Kandi Deitemeyer plans to do “a lot of listening and learning and meeting community members” when she becomes president of Central Piedmont Community College in January.
She figures six months of listening and learning at the very least. Deitemeyer, 47, was named Friday to succeed Tony Zeiss, who has headed the 70,000-student school since 1992. Zeiss announced his plans to retire in February.
Deitemeyer has been president of College of The Albemarle in Elizabeth City, with about 8,000 to 9,000 students a year, since 2010. She’s held other community college posts in Florida and Kentucky.
In August, Schools.com ranked College of The Albemarle as the best community college in the state, citing in part its successful partnership with Currituck County in building and opening the college’s fourth campus, the Regional Aviation and Technical Training Center.
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Of North Carolina’s 58 community colleges, College of The Albemarle placed No. 2 for distance learning, with nearly 75 percent of students taking at least one class via distance education, according to Schools.com. The college also ranked among the top North Carolina community colleges for affordability.
Most important has been seeing her students succeed, she told the Observer. Deitemeyer cited The College of Albemarle’s “very strong” transfer program, its “vibrant” health sciences program, including nursing, and having one of the top international programs in the system.
CPCC trustees chose Deitemeyer from among five finalists and 40 applicants for the job. She will be the school’s second female president after Zeiss’s predecessor, Ruth Shaw, and will earn a $310,000 annual salary.
Deitemeyer’s selection by the CPCC Board of Trustees was unanimous, board chairman Edwin Dalrymple Jr. told the Observer.
“She impressed the board when we first met her as part of the search process,” Dalrymple said, noting her “high energy,” “very good presence” and varied experience in the community college system.
Being a sitting president of a community college was important to the board, Dalrymple said. “She knows the North Carolina community college system and vice versa,” he said. “People in the North Carolina system knew and respected her.”
Deitemeyer also is “very respectful of what Dr. Zeiss and his people have built at CPCC over the years,” Dalrymple added.
Zeiss has presided over major changes to the college. Under his tenure, CPCC grew from one campus to six and saw its budget grow from $46.7 million to $200 million. “Thanks to them, CPCC is running extraordinarily well,” Dalrymple said.
Deitemeyer’s task, he said, “will be to continue the great work of Dr. Zeiss and his people. I see her fitting in very well in the CPCC community as well as the greater Mecklenburg County area.”