ROCK HILL — The State Board of Community Colleges voted unanimously today to hire James “Jimmie” C. Williamson ’80, ’85 as the eighth system president for North Carolina Community Colleges.
Williamson, the current president and CEO of the S.C. Technical College System, will begin his new role on July 1.
Jerry Vaughn, chair of the Presidential Search Committee, noted that Williamson’s “experience brings together business, education as well as workforce and economic development.”
“We couldn’t be more pleased that he will be bringing his considerable talents to North Carolina and to our system,” added Vaugh.
Williamson’s two years as the S.C. Technical College System president have included working with South Carolina university partners to smooth transfer pathways, chairing a special Senate proviso committee to develop a comprehensive workforce development strategy to narrow the skills gap and working with companies such as Volvo, Michelin, Continental, BMW and more on industry-specific worker training. In addition, Williamson has been at the helm of South Carolina’s nationally recognized apprenticeship program, and he was named State Employee of The Year by the South Carolina Association of Regional Councils in 2015.
The Cheraw, South Carolina, resident has 27 years of experience in higher education in South Carolina, including 20 years in the S.C. Technical College System. He worked previously at Agapé Senior as chief human capital officer and as president of Northeastern Technical College in Cheraw and Williamsburg Technical College in Kingstree, South Carolina.
Williamson holds a bachelor’s degree in visual arts and a M.Ed. from Winthrop as well as a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina. He has served as a member of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees as well as the Alumni Association Executive Board, and he received a Professional Achievement Award as well as the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award from the university. In 2012, Williamson and his wife, Kimberly Dickens Williamson ’82, established the James C. and Kimberly Dickens Williamson Leadership Award to support Winthrop upperclassmen who demonstrate leadership through extracurricular activities.
A native of Hartsville, South Carolina, Williamson also has a long history of community service. He served as District Governor of Rotary District 7770 in 2014-15 and has served as a board member of the S.C. Chamber of Commerce and as a member of various economic development boards. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees of Chesterfield County School Board. Williamson and his wife, who have two sons, live in Cheraw.
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