June 18, 2014 Edition

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Turner named next BRTC president

The Board of Trustees of Black River Technical College has named Dr. Eric Turner as BRTC's next president. The announcement was made on Thursday by chair Sue Gibson.

Turner is currently serving as dean of adult education at Williams Baptist College in Walnut Ridge.

From a pool of 26 applicants, the field was narrowed down to six semi-finalists who were each interviewed via Skype. Turner and Dr. Dennis Rittle, provost and vice president of learning at Ozarka College in Melbourne, were named finalists. Both candidates gave their presentations last week, toured the campus and met with faculty and staff.

"We are very excited to have Eric joining the BRTC family as the new president," said Gibson. "We had two excellent candidates, which made the decision a difficult one, but we feel that we have chosen the best fit for the college and the community."

Turner has been with WBC since 1997 where he served as director of annual giving and alumni relations, director of development and was vice president of institutional advancement from 2003 to 2012, prior to being named dean of adult education in 2012.

He earned a baccalaureate degree in history from Williams, a Master of Arts degree in history from Arkansas State University and a doctorate of education in higher education administration from Vanderbilt University's Peabody College.

A Randolph County native, Turner is actively involved in the Pocahontas Rotary Club and is a member of First Baptist Church in Pocahontas. He and his wife, Barbara, reside in Pocahontas with their daughter, Emma, who attends St. Paul's Elementary.

"Barbara, Emma and I are humbled by the confidence placed in us, and we look forward to joining the BRTC family," said Turner.

"The opportunity to serve my hometown region in this capacity is highly meaningful to me and my family. We are honored and excited to be partnering with the college and the community as a whole."

Turner will be the third president of BRTC following Dr. Wayne Hatcher whose contract ends June 30 after serving three years. Hatcher replaced long-time president Richard Gaines upon his retirement in 2011.

Turner's begin date will be announced at a later time.

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