An administrator from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Perkinston emerged from four finalists to become the next president of East Central Community College in Decatur.
Dr. Billy W. Stewart, Vice President for Administration and Finance at MGCCC, was unanimously selected ECCC’s eighth president at the Board of Trustees meeting held Tuesday, March 20.
ECCC Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Jimmy Hollingsworth of Lake said Dr. Stewart and Dr. Michael J. “Mike” McGrevey, were recommended for the top post following interviews of four finalists conducted by the Presidential Search Committee, composed of Board of Trustees members representing the College’s support district, which includes Leake, Neshoba, Newton, Scott and Winston counties.
Dr. Stewart received a standing ovation by board members as he was introduced by Dr. Hollingsworth at a press conference following the meeting.
“Dr. Stewart brings great community college experience and a dynamic vision for the future of ECCC,” Dr. Hollingsworth said.
Dr. Stewart, MGCCC’s Administrator of the Year for 2011-12, said he looks forward to taking East Central Community College to even greater levels of excellence. He begins his new duties on July 1, 2012.
“I am excited about working with the ECCC family and building upon the foundation as set forth by Dr. Phil Sutphin, Dr. Eddie M. Smith and the other former presidents,” Dr. Stewart said.
The other top candidates were Dr. Randall E. Lee, ECCC Vice President for Student Services; and Dr. Andrea Mayfield, Vice President for Academic Instruction/Institutional Research and Effectiveness/SACS Liaison at East Mississippi Community College in Scooba.
Dr. Stewart, 43, succeeds Dr. Phil A. Sutphin, who earlier announced plans to retire on June 30, 2012, following 12 years of service leading the two-year institution.
As MGCCC’s chief financial officer, Dr. Stewart oversees a budget of more than $100 million covering the college’s four comprehensive campuses and four centers. The College has an annual payroll in excess of $48 million.
Dr. Stewart’s list of accomplishments at MGCCC is numerous.
He organized the college’s Administrative Handbook and Personnel Manual into a new Policies and Procedures Manual making the document user-friendly and placing it on the college Web site as a searchable document for access by all college employees. He also assisted in the reorganization of the bylaws of the MGCCC Board of Trustees.
In addition, Dr. Stewart led efforts to upgrade college network infrastructure and telephone systems using a $2 million investment of local capital funds.
He recommended and led a three-year plan to phase-in a technology standard in every classroom at the college to assist with quality instruction and student access as well as installation of wireless access points at all campuses/centers. He also supervised use of $34 million in district funds to complete numerous capital projects.
Prior to joining the MGCCC staff, Dr. Stewart served as Dean of Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Simpson County Center in Mendenhall from Jan. 2005 to July 2006, where he prepared and supervised budgets of more than $1.5 million, among other duties.
He served as Dean of Community Services at Co-Lin in Wesson from July 1997 to Dec. 2004. His duties included preparing and supervising division budgets in excess of $2.1 million. He also supervised professional and clerical staff in eight major programs. In addition, he served on the President’s Cabinet, Instructional Council and Program Review Committee.
Dr. Stewart’s education experience also includes the secondary education level. He served as assistant principal at Pearl High School from July 1993 to June 1994. He began his employment at the school in July 1990 as a social studies instructor.
Prior to joining the PHS staff, Dr. Stewart served as Alumni Field Representative for the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, from July 1990 to June 1991.
Dr. Stewart is a graduate of USM, where he received a bachelor’s degree in history/teacher education in 1990 and earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction/history in 1993. He was selected Mr. University of Southern Mississippi and is a member of the USM Hall of Fame.
He completed a doctorate in school administration with emphasis in Higher Education/Community College Administration from Mississippi State University in Starkville in 1997.
Dr. Stewart and his wife, Stephanie, have four school-age children – Stephen, Will, Elizabeth and Emily.
Dr. Billy Stewart (center) was selected the eighth president of East Central Community College during a late afternoon press conference held on the Decatur campus. Also shown are Dr. Stewart’s wife, Stephanie, and ECCC Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Jimmy Hollingsworth of Lake, who announced the Board’s unanimous decision. Dr. Stewart currently serves as Vice President for Administration and Finance at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Perkinston. Dr. Stewart begins his new duties on July 1, 2012. (EC Photo)