New president named at Southwestern Community College

At a special called meeting on Tuesday, May 24, the Southwestern Community College Board of Trustees confirmed the selection of Dr. Donald Tomas of Aledo, Texas, as the college’s sixth president. His appointment was approved by the State Board of Community Colleges on May 20.

Tomas, who will assume the role of president on July 1, replaces Richard Collings, who served in the top slot at SCC for just six months before resigning suddenly. Collings, who replaced SCC President Cecil Groves after his retirement, suffered a stroke after coming to North Carolina to start his new job.

Introducing Tomas to staff and faculty during a campus-wide meeting Tuesday, SCC Board of Trustees chairman Conrad Burrell said, “The Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Tomas. His background and community college experience will be a good fit for our college and the communities it serves. We feel he has the knowledge and skills to move our college forward to the next level and ensure we complete our mission of providing a quality, affordable education to the citizens of western North Carolina. We are looking forward to working with him.”

Upon accepting the position, Tomas said, “What an honor and privilege to be appointed the next president of Southwestern Community College. I am excited for the opportunity to work together as a team to support the continued success of SCC’s students. I look forward to working with the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, the community and most importantly our STUDENTS to uphold the standards of the past while growing progressively into the future.”

Tomas, who currently serves as Vice President of Instruction at Weatherford College in Weatherford, Texas, told SCC faculty and staff that “this is a great opportunity not for me, but for us. Southwestern has a great foundation of major accomplishments, especially being ranked a Top 10 USA Community College.”

Having served on Southern Association of College and Schools accreditation teams, Tomas congratulated Southwestern on its well-known reputation.

Tomas said his role will be one of a “servant leader” with focus on creating an atmosphere of innovation and success.

“I look forward to working with you for continuous quality improvement,” he said.

An experienced educator, Tomas has an Ed.D. in Education/Higher Education Administration from Grambling State University, a M.A. in Developmental Physical Education from Texas State Woman’s University and a B. S. in Physical Education and Adapted Physical Education from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.

Weatherford College, where he currently serves, is a comprehensive two-year community college serving more than 202,430 residents of a rural four-county region. His previous positions include Chief Administrative Officer for the Southwest Texas Junior College – Del Rio in Del Rio, Texas, and Associate Dean of Instructional Services at Southwest Texas Junior College.

Tomas introduced his wife, Allison, to SCC faculty and staff during the meeting. Married for 28 years, they are the parents of three adult daughters.