East Central Community College President Dr. Billy Stewart today announced his retirement effective July 1, 2020.
The announcement was made at the monthly Board of Trustees meeting on the Decatur campus.
Stewart was announced as the college’s eighth president on March 22, 2012. At East Central, Stewart initiated a strategic planning process to shape and guide the future of the institution. As a result, 2020 Vision was adopted in February 2013 and included a long-term desire to be nationally recognized and locally preferred while meeting the educational and training needs of all residents of the college district.
“When the East Central Community College Board of Trustees selected me as the college’s eighth president, I received the greatest professional honor in my 30-year career in education,” said Stewart. “I believe as a result of the 2020 Vision The Lord gave us as an institution in February of 2013, the foundation that was laid by all of those who came before, and the tireless work of the entire college family, we have achieved remarkable results as an institution. In many ways, that vision will have been realized by the end of next year.
“I will treasure the continuing friendship and support of so many exceptional colleagues and students at ECCC. Working closely with all members of the ECCC family has been one of the greatest joys of my professional career. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to have been a member of the ECCC family and for the profound privilege of serving this college as its president.”
Chair of the ECCC Board of Trustees Dr. Jimmy Hollingsworth said a search committee consisting of board members has been formed and he hopes a position opening announcement for the next president will be released in the next few days. The Search Committee will accept applications through Dec. 31, 2019. The committee will review applications in January, conduct interviews in February, and tentatively name a new president at the March 2020 Board of Trustees meeting.
A native of Pearl, Stewart earned his bachelor’s degree in history and his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, both from the University of Southern Mississippi, and his doctorate in higher education administration from Mississippi State University.
Prior to assuming the presidency at ECCC, he served as vice president for finance and administration at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Stewart has also worked as dean of community services and dean of the Simpson County Center for Copiah-Lincoln Community College. To date, he has served almost 30 years in various teaching and administrative positions in all levels of education in the state of Mississippi.