Dr. Betty Young, the president of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College who was hired last year and inaugurated in May, announced Tuesday that she would resign. Young’s announcement does not say when her resignation will take effect.
In an e-mailed memo sent to college faculty and staff, Young cites her goals and accomplishments, then goes on to say: “So with so much being accomplished, what has created a sense of discontent among some people of A-B Tech? Have we moved too quickly, is there not enough buy-in, is it my style of leadership?”
Young said she is proud to have served, but that it is time to move on.
“As we approach our 50th anniversary, I don’t want to see the discontent of people who make up our A-B Tech Community get in the way of progress. Therefore I will begin my search for a new opportunity to provide leadership where my talents may better match the needs of the organization. I am passionate about student success and that will remain my focus.”
Young added: “For me, it is like the biblical story of cutting the baby in half and both mothers lose. I don’t want to see division, I want to see A-B Tech remain whole and to be great. I will begin my search immediately and will work with the Executive Committee of the Board to make this transition as smooth as possible for everyone.”
Young’s resignation follows a six-and-a-half hour closed door meeting with the college’s Board of Trustees on Monday. The meeting was held to discuss personnel issues which, by state law, are confidential. Trustees and the board’s attorney have not commented.
In a statement e-mailed Tuesday afternoon, trustees board Chairwoman Carol Peterson said the board respected Young’s decision.
“We appreciate the contributions made by staff and faculty of the College under her leadership, and we wish her well in her future endeavors. We will have no further comment.”
The community college 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. Young was inaugurated in May as the college’s fourth president. The first woman president of the school, Young replaced K. Ray Bailey, A-B Tech’s president since 1990, who retired and was elected this year to the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners.
Young was president of Northwest State Community College in Archbold, Ohio, for four years before being selected to lead A-B Tech. Under Young’s contract with the college, she’s paid an annual salary of $190,104 and receives a $200 monthly “technology stipend.”
Young has faced pressure before from a college community. An August 2004 story by the Toledo Blade reported that Young was the target of a no-confidence vote by the Northwest State Community College’s faculty and support staff union. The union felt that Young wanted to make changes without going through a traditional negotiating process, according to the report, which noted that Young had the support of that college’s trustees. Young said the no-confidence vote was taken by the union to try and stop her from moving the college forward, according to the story.
Click here to go to the Xpress Files and read Young’s full memo.
— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor
Photo: Dr. Betty Young, president of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, in a meeting room at the law offices of Roberts & Stevens on Monday before a day-long closed meeting with the college’s Board of Trustees.