Fla. administrator to head BCCC

Chicago native, 52, will be the first female president in the community college's history


Baltimore City Community College's board of trustees announced yesterday that it has appointed a new president, two years after the school's previous leader departed.

When Carolane Williams begins her tenure July 8, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., college administrator will be the school's first female president since its founding in 1947. Williams was chosen over two other finalists after a search that began in November.

Williams, 52, is a Chicago native who earned her first academic degree from the former Olive-Harvey Junior College there, a two-year institution similar to BCCC that launched her educational career.

"I know the different purposes that a community college can serve," Williams said yesterday. "Community colleges can get labeled as last chance, but they also serve high-achieving students who, through economic or other reasons, need to be closer to home."

Williams earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Chicago State University, a master's degree in management from what is now Troy University in Alabama, and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Texas.

Williams is currently provost of Broward Community College's North Campus in Fort Lauderdale, a branch that serves 10,000 students, she said.

As president of the Baltimore college, Williams will oversee the education of 20,000 students on two main campuses and 80 off-campus instructional sites, said college spokesman Herbert C. Sledge Jr.

Williams said she hopes to make the school a key player in city issues.

"The college should be integral to the city's work force and economic development efforts," Williams said.

Williams will replace Richard M. Turner III, who has served as interim president since Aug. 2, 2004. Turner "pledged to continue to serve the college to ensure a smooth transition to new leadership," according to a news release issued by the college.

"The board of trustees and I are grateful to Dr. Turner for the excellent contributions that he has made to the institution," board Chairman Garland O. Williamson said in a statement.

The college's previous president, Sylvester E. McKay, resigned in May 2004 after a report by the Abell Foundation criticized the college's academic performance.

Williams said her friends have been joking about how she will miss the Florida weather when she's enduring Baltimore winters. But after growing up in Chicago and losing a house to a Florida hurricane in 1995, Williams said she will adjust fine.


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