The Board of Trustees of Black River Technical College has named Dr. Eric Turner as BRTC’s next president. Turner is currently serving as Dean of Adult Education at Williams Baptist College in Walnut Ridge. The announcement was made by Chair Sue Gibson at the conclusion of June 12th’s Board meeting.
From a pool of 26 applicants, the field was narrowed to six semi-finalists who were each interviewed via Skype. Turner and Dr. Dennis Rittle, Provost and VP of Learning at Ozarka College in Melbourne, were named as finalists and came to the Pocahontas campus earlier this week to give presentations, tour the campus and meet 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 has served as Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, Director of Development and, from 2003-2012, Vice President of Institutional Advancement before being named Dean of Adult Education in 2012. He earned a baccalaureate degree in History from Williams Baptist College, a Master of Arts degree in History from Arkansas State University, and the 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.