Haywood Community College President Dr. Barbara Parker announced her intent to retire, effective December 31, 2019, at the College board meeting on Tuesday, February 5, 2019.
Dr. Parker has served as President of Haywood Community College since July 1, 2013. Prior to her role at the College, she dedicated over 30 years in the field of education with positions at Haywood County Schools, Buncombe County Schools and Rutherford County Schools.
Under her leadership, HCC has strengthened its role as a leader in education and economic development by providing excellence in education. Dr. Parker has worked tirelessly to fulfill the mission of HCC to meet the educational needs of our communities, promote student success in higher education and in the workplace and facilitate economic development. In keeping with this mission, a top priority has been to ensure that the College is training a qualified workforce for our county and our region. For students who continue their education at four-year universities, their preparation at HCC often results in them performing above average in their bachelor’s degree programs.
During her tenure, Dr. Parker has been very involved with community leaders, built upon local relationships and been an active member of several community organizations. As a result, the College works hand-in-hand with area businesses of all sizes and has established partnerships with these organizations throughout the county. A key accomplishment toward this goal was the opening of the Public Services Training Facility (PSTF) in 2016. The PSTF is a highly specialized building that allows HCC to safely and effectively train Haywood County’s fire, law enforcement, and EMS personnel. This facility allows all emergency personnel to train together in one location while staying in the county.
“The board of trustees has been honored to have Dr. Parker as the president of HCC, and we will be losing an exceptional leader. Her tireless dedication to education and to the mission of the College has been exemplary,” states George Marshall, HCC board of trustees chair.
Dr. Parker recently led HCC through the reaffirmation of accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), which required two years of planning and preparation. As part of this effort, the College created a new program called Navigating College to improve the student advising experience and promote student retention.
After 37 years in the field of education, Dr. Parker is looking forward to traveling and spending time with her husband and family.
Following the March 5, 2019 board meeting, the board of trustees will pursue filling the vacancy.