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Midlands Technical College Announces Finalists of Presidential Search

Mar 12, 2024

The Midlands Technical College Commission has announced the finalists in the search for a new President. This past fall, Dr. Ron Rhames announced plans to retire by June 30.

The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) assisted the MTC Commission’s search committee in vetting 58 candidates from across 30 states and one foreign country. Following interviews with ten highly competitive semi-finalists, the finalists were identified as Dr. Vicky Wood, Washington State College of Ohio President; Dr. Forest E. Mahan, Aiken Technical College President; Dr. Barrie Kirk, Midlands Technical College Provost; and Dr. Greg Little, S.C. Commission on Higher Education Acting Executive Director/President.

Now, the MTC Commission is seeking input from college faculty and staff as well as the community. This month the finalists will interview with the Commission, visit campuses, and answer questions during open public forums. The MTC Commission is expected to announce its hiring decision in April.

Finalist’s Biographies

Dr. Vicky Wood

Dr. Vicky Wood has served for seven years as the president of Washington State College of Ohio (WSCO). During her time as president, she has transformed WSCO by enhancing community partnerships, investing in facilities, and growing the WSCO Foundation. Under her leadership, the college has demonstrated excellence in academic programs and instruction and has increased student access and success. 

Dr. Wood led WSCO through a mission transformation from a community college to a baccalaureate degree-granting institution and a name change. She strengthened academics by adding multiple new programs and attracted investments of millions of dollars in facility and technology upgrades to support student learning. She strengthened the student experience through the successful implementation of Guided Pathways that included the creation of the Center for Student Success to expand support services and the establishment of a Student OneStop to enhance the student experience throughout the entry phases of enrollment.

Dr. Wood’s political advocacy helped implement a state policy change to enable Ohio community colleges to offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), and WSCO was one of the first Ohio community colleges to offer the BSN. She has helped strengthen the community through leadership and service to support economic development. She is a member of the Southeastern Ohio Port Authority economic development board, Frontier Local Economic Development Association, Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce board, and Marietta Noon Rotary. Her state and national engagement includes serving as vice chair elect of the Ohio Community College Presidents’ Council, advisory board and coach for the Ohio Association of Community College’s Leadership Academy, member of the National Center for Inquiry and Improvement’s Rural Guided Pathways Initiative, and advisory board for the Aspen Presidential Fellowship.

Formerly, Dr. Wood served as provost and vice president of academic affairs and student services at Marion Technical College (MTC). She is a first-generation community college graduate who holds a doctorate in higher education leadership from The University of Toledo, a master’s in education from Bowling Green State University, a bachelor’s in business education from Ashland University, and an associate in business from Marion Technical College.

Dr. Forest E. Mahan

Dr. Forest E. Mahan assumed the role as Aiken Technical College’s fifth president on July 1, 2016.

A native of South Carolina, Dr. Mahan has spent more than 28 years in the South Carolina Technical College System.  He began his career as a history instructor at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College (OCTC) in January 1996 and taught introductory Western civilization, American, and African American history courses.

In August 2008, he accepted the role of Vice President for Academic Affairs at Northeastern Technical College (NETC) to provide leadership for academic programs, the College’s library, continuing education, workforce development, and distance learning.

In July 2010, the College merged Academic Affairs with Student Services. At that time, Dr. Mahan took on leadership of Admissions, Records, Financial Aid, Student Support Services, Orientation, the Predominately Black Institutions grant, Perkins grant, and ASSIST grant while retaining his Academic Affairs duties.

As President of Aiken Technical College, Dr. Mahan is involved in a number of community organizations – including the Rotary Club of Aiken, Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness, and Aiken Performing Arts.  In addition, Dr. Mahan serves on the Lower Savannah Regional Education Center Advisory Board for the Lower Savannah Council of Governments.

In his role as president, Dr. Mahan seeks to be engaged with the community in order to better serve the needs of internal and external stakeholders and help local citizens improve their lives through the successful attainment of a work-ready credential to fulfill the workforce development demands of the region.

Dr. Mahan received a bachelor’s degree in history from the College of Charleston and a master’s degree in history and a Ph.D. in higher educational administration from the University of South Carolina.

Dr. Barrie Kirk

Dr. Barrie Kirk serves as the first Provost of Midlands Technical College (MTC), assuming the position in 2018. As Provost, she holds the role of Chief Education Officer, overseeing Academic Affairs, Corporate and Continuing Education, and Student Success and Retention functions.  Prior to her current role, Kirk held leadership positions across the college throughout her 29-year MTC career.

While at MTC, Dr. Kirk has demonstrated visionary leadership, spearheading initiatives that have made significant impacts on the college and the surrounding community. Under her leadership, MTC has seen significant growth in the number of students pursuing technical and skilled trades careers, and a marked increase in the utilization of apprenticeships to address the high-demand skills gaps faced by local employers.

Dr. Kirk’s strategic focus also led to the implementation of a faculty professional development program aimed at enhancing student success and bolstering retention rates. In addition, she implemented the Provost’s Leadership Academy, a program designed to nurture and empower emerging leaders within the institution. Her emphasis on fostering open communication channels has created a culture of engagement among faculty and staff, propelling MTC towards its mission of academic excellence and community impact.

Dr. Kirk earned a Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, a Master of Education in Higher Education Administration, and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, all from the University of South Carolina.

Dr. Greg LittleDr. Greg Little is a veteran educator with 27 years of experience. He earned his undergraduate degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington followed by a Master’s Degree and Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He has served as superintendent for Mount Airy City Schools in North Carolina and Lexington County School District One in Lexington, South Carolina. In 2022, he accepted the role of Vice President for Strategic Partnerships and Innovation for the South Carolina Technical College System and was most recently named the Acting Executive Director/President for the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education.

He and his wife Julie have been married for 23 years this month and have two daughters, Kaylee (21) and Naomi (14). Coming from a family of educators, Dr. Little believes that education creates pathways to prosperity and that there is no better example of that than our technical colleges. He works to expand opportunity and access for those that need it most.

About Midlands Technical College 
Midlands Technical College (MTC) is a six-campus, two-year comprehensive community college serving Richland, Lexington, and Fairfield counties in South Carolina. The college provides higher education opportunities that stimulate the local economy by generating a world-class workforce and enhancing the social vitality of the community. MIDLANDSTECH.EDU.