TNCC interim head hopes to ‘protect’ budget


Published: January 16, 2009

The Daily Press

Community colleges play a vital and expanding role in their local communities and Thomas Nelson on the Peninsula is a great example of that, interim President Alvin Schexnider told the Daily Press Editorial Board Thursday.

As the General Assembly scrutinizes the state budget, state community college officials are working to preserve their funding. Schexnider took over at TNCC Oct. 1 after Charles Taylor left for a nine-month sabbatical to work for the Virginia Community College System in Richmond.

Schexnider’s background is at larger, four-year universities. But he is well-versed in the state’s budget history, and the drill colleges go through during financial shortfalls.

The state system consists of 23 community colleges, which are garnering record enrollments while having their budgets trimmed on a regular basis the past two years.

“We’re in Richmond, as we speak, trying to hold on and protect our budget in light of the fiscal situation statewide,” Schexnider said.

He took over at Thomas Nelson after a series of controversies last spring. Negative feedback on a campus climate survey and a “no confidence” vote for Taylor’s leadership by a majority of the college’s full-time faculty were among them. Schexnider’s focus has been on the budget and getting the first building on the new Historic Triangle campus ready for its expected opening this summer. He said he met recently with his immediate staff, and is focusing on where the college goes forward from here.

“We didn’t come up with any particular agenda, except to calm the waters and refocus the college on its mission, which I think it does an excellent job of,” Schexnider said.



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