GOLDSBORO – Dr. Patricia A. “Patty” Pfeiffer has been chosen to serve as the next president of Wayne Community College.
The college’s Board of Trustees elected Dr. Pfeiffer by acclamation at a special called meeting on Friday.
It had selected her as its candidate for the position in November and submitted her name to the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges, which approved the choice shortly before the college’s board took its final vote.
After assuring the trustees that she will not disappoint them, Pfeiffer said, “We will charge forward and we will continue to make a difference in this community.”
Pfeiffer will take on the mantle of the presidency on Jan. 1, 2022.
“It is a great honor and privilege to serve as the eighth president of Wayne Community College. I am thankful to the board of trustees for the confidence bestowed upon me to lead this great institution,” Pfeiffer said in a prepared statement.
“It is surreal to think I have the opportunity to lead the very institution that started my career in nursing and education after serving our great nation,” she said. “I look forward to continuing to work together with our faculty, staff, the board of trustees, and community partners to advance the college and enrich the lives of our citizens, which will in turn strengthen our community and local economy.”
The Selection Process
The Trustees’ action was the last step in the process of finding a successor to Dr. Thomas A. Walker Jr. who resigned in July to take the senior advisor for economic development and military affairs position with The University of North Carolina System. He had served as WCC’s president since September 2016.
The confirmation of Pfeiffer ends the work of the college’s presidential search committee. It was chaired by Geoff Hulse, trustee chair, and Don Barnes, immediate past trustee chair. Other members included trustees Debbie Harris, Jimmie Ford, and Dr. David Tayloe; Foundation of Wayne Community College board member Jack Best, and WCC faculty member Haleigh Wilhide.
Pfeiffer, who has been functioning as the interim president since Walker’s departure, was one of five candidates named a finalist for the job after a nationwide search that netted five dozen candidates.
The other finalists were Dr. Rodney A. Ellis, chancellor of Southern University at Shreveport; Dr. Mark Curtis-Chávez, provost of College of DuPage; Dr. Vern L. Lindquist, vice president of academics of Lincoln Land Community College; and Dr. Jennifer E. Orlikoff, campus president of Potomac State College.
All finalists visited the campus, participated in sessions with the full Board of Trustees and the President’s Council and a public forum, and toured the county.
The public was asked for input throughout the process.
About Dr. Pfeiffer
Prior to taking on the interim president role, Pfeiffer had been the college’s vice president for academic and student services since December 2018.
Pfeiffer began her career at WCC in November 1994 as a nursing instructor. She rose to Nursing Department chair, dean of the Allied Health and Public Services Division, chief of staff and vice president of institutional effectiveness, then vice president of academic and student services.
Pfeiffer has been recognized in her various roles at the college. She received WCC’s top award for faculty members, the George E. Wilson Excellence in Teaching Award in 2007 and was also a finalist for the NC State Board of Community College’s Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2015, the college’s unit of the Association of Educational Office Professionals (AEOP) and the North Carolina District 12 AEOP presented Pfeiffer with their Administrator of the Year Awards.
Prior to employment with the college, Pfeiffer worked as a labor and delivery nurse.
Before attending college, Pfeiffer served in the United States Army as a parachute rigger and airborne paratrooper for six years. Her first duty station was Fort Lewis, Washington where she supported the 2nd and 75th Infantry Ranger Battalion. In addition, she was stationed in Taegu, Korea, and Fort Bragg, NC.
Pfeiffer earned her doctorate in higher education and adult learning from Walden University. She also holds a master’s degree in administration from Central Michigan University, a master’s degree in nursing education from East Carolina University, a bachelor’s degree in nursing from East Carolina University, and an associate degree in nursing from Wayne Community College.
Pfeiffer is married to Tim, and they have two adult daughters, two grandchildren, and one son-in-law.