eight months has been to assess the training needs of industry and respond to these needs in an appropriate way.  For example, the college now has a person devoted full-time to addressing the training needs of industry.  Attracting new industry to the county is important, and retaining the jobs of existing employers is of vital magnitude as well.  The college plays an important role in this process. 

Haywood Community College must continue to be an essential part of the community at large.  The college’s mission mandates that we be a part of civic and cultural events.  I hope this relationship can continue to grow in the future as the college becomes an even more integral part of these affairs.   

Moving about the community, we have attempted to increase our relationship with local government.  Surely, I contend that it is important to work closely with county government.  The Haywood County Board of Commissioners plays a critical role in the advancement of the college.  Hopefully, we have continued to strengthen this relationship.  Throughout my time at the college, I have attempted to communicate the mission and goals of the college to the Board.  I am grateful for the support of the Commissioners and hope to see this relationship continue to develop with the primary goal being the  betterment of the college and community as well. 

Even though you and I have recognized that my assignment was a temporary one, you have made me feel very welcome in your community.  As a result, I have made many new professional and personal friends in Haywood County.  I look forward to learning of your future successes and am excited about returning for frequent visits to the area. 

Thank you for your support.


William C. Aiken
Interim President
Haywood Community College

1 comment:

Jenny Carver said...

You will be greatly missed Dr. Aiken!!! Thank you for your leadership, kindness, support, and professionalism throughout your tenure on campus. Please come back and visit when you can. You have many friends here and are welcomed anytime.


Jenny, NR Faculty & Students
Natural Resources Department
Haywood Community College