MONROE —The board of trustees of South Piedmont Community College has unanimously selected Dr. Maria A. Pharr as the new president of the college, contingent on state board approval.
Pharr has extensive experience in a variety of roles at community colleges, including faculty, staff and administration, as well as state-level positions. She currently serves as executive director of BioNetwork and Life Science Initiatives, a statewide workforce development program within the North Carolina Community College System that supports the bioscience industry sector.
In her remarks to SPCC faculty and staff during a meet-and-greet event last week, Pharr said she was seeking an opportunity “to create positive and meaningful change in a community that I could call home,” and that she was looking forward to helping the college seize opportunities and “leading it to becoming the integral partner it should be in economic and workforce development, community and cultural engagement and in service to the entire region.”
Pharr will begin work in her new role on Jan. 2.
Prior to her position with the NCCCS, Pharr was the Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs at Pitt Community College in Greenville. She also served in a number of roles at Craven Community College (in New Bern), including as a biology instructor, department chair, director of planning and assessment, and then dean of Liberal Arts and University Transfer. Pharr began her professional career as a field chemist with the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Pharr holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from St. Andrews University and earned her master of arts in science education and doctor of education in higher education administration from East Carolina University.
Pharr succeeds Dr. Jerry McGee, who has served as interim president of the college since March. Dr. Stan Sidor, who served as SPCC president beginning in 2011, accepted the same position at a community college in Florida in January.