LBW not merging — for now

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Charles Stringer purchases a book at the LBW store. File photo

Charles Stringer purchases a book at the LBW store.
File photo

Community colleges in two neighboring communities are poised to be merged, but for now, the mergers won’t affect LBW Community College.

The Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees, appointed last spring by Gov. Robert Bentley, has the discussion of three mergers on their work session for Thursday afternoon. Those include:

•Jefferson Davis (Brewton and Atmore) and Faulkner State (Bay Minette, Gulf Shores and Fairhope) community colleges.

• Alabama Southern (Monroeville, Thomasville, Gilbertown and Jackson) and Reid State (Evergreen ) community colleges.

• Central Alabama (Alexander City and Childersburg), Southern Union State (Wadley and Opelika) and Chattahoochee Valley (Phenix City) community colleges.

LBW president Dr. Herb Riedel said Tuesday he has no additional information about mergers, including speculation that there are more mergers in the works.

“As far as any effect on LBW, I do not believe there will be any significant impact on LBW from the currently proposed mergers,” Riedel said.

JDCC Interim President Dr. William “Bill” Blow couldn’t comment on the merger Monday.

“I think it would be premature to comment until after the meeting,” Blow said. “The agenda is out and typically the chancellor will now seek permission to begin the planning phase.”

The board is expected to approve a resolution to do just that, which would also allow for notification of its decision to the Alabama Commission on Higher Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The ACCS work session agenda describes the merger as an action item for the Dec. 10 meeting.

In the 2015 session, the Alabama legislature created the new board of trustees to govern two-year colleges. Language in the bill state the changes would allow the system to focus more on workforce development.

The board includes a representative from each congressional district. Ron Fantroy, a plant manager at Shaw Industries Group, represents the 2nd Congressional District on the board.