Gov. taps Philpott for CCCC board

Trustee touted as capable leader
Jul. 24, 2014 @ 05:00 AM

As Central Carolina Community College begins looking at the next five years, members of the school's Board of Trustees expressed confidence that the Julian Philpott was the man to help guide the college in the right direction.

Philpott has served as the board's chairman for three years and recently was appointed back onto the board by Gov. Pat McCrory after the Lee County Board of Commissioners chose not to reappoint him.

"I was pleased to receive the appointment from the governor so I could continue on the community college board," Philpott said. "I feel like the board has accomplished a lot in the time I have been on the board. We've celebrated our 50th anniversary, and we're moving forward into our next 50-year period."

Philpott, who serves as secretary and general counsel to the N.C. Farm Bureau, has been appointed by the Lee County Board of Commissioners in previous years. This year, the Board of Commissioners appointed Mark Cronmiller to fill Philpott's post, and Philpott, in turn, was appointed by McCrory.

"Service and volunteering time to make things better is something my mother and father taught me," Philpott said. "And it's important. That's why I'm trying to help the college. [My parents] served as strong examples of public service, to volunteer time to make things better for other people."

Board of Trustees member Keith Clark also was pleased by Philpott's appointment.

"I think it's a reflection of Julian's tremendous efforts and contribution to the college," Clark said. "It's an affirmation of the governor's strong support for the college. That was the basis [on which] he made his decision."

Long-time Board of Trustees member Bobby Powell applauded Philpott on his efforts as chairman.

"He definitely deserved an appointment back to the board," Powell said. "He has done nothing but good things for the college during a time of extreme growth."

Philpott said his main goal is to help the college continue to provide a first-class education to its students. He asserted that a well-educated citizenry is one of the major factors businesses and industries look at when choosing to locate or relocate to an area.

"They need an educated workforce, a workforce able to be trained specifically for certain jobs," Philpott said. "That includes what we do at the community college. We provide not only education to prepare for jobs, but [we] also assist industries with specialized training a business may need. ...

"I do look at the college as being one of the primary economic engines in the county. It can be a strong supporter of economic development not only in Lee County, but in the entire service area."

Philpott said the community college was one of the major magnets that helped draw businesses to Lee County.

"If we're looking at Lee County and our service area, which encompasses Harnett and Chatham as well, to have a first-class community, I feel our community college needs to be first class as well. ... If we have a first-class institution, then we're going to have people who want to come here."

CCCC is in the process of developing a five-year plan for the college, which Clark said will outline the school's mission, vision and goals for the coming years. He said Philpott was the perfect choice to exemplify the college's mission and values.

"He is very well-respected by broad cross-sections of people in every county," Clark said. "He has a style for bringing people together and a great deal of patience. ... He's also plugged in to how the economy is doing. That brings a lot of additional vision to the college."

Board of Trustee member Jan Hayes said she was looking forward to continuing to work with Philpott on the board.

"He's been an outstanding leader," she said. "He has such a great commitment to the college. He has experience and leadership. He has everything we need."