ECC President to Retire
Dr. Deborah L. Lamm, president of Edgecombe Community College for 14 years, has announced plans to retire in May.
A 39-year veteran of the North Carolina Community College System, she began her current post as president of Edgecombe Community College in 2004.
“My tenure as president of Edgecombe is the hallmark of my 39 years of service in the North Carolina Community College System,” she says. “From the moment of my appointment and first day on the job in November 2004, I have considered the position a ‘calling.’”
Dr. Lamm has established pioneering programs and unique partnerships at ECC, improving the standard and level of effectiveness of higher education in Edgecombe County.
She designed and developed the EDGE Scholarship Program, a three-year pilot program which fully funds the education of qualified students. Students are tracked to study successful retention and completion strategies.
She provided leadership for career preparedness initiatives, creating opportunities for all students to obtain Certificates of Career Readiness, thereby demonstrating workforce preparedness. Because of her efforts, ECC received the North Carolina ACT Career Preparedness Award and the National ACT Career Preparedness Award in 2013.
Dr. Lamm led the design and construction of the Biotechnology and Medical Simulation Center, which opened on the Rocky Mount campus in January 2016. The facility’s innovative approach to healthcare education through the use of patient simulators in a simulated hospital environment is unique among community colleges in Eastern North Carolina.
In 2007, she secured a $100,000 gift to the ECC Foundation from Keihin Carolina System Technology to endow a faculty chair. Named the Keihin Endowed Faculty Chair, it rewards excellence in teaching. At the time it was established, the Keihin Chair was one of just several endowed faculty chairs at NC community colleges.
“For the past 14 years, under the leadership of Dr. Lamm, Edgecombe Community College has experienced unparalleled growth in programs and facilities on both our Tarboro and Rocky Mount campuses,” says Dr. Jerry Price, chair of the ECC Board of Trustees.
“Since her arrival, our College has constructed three new buildings and recently broke ground for a fourth, the Center for Innovation, on our Tarboro campus.”
Other accomplishments under her watch include the:
- Design and implementation of a Global Education Program, including study abroad, internationalization of the curricula, and partnerships with international schools in China and Finland;
- Creation of a wetlands study area on the Tarboro campus;
- Establishment of Student Success Centers on each campus; and
- Expansion of the College’s Distance Learning Program.
A national leader in higher education, Dr. Lamm received the 2017 Southern Regional Chief Executive Officer Award from the Association of Community College Trustees.
On the state level, she served as president of the NC Association of Community College Presidents for the 2016-2017 term. Additional state offices include past president of the Eastern Presidents’ Association and past chair of the Legislative Committee of the Presidents’ Association.
Prior to joining ECC, Dr. Lamm served as vice president of curriculum instruction at Southeastern Community College in Whiteville, a position she had held since 2001. For 21 years prior, she worked at Lenoir Community College in Kinston, where her appointments included dean of Arts and Sciences; director of Arts, Sciences, and Learning Assistance Programs; and English department chair and instructor.
Dr. Lamm holds an Ed.D. degree in higher education administration from North Carolina State University, a master’s degree in English education from East Carolina University, and a bachelor’s degree in English and psychology from UNC-Greensboro. She earned both of her graduate degrees while working full time, attending evening and weekend classes.
In 2007, Dr. Lamm was named one of 100 Incredible Women by East Carolina University. In 2011, she received the I.E. Ready Distinguished Leader Award from NC State University’s College of Education; and in 2015, she received the Eastern Council’s Boy Scouts of America’s Distinguished Citizen Award.
Locally, she serves on the board of directors of the Tarboro Edgecombe Chamber of Commerce and on the executive committee of the Carolinas Gateway Partnership Board of Directors.
Dr. Lamm is a member of the Edgecombe County Chapter of the NC Symphony, the Finance Committee of Howard Memorial Presbyterian Church, and the Tarboro Women’s Club. She is past president and current member of the Rotary Club of Tarboro.
A national search is under way for her replacement.