Dr. Kevin Eaton announced his desire to transition from his office of President of Weatherford College during the WC Board of Trustees meeting Thursday afternoon.
Eaton has served as WC President since 2009.
“I am proud of what the college and the board have accomplished over the past eight years, and I believe the community is as well,” Eaton said. “However, as with everything in life, things change. Change is often a positive for an organization, and I am confident that will be the case for Weatherford College. Therefore, I would like to announce that I will work with the board to develop a mutually acceptable agreement and timeframe to allow me to transition from my current position as president, to a position that will allow me to continue to serve this storied institution. After eight years as president it is time for someone new, with fresh eyes and creative ideas to lead this college forward.”
During his announcement, Eaton called to mind the state of the college eight years ago which included several lawsuits, Title IX issues, an approaching SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) accreditation visit, a campus in need of renovation and repair, and other challenges.
“There were many who wondered if it would be possible for the college to overcome all of these issues,” he said, “but with the board’s guidance and support, we worked together to resolve them.”
The lawsuits were resolved in the first six months of Eaton’s time as president and the college resolved the Title IX investigation by adding a softball program. The college went on to have one of the most successful SACS accreditation visits in school history, Eaton said.
In the following years, the college invested more than $23 million on improving campus infrastructure without asking the Parker County taxpayers for a bond issue. These improvements included a 40,000-square-foot academic building, a 31,000-square-foot health science building, a softball facility and multiple building renovations. Additionally, parking was increased and water wells were added to reduce the college’s dependency on city water.
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Eaton came to WC in January 2003 as the Tech Prep Director. He was selected as Weatherford College’s Interim President in July 2009, and took on the role permanently on Jan. 1, 2010. Following his annual review in December 2016, the board extended his contract to Dec. 21, 2019. In other business:
- Board member Dr. Luke Haynes and board chairman Frank Martin said their goodbyes as their terms come to an end.
“I have had a blast over the past six years,” Haynes said. “I knew not much more than what a student knows coming in to serve on the board, and I have learned more about what happens at a public college. It has been an eye-opening experience and one that I will cherish.”
Martin followed, saying it was an honor to serve the taxpayers and the college.
“I made a ton of friends,” he said. “This group of people up here are some of the finest educators in the world. The main thing to remember is the only reason the college exists is to improve people’s lives. And through that we help these people and these students and we protect the public resources as we have. It’s been fun, and life is as it should be.”
- Three newly-elected members of the WC Board of Trustees will be sworn into office on Wednesday. Incumbent Judy McAnally and new board members Sue Coody and Lela Morris will take the oath of office during a 5 p.m. meeting on May 17 after a canvassing of the votes. McAnally, Coody and Morris won terms in a county-wide election held Saturday.
- The board approved the minutes of the April 10 and April 17 meetings.
- The board approved the financial report ending April 30.
- The board approved budget amendment No. 1 for the 2016-17 budget.
In his President’s Report, Eaton:
- Provided an early enrollment update. Currently, the head count for Summer I is up 38 percent year-over-year which translates to an increase of 400 students. Contact hours are also up 34 percent. Fall enrollment head count is currently up 23 percent year-over-year and contact hours are up 21 percent.
- Recognized Tonya Edwards, Director of the Respiratory Care Program, and her department for receiving the distinguished RRT Credentialing Success Award; Dr. Allison Stamatis and everyone who worked with her on the annual Earth Day celebration; and Professor Don Jacobs for organizing the Forensic Psychology Conference.
- Reported an employee notice of resignation from Jill Jumper, Physical Therapist Assistant program instructor.
- Provided an update on the Granbury campus expansion. Eaton and the college’s attorney have been working with Granbury ISD and their attorney to begin drafting an agreement that could be presented to the board as early as June 1.
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