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Leadership Team

Leadership Team

Welcome! Read about College of The Albemarle’s (COA) leadership team.

Dr. Jack Bagwell, President

President Dr. Jack BagwellDr. Jack Bagwell began his tenure as the 11th President of College of The Albemarle on December 2, 2019. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Winthrop University and his doctorate in educational studies with a specialization in educational leadership and higher education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to his earned degrees, Dr. Bagwell has participated in the Executive Leadership Institute offered through the League for Innovation in Community Colleges and the South Carolina Technical College System’s Leadership Academy.

Bagwell’s career in community colleges began over 33 years ago at York Technical College in South Carolina, where he served 23 years in various roles, including biology instructor, instructional specialist, dean of learning resources, culminating in associate vice president of academic affairs and interim vice president for development. He transitioned to Piedmont Technical College (PTC) in South Carolina, serving from 2014 until he accepted the position at COA. He served as vice president of academic affairs during his tenure at PTC.

Dr. Bagwell developed expertise in accreditation-related issues during his career by serving on many Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accreditation committees. He has also worked in his local communities by serving on committees and taskforces, primarily focusing on education, quality of life, and economic development issues. Dr. Bagwell is an ex-officio board member on the Elizabeth City Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County Economic Development Commission, and the Edenton-Chowan Partnership. Dr. Bagwell also serves on the College of The Albemarle Foundation Board and is an Elizabeth City Rotary Club member. In addition to his community-based service, Dr. Bagwell is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Coastal Studies Institute, a multi-institutional research partnership located in Wanchese, NC.

President’s Leadership Team

Information on the Vice President, Learning will be available soon.

Dr. Dean Roughton

Dr. Roughton has worked in higher education for more than two decades and has been employed with COA since 2006. First hired as an EnglishDr. Dean Roughton instructor, Dr. Roughton has also served as a department chair, division chair, and most recently as Dean, Arts and Sciences for the past six years. In his new role, Dr. Roughton will oversee the College’s research and data division, as well as the information technology department. His duties will include conducting evaluations of the effectiveness of all campus programs and departments and overseeing college-wide strategic planning and assessment. He will also serve as the College’s liaison to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the College’s regional accreditation agency.

Dr. Roughton earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Community College Leadership from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA; a Master of Arts in English from North Carolina State University in Raleigh; and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. In addition to degrees earned, Dr. Roughton completed the North Carolina Community College System Leadership Program in 2014 and was named a Fulbright Scholar by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in 2018.

Kris Burris

Kris Burris joined COA in 2020.

Ms. Burris joins COA with a significant background in the South Carolina Technical College System. Previously, she served in a number of positions atKris Burris Piedmont Technical College in Greenwood, South Carolina including adjunct instructor, Director of Student Support Services programs and Director of Dual Enrollment. In her vice president role at COA, Ms. Burris will provide leadership and oversight for admissions and financial aid, student recruitment and engagement, student life and leadership, enrollment services, advising, career services and secondary education.

Ms. Burris earned an educational specialist degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Converse College, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Wofford College, and an Associate in Science from Spartanburg Methodist College. She is presently seeking a graduate certificate in Higher Education Leadership from the University of South Carolina.

James Davison

James (Jim) Davison joined COA in 2020.

Jim DavisonJim has been in education for the last 8 years, starting as the Director of Maintenance for Perquimans County Public Schools. He has over 15 years of project management experience and over 30 years of maintenance experience. Jim served in the US Navy from 1989 until 2001 as an engineer. He is a certified Facilities Engineering Manager along with other certifications dealing with Project Management, Safety, and Maintenance. Currently, Jim is the State of North Carolina Capital Projects Manager for the College.

He has held the position of Professional Firefighter for the City of Suffolk, Virginia, Facility Manager and Safety Director for a large casino/resort in the midwest, Director of Maintenance, Construction and Custodial Services for Perquimans County Schools, Director of Maintenance for the College and now the Chief Operations Officer.

Information on the Executive Director, Foundation will be available soon.

Ella Fields Bunch

Ella Fields Bunch joined COA in 2019.

Ella Fields Bunch serves as COA’s Director of Human Resources. She was formerly an adjunct professor for Beaufort County Community College for five years, teaching on the main campus and on the campus of Mattamuskeet Schools. Prior to her higher education experience, Mrs. Bunch worked for North Carolina K-12 Public Schools for the past 20 years in progressively responsible positions within the Human Resources Department serving as Chief Human Resource Officer, Human Resources Director and Personnel Administrator. Early in Ms. Bunch’s career, she worked for 10+ years with the North Carolina Public Health System and private hospitals as a Health Education Coordinator.

Ms. Bunch is responsible for providing strategic leadership and direction for the college’s human resource management function including planning, integrating, and implementing human resource programs and policies, and talent and leadership development. Her office handles the day-to-day management and strategic planning and initiatives of key human resource functions, including employee recruitment, benefits, position classification, compensation, employee relations, training and development and HR information systems.

Ms. Bunch earned her masters of science in administration from Central Michigan University located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan and a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in School Health from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.

Timothy Sweeney

Tim Sweeney serves as dean at COA – Dare.

Mr. Sweeney graduated from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Health Science and a Master of Administration and Supervision.

He previously served as the Director of College and Career Readiness at COA. He has been with COA since 2011 after a 36-year career as a high school principal in Newport News, Virginia.

He and his wife Claudia have two children and five grandchildren. They reside in Southern Shores, North Carolina.

Academic Deans