Helmick Appointed President of Western Piedmont Community CollegeJul 1, 2014
Dr. Michael S. Helmick, president of Rockingham Community College, has been appointed the sixth president of Western Piedmont Community College in Morganton, N.C. His appointment was approved June 26 by the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges. Helmick’s resignation as the fourth president of Rockingham Community College, effective July 30, 2014, was accepted by the college’s Board of Trustees on June 27. He begins his new appointment at Western Piedmont on August 1, 2014.
Helmick became the fourth president of RCC in March of 2011 after having served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Western Piedmont. In his new role, he succeeds Dr. Jim W. Burnett, who has served as president of WPCC since 2006.
“I have very mixed emotions about leaving my position at RCC, but I feel like I am leaving this institution with a new direction for the future. Over the last three years I have been honored to work with outstanding Trustees, an excellent faculty and staff, and a supportive community. Together, we have taken the college to the next level of excellence and innovation and I know that with new leadership RCC will continue to help this community grow and prosper,” said Helmick. “I am looking forward to my next opportunity, but will always remember RCC as an outstanding community college that helped Rockingham County achieve the excellence that it deserves.”
During Helmick’s time as president, the College has become a leader in workforce development and developed innovative partnerships with businesses and municipalities in the area. These partnerships include: the opening of The Center for Creative Woodworking located in Reidsville, The Center for Brewing Sciences located in Eden, the reopening and expansion of the College’s trail system in cooperation with the Dan River Basin Association and the Reidsville Area Foundation and many other initiatives designed to improve opportunities for Rockingham County residents. Just recently RCC held a groundbreaking for the new simulated hospital that will be located in the N. Jerry Owens Human Services Building. This state-of-the art facility is designed to provide the very best in training and education for students enrolled in the health care programs at the College. Slated to open in the summer of 2015 the RCC Simulated Hospital will be the first of its kind in the Piedmont Triad.
The Board of Trustees will immediately begin the search process for a President and will announce the appointment of an interim president shortly. The interim president is expected to serve until a new president is selected.