Trustees for the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics have tapped Kevin Baxter to serve as the vice chancellor and chief campus officer for the school's Morganton campus.
Baxter has previously served the school as director of western campus planning and project management, and his new appointment marks a significant milestone as the construction project matures into a full campus program.
“I am honored to take on this new leadership role at NCSSM-Morganton, and I want to thank the people of this region who have embraced us with open arms from the very beginning,” Baxter said. “Not only are we poised to bring the promise of NCSSM to hundreds more students each year, but we are also bringing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to western North Carolina.”
“Kevin has the vision, leadership experience, and proven commitment to NCSSM-Morganton that we were seeking in the vice chancellor and chief campus officer role. I am thrilled with this decision,” said Mark Morgan, chairman of the school's board of trustees. “He embodies NCSSM’s values and has a keen understanding of what makes our institution special — empowering students, spurring innovation and enriching the communities that surround our campuses.”
The school also announced the posting of several new faculty and staff positions that are critical to starting operations at the new campus, which will open in 2021 and enroll its first class in 2022.
The school will offer a no-cost, world-class education for the state’s most academically talented high school students. It also will be the only campus of the University of North Carolina System in the Unifour region.
Along with Baxter's promotion comes the start of the staff hiring process. The school expects to fill 14 positions this fiscal year and grow to an eventual workforce of nearly 100 over the next three years.
“NCSSM is well-known nationally and internationally as a world-class teaching institution, and we are eager to attract a diverse and talented team of professionals for our emerging state-of-the-art campus in Morganton,” said the school's chancellor, Todd Roberts. “Kevin and the growing NCSSM-Morganton team will amplify our mission to bring transformative results not only for our student body but also for our entire state and its citizens.”
The state has demonstrated its commitment to construction of the the school through appropriations totaling $73 million. The school also continues to raise a significant amount of private dollars. To date, the NCSSM Foundation has recorded more than 200 gifts that total nearly $10 million for the emerging campus in Morganton, including a $5 million gift from Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge.
“We are delighted to see the daily progress of the new campus in Morganton,” said Kathy C. Bailey, the hospital's president and CEO and the immediate past chairwoman of the Burke County Chamber of Commerce. “The school will bring new families and jobs to the area which will enhance the quality of life for those in our community.”
The Morganton campus promises academically-talented students from North Carolina the opportunity to study advanced classes with top instructors and mentors in science, technology, engineering and math. The new campus will provide living and learning space for 300 juniors and seniors and increase distance education and summer learning opportunities for many more, extending the school’s academic programs beyond its original home in Durham. The school is the only high school among the 17 campuses of the UNC System and, when the Morganton campus is complete, it will be the first program of its kind anywhere with two physical locations.
For information about the development of the school, including the capital campaign and forthcoming job postings, visit ncssm.edu/morgantoncampus.
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