Haywood Community College


Contacts: Debra M. Davis, Diana S. Conard

185 Freedlander Drive

Clyde, NC 28721

828-627-4521 Fax: 828-627-1218

Date: 1-17-07

For immediate release.

HCC’s Dr. Greg Rutherford Accepts President’s Post at York Technical College

Haywood Community College’s Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development, Dr. Greg Rutherford, has accepted a position as President of York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina. As he prepares to leave the college Rutherford looks back at almost 12 years with HCC.

Rutherford began his community college career at AB Technical Community College. When he first came to HCC, he came in on the front lines of the Continuing Education Division. “Working in this area helped me learn every facet of the college,” he explains. “I worked with every area and relied on partnerships I formed. It was a great way to learn. I grew up in the community college system.”

Rutherford was soon able to provide additional outreach to the people of Haywood County, as well as the entire Western North Carolina region through his work at the Regional High Technology Center when he became the Coordinator of Business and Industry Training. The next step for him at HCC was the Director of Continuing Education. He ends his career at the college as Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development.

“If it was not for community colleges, I would not be in a position to become a community college president,” he acknowledges. “It helped me go as far as I could go. Becoming president is a way for me to follow through on the career support a lot of people have always given me, too many people to name.”

“This is a great honor for Dr. Rutherford and one that is well deserved,” said HCC President Dr. Rose Johnson. “I would like to thank Greg for all of his contributions to HCC and wish him the best of luck in his new leadership role.”

According to Rutherford, many things in his tenure at HCC have made a lasting impact on him. One of which is the help he and his fellow employees were able to provide when nearly 800 employees lost their jobs through a series of layoffs and plant closings, such as Dayco, Dana Corporation, Paxar, and Lea Industries.

“The college responded with a partnership with Job Link in such a tremendous way, “ he said. “The HCC staff worked around the clock in shifts, held open forums, helped people prepare for a GED, and find a new career track. We helped prepare them for a new job. These were long time employees. It came as a shock to them. This was the most inspiring time for me at HCC. It meant a lot to be able to help them.”

Other notable ventures for Rutherford includes the excitement of working with new employers coming to Haywood County and seeing these employers thrive. He enjoyed his relationship with the economic community and the Chamber of Commerce. He also enjoyed contributing to the start of the Basic Law Enforcement Training program and the Adult High School program at HCC.

Rutherford notes how the continuing education staff rallied together after the floods. “A large majority of the programs were completely underwater twice. These people did unbelievable work. They lost all their records and materials, every tool they had but they still had their knowledge, will, and relationships. They built the program back bigger than before.”

Rutherford encourages everyone in the community to attend a GED graduation ceremony. “It’s inspirational and something everyone should see. Sometimes the GED program is the only hope people have. Without the support of the Adult Basic Skills staff, many of these graduates would never be able to complete requirements for graduation. The GED graduation is a way to see exactly what community colleges mean to people.”

Rutherford succeeds York Technical College President, Dr. Dennis Merrell, who retired December 31. He has served as the college’s president for the past 17 years.

Tony Vaughan, Chairman of the York Technical College Area Commission, said, “We look forward with great anticipation to Dr. Rutherford’s presidency, and at the same time thank Dr. Merrell for his dedication and service to the college.”

Rutherford earned his doctorate in Education Administration with a major in Community College Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin, an MBA from Western Carolina University, a BS in Management from the University of North Carolina at Asheville, and an associate degree in Business Administration from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.

According to Rutherford, he is grateful to HCC, its trustees, previous trustees, employees, and current and former presidents for the opportunity to learn and grow and for giving him the opportunity to serve as a president.

“I will miss the dedicated people at HCC, working with the Chamber, small business startup, how the community is impacted through economic development, and the great people of Haywood County,” Rutherford said. “I look forward to hearing about great future things of HCC and Haywood County.”

He assumes his new position at YTC on February 1, 2007.

Photo attached: (donated photo)

Dr. Greg Rutherford


(Cutline: ) Haywood Community College’s Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development, Dr. Greg Rutherford, has accepted the position as President of York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina. He will assume the position on February 1.