RALEIGH, N.C. - William S. "Bill" Carver, the former president of Nash Community College, has been appointed interim president of the NC Community College System.
Carver, who retired from Nash last year after 14 years as president, will succeed Peter Hans, who will become president of the University of North Carolina System next month.
The appointment was approved by the State Board of Community Colleges on Friday. Carver will become interim president on Aug. 1.
Carver spent much of his career in a variety of roles at Nash Community College, where he served as an instructor, director of the Small Business Center, director of business and industry services, dean of continuing education and vice president of instruction. He became president there in 2005.
During Carver's tenure as president, Nash Community College expanded its campus and grew enrollment by 42 percent, while increasing online enrollment by 30 percent. He launched successful strategic planning and fundraising initiatives there.
He earned a bachelor's degree at NC State University, a Master of Business Administration from Campbell University and a Doctor of Education degree from Nova Southeastern University.
The State Board also approved the appointment of Deborah Lamm as interim president of Roanoke-Chowan Community College. Lamm previously served as president of Edgecombe Community College from 2004 to 2018.
In other action, the State Board allocated $3 million from the 2020 COVID-19 Recovery Act to enhance online learning across the community colleges and $9 million from federal COVID relief funds to support broadband access to 20 rural colleges.
Also on Friday, Hans announced a new System Advisory Council Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative. He appointed Don Tomas, president of Southwestern Community College, and Thomas Walker, president of Wayne Community College, to lead the effort, which will examine policies and other areas to identify any institutional inequities that could limit opportunities for students, faculty and staff. The group will make recommendations for changes by mid-2021.
"We know we have more work to do," Hans said. "We've got to ensure that our colleges not only have diversity but celebrate it, that we tear down any remaining barriers, that we create an environment where every member of our community is treated equally, and with respect."
Friday marked the last State Board meeting for Hans, who has led the system since 2018. Board members praised him for his visionary leadership, for uniting the system and for achieving new state funding and private donations to benefit the colleges.
"What he has done for the community college system cannot be overstated," said Board Member Bob Stephens. "He's been tireless in his work. He's been unselfish in his work."
The State Board of Community Colleges Presidential Search Committee will meet Monday to begin the search for Hans' replacement.
North Carolina's 58 community colleges serve about 700,000 students a year in college-transfer programs, short-term workforce training, high school dual enrollment, career and technical education and adult basic education.