LUMBERTON — The trustees of Robeson Community College on Monday officially approved Kimberly Gold as the college’s fifth president.
Gold, who was selected from 30 applicants, is replacing Pamela Hilbert, who retired at the end of June. Gold currently serves as executive vice president and chief academic officer at Isothermal Community College in Spindale, a position she has held since 2014.
Gold’s contract, which was approved by RCC trustees on Monday, will run from Jan. 1, 2017, to June 30, 2019, Sammy Cox, chairman of the board of trustees, said that Gold’s base salary is based on the state rate — about $148,500. She is also receiving a $15,000 local supplement, Cox said.
In other business, the trustees decided to invite four architectural firms interested in designing a new burn tower and classrooms at the Emergency Services Training Center in Lumberton to a meeting next week to present their proposals. The construction projects will be paid for with RCC’s $7.2 million share of the $350 million made available to the 58 state community colleges through the Connect N.C. bond issue approved by state voters in March, according to Channing Jones, RCC’s vice president of Workforce Development and Continuing Education.
“Fire and rescue training is growing,” Jones said. “Last year we gave out more fire training certificates than any other college in the state community college system.”
Jones declined to name the architectural firms that would be meeting with the trustees to discuss their proposals. He said that once the trustees choose one or more of the firms for the projects, the state Construction Office will negotiate the contracts.
Jones said that the present burn tower is now only used for repelling and extracting training. For at least the past five years, he said, no live burns have been permitted because of safety concerns.
In other business, the trustees on Monday:
— Approved a revised tobacco use policy that regulates where tobacco can be smoked on RCC campuses. According to RCC interim President William Aiken, about 50 percent of the community colleges in the state have now gone “smoke free.”
At RCC, however, trustees decided to implement a policy that allows smoking in certain areas that are at least 50 feet from doorways. The current policy does not restrict how far away smoking must be from a building.
The new smoking policy will not be implemented until Aug. 1.
— Approved $70,000 generated from the college bookstore to be used to assist students needing financial aid. The bookstore balance currently stands at $1 million.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-633-1967.