Finalists for next RCC president to visit

ASHEBORO — Four finalists to fill the vacancy as Randolph Community College’s next president are expected to visit the campus next week. 

Based on the list of candidates released from the college, the next president will come from an out-of-state job, though one of them has ties to the Triad.

Here’s the list:

** John Grosskopf, president of North Florida College (in Madison, Fla.).

** Dr. Jeremy Thomas, provost of Oklahoma City College.

** Dr. Shah Ardalan, president of Lone Star College-University Park (in Houston).

** Dr. George McNulty, president of Gogebic Community College (in Ironwood, Mich).


In March, the four candidates were approved by the State Board of Community Colleges in March.

Their visits to campus are scheduled on consecutive days next week, beginning with Grosskopf on Monday. Thomas comes Tuesday, followed by Ardalan on Wednesday and McNulty on Thursday.

A forum will be held with each candidate.

Grosskopf has a master’s degree from Florida State and is finishing a doctorate from Aspen University. He also has held roles of director/dean of teaching and learning along with the vice president of academic affairs at North Florida College.

Thomas has a doctorate in developmental education from Grambling State, in addition to a master’s degree from Northwestern State. He has spent time working at colleges in Texas and Louisiana.

Ardalan received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina A&T in Greensboro. He holds a doctorate in community college leadership from National American University in Austin, Texas. He has worked at Prairie View A&M and San Juan College in Farmington, N.M. 

McNulty, an Army veteran, has a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada. He previously worked at Colby Community College in Colby, Kan.

RCC has had a vacancy since last summer upon the retirement of Dr. Robert Shackleford Jr.

The new president will be the fifth in RCC’s more than 60 years. Enrollment at RCC has fluctuated in recent years, in part because of the pandemic, with numbers ranging from about 1,900 to 3,000.

Elbert Lassiter has been serving as interim president. Lassiter has noted the big opportunities ahead for RCC, including the incoming Toyota battery manufacturing plant, which is coming to the Greensboro-Randolph megasite.

“We have (up to 5,000) people to train for Toyota,” he said. “Randolph Community College is at the forefront of transforming our community. We’re excited about that.”

In January, RCC was named Business of the Year by the Asheboro/Randolph Chamber of Commerce at its annual meeting and awards dinner.

By Bob Sutton