The Virginia Community College System (VCCS) invites applications and nominations for the  presidency of Mountain Empire Community College (MECC). Founded in 1972, MECC has a rich history of providing academic, technical, and workforce training as well as cultural enrichment to our service region population and beyond. The College is situated on 95.5 beautiful acres in Big Stone Gap, Virginia located in the scenic coalfields of the Appalachian Mountains. The college serves the counties of Dickenson, Lee, Scott, Wise and the city of Norton. Home to more than 100,000 residents, the region is recognized for its unique culture including, music, craft and outdoor recreation opportunities as well as its rich natural resources. The state theater of Virginia, access to the Appalachian Trail and several large lake and river systems, as well as the internationally recognized Bristol Motor Speedway, are located within a short drive from the College.

The College serves approximately 3,800 credit students (1,745 FTE) and more than 1,000 non-credit students annually and is the largest provider of higher education and workforce development training and services in the region. Over 68% of the area’s residents enrolled in higher education attended MECC in 2015-16 including 35% of area high school graduates.  The College is financially healthy with an operating budget of approximately $14.5 million and its educational foundation holds more than $20M in restricted and unrestricted assets.

With the retirement of Dr. Scott Hamilton after seven years of outstanding service as president, MECC is seeking its next president. The College seeks an accomplished, goal-oriented, visionary leader who is forward-thinking and capable of reasoning beyond existing boundaries and limitations.  Several priorities and key characteristics have been identified for the next president: the perspective or ability to a) demonstrate appreciation and affection for rural life and culture; b) possess a welcoming personality with a willingness to make personal connections with stakeholders and the community; c) exhibit the desire to take a leadership role in the workforce and economic development goals of the region; d) bring fresh ideas and forethought to bear in advancing regional goals; and e) balance a healthy respect for tradition with the ability to seize opportunities for the future.

Qualifications for President

To accomplish the above, qualified candidates must have an earned doctorate and demonstrated successful senior executive experience at the highest levels. Previous experience must include significant responsibility for programs, budgets, personnel, facilities and other appropriate administrative duties. The successful candidate must have proven leadership abilities along with excellent communications skills, a strong belief in a collaborative administrative style, as well as, a servant leadership perspective. He or she must have an understanding of the mission and goals of a comprehensive community college in the 21st Century, along with a clear commitment to instruction, student success, generating revenues, and community involvement. He or she must be able to develop a broad vision for the College along with possessing the skills and energy needed for implementation. Demonstrated ability to work with business, industry, government and the community at large is required.

Application Information

 The search will remain open until the position is filled; however, to be considered for the initial screening, candidates should submit application materials by March 6, 2017. Information about the college, its community, the position, and application procedures can be found at

A complete application packet will include a cover letter, résumé/CV, and a one-page statement of leadership philosophy. The leadership statement should address the applicant’s perspective on strategic risk-taking, making change, and how to fund and grow programs for the future. The salary range for this position is $140,241 – $210,959; the VCCS also offers a competitive benefits and perquisites package. Questions may be directed to 804-819-4685.