A-B Tech resigns to take college president’s job in Houston

Dr. Betty Young, inaugurated as the fourth president of A-B Tech in May 2008, officially left the college March 6 to become president of Coleman College in Houston, Texas. Her departure ended a short tenure marked by upheaval.

A-B Tech’s trustees announced that they had accepted Young’s official resignation during a special meeting on campus March 12; Young had announced in December that she wasn’t going to renew her contract.

Board of Trustees Chairwoman Carol Peterson said that Richard Mauney, the executive vice president of finance and information technology services, would serve as acting president until trustees appoint an interim president. A presidential search committee named last month will seek a permanent successor to Young.

The school will buy out the rest of Young’s contract, which ends June 30, paying $91,808.35. Young’s annual salary was $190,104.

Young said she was excited about her new post at Coleman—a member of the Houston community-college system, specializing in health-sciences programs and located at Texas Medical Center.

“They’re looking for a leader to grow things, and that’s what I do,” said Young, adding that the school plans to increase enrollment, expand its campus, start new programs and improve student retention.

When asked to assess her time at A-B Tech, Young said: “I didn’t come here to serve as a transitional president. I turned up the rug, and I saw some new opportunities.”

Young cited a list of accomplishments, including a focus on student retention; the start of 24/7 online tutoring; the introduction of a writing lab; the addition of a full-time advisor for transfers to Western Carolina University; the activation of an emergency-call system on campus; and the start of early college on A-B Tech’s Madison County campus. Young said she was most proud of increasing the diversity of the college’s faculty and staff.

Faculty, staff, trustees and Young have said little publicly since Young announced her plans to resign two months ago, citing “discontent” and “division” on campus.

A-B Tech has a $54 million budget and serves a mostly part-time student body—nearly 18,000 continuing-education students and about 9,400 curriculum students.

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