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Keen announces plans to retire from role at FTCC

By Staff Report, posted 4 months ago

Dr. Larry Keen, president of Fayetteville Technical Community College, announced his plans to retire today, effective Jan. 1 of next year. 

The recent announcement came during a monthly meeting of the college’s Board of Trustees. 

Keen has been the president of the school for nearly 15 years. 

“To say this is bittersweet would be an understatement,” Dr. Keen wrote in a letter to the trustees. He thanked the board “for the incredible opportunity” to have served as FTCC’s fourth president and said the College is financially secure, academically strong and dedicated to continuous improvement. 

But his work isn’t done yet, he said. "I'll be with you for another year," Keen told the board. "If anyone expects me to be a lame duck, they're expecting the wrong thing."

Chairman of the Board David Williford said, "It is with great sadness that we hear this news," Mr. Williford said. "We appreciate your knowledge and your leadership. We wish you the very best."

 In his letter, Keen  praised the variety of hardworking teams at FTCC  for “their respective passions, commitment to the community college philosophy and extreme dedication to our mission and purpose.” 

 And he noted that, during his time at FTCC, the College has successfully navigated two 10-year reaffirmations of its accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and one five-year review and has created its next five-year review. 

 The school has received two 10-year reaffirmations of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, as well as a five-year review. It has created its next five-year review.  “In addition, we have proven to be financially secure and well administered,” Keen said of the accreditations and review. “Finally, we are strong academically but never satisfied with the status quo due to our continuous quality efforts that have contributed to ongoing improvement.” 

 Some of the accomplishments that have taken place at the school under Keen’s leadership, according to the press release, include:

  • Focused service to military members, veterans and their families, including creation of a clear and data-driven process to grant college credit for the formal training that service members receive during their military service and opening of the All American Veterans Center on FTCC’s Fayetteville campus. 
  • Consistent recognition as a Top 10 Military Friendly school, Top Military Friendly Spouse school and Best for Vets school. 
  • Ongoing development of a state-of-the-art Fire and Rescue Training Center, including an indoor swift-water Rescue Training facility, that will serve the county, the region, the state and beyond. 
  • Partnership with seven other community colleges and three four-year institutions to create the Carolina Cyber Network, which will seek to fill the growing and critical need for cybersecurity personnel through coordinated training programs at each partner institution. 
  • An early commitment to ensuring the ability to provide education online. This preparation enabled FTCC to move swiftly to online delivery of services when the COVID-19 pandemic began. 
  • A strong relationship with elected and civic leaders at the local, regional, state and national levels.”

 In his time at the school, Keen has put great efforts toward revamping technical programs and supporting economic and workforce development. Previously, Dr. Keen served as the vice president of Economic and Workforce Development for the North Carolina Community College System for five years. He also previously served as the business and industry development manager for the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. 

Dr. Keen said he will be “forever grateful” to the FTCC trustees and board chairs that he has worked alongside in his time at the college. “You have led with grace, expertise from a variety of perspectives and with not just your intellect but your hearts and compassionate understanding and support as well,” he wrote. 



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