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Posted on Mon, Sep 27, 2010 : 4:42 p.m.

Washtenaw Community College President Larry Whitworth: The time is right to retire

By David Jesse

Washtenaw Community College President Larry Whitworth is expected to submit his resignation at Tuesday's Board of Trustees meeting, ending a 12-year career leading the growing college.

"The whole idea of submitting my letter (Tuesday) is to let the board start the process of hiring a search firm and finding the next president," Whitworth said. "I've been talking to them for some time about this. The goal is to have an orderly process and transition."

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WCC President Larry Whitworth

Whitworth will stay in his position until the end of the academic year, college officials said.

“He has been a remarkable visionary for the college, a steadfast advocate for students and a respected community leader,” college spokeswoman Janet Hawkins said this afternoon.

Whitworth said that after being in an administrative position in various colleges since 1967, he's looking forward to returning to the classroom somewhere, giving himself some more flexibility.

"I was thinking about retirement last year, but we had a change in our vice president for instruction, so I thought I should stay on," Whitworth said.

He also said it's a good time for making the transition.

"We are completing the final renovation of the last building on campus. When that's done, every building will have been renovated in the last 10 years. We're in reasonably good financial shape. We have an outstanding faculty."

Also on the agenda for the 4 p.m. meeting is establishing a search process.

According to documents included in the board packet for Tuesday's meeting, the board plans to accept Whitworth’s resignation, adopt the search process, form a presidential search advisory committee and possibly hire a search consultant.

The advisory committee will consist of faculty, staff, students and community supporters. It will be used to work with the consultant to recruit and screen candidates.

The board also plans to hold an open forum on the position in October.

The timeline included in the board packet calls for the advisory committee to present the board with a list of all the candidates and six to eight recommendations in January.

The board would then develop a list of finalists in January and February and conduct public interviews in hopes of making a selection in March.

Whitworth earns $206,308 in base salary.

David Jesse covers higher education for He can be reached at or at 734-623-2534.


Chip Reed

Mon, Oct 4, 2010 : 7:06 a.m.

I thought that WCC stood for Washtenaw Conference Center now. Read some of the rude remarks from the President in the Washtenaw Voice. Larry didn't put WCC on the map, Morris Lawrence (who was worked to an early grave) did.


Tue, Sep 28, 2010 : 7:56 a.m.

So,, what does a retired Community College president making $206,308 in base salary, cost the taxpayers when he retires? What is the "rest of the story?".


Mon, Sep 27, 2010 : 10:36 p.m.

Man, he was making some coin. Put me on the short list for this gig.


Mon, Sep 27, 2010 : 5:54 p.m.

These days the "time to retire" is when you can collect more money with a pension than your salary. Why work? If you call waiting 4 years to get into a degree program doing a "good job" then WCC is doing a "good job". While waiting WCC requires you be an active student to maintain your place in that 4 year line. If charging $78.00 a credit hour while providing "free" classes for affluent government retirees is doing a "good job" then WCC is doing a "good job". What is that job again? Is it even possible that any government employee would ever be considered to not have done a "good job"?

David Jesse

Mon, Sep 27, 2010 : 5:21 p.m.

An earlier version of the story identified college spokeswoman Janet Hawkins. In this version, the first identifier was dropped. I've restored that identificaiton.

Mr Go

Mon, Sep 27, 2010 : 5:13 p.m.

I attended WCC. I thought at the time that a corner of the Morris Lawrence blding could have been fixed up with some barbells etc. I have looked around online at community colleges across the US, it seems they have gone on ahead with new programs and bear little resemblance to WCC. For instance the Health Care programs.. Why does it seem WCC steers students toward EMU?? Why does WCC resemble EMU so much?? Lotta maintenance expenses, does anyone really care for WCC's library addition or feel it is a good layout? It is has the most live sound of any library I've been to. That building is a collosal waste of space and great example of myopic design/poor layout.. Makes you wonder who's been approving/improving/ all this time- Is Mr Whitworth a Republican? What a behind the curve Community College, and right near Ann Arbor, Doesn't anyone around here care? How bout that near purchase of the country club? Drug test much?!

Peter Eckstein

Mon, Sep 27, 2010 : 5:04 p.m.

Isn't it a cardinal principle of journalism that you don't mention someone--in this case "Hawkins"--without telling the reader who he is?


Mon, Sep 27, 2010 : 3:56 p.m.

I would guess Larry Whitworth will say that he is leaving to spend more time with his family. This is conjecture, Im sure he could say he was retiring for Health reasons. Will probability talk about what a honor it was to serve? Maybe talk about all the great help he has had from all the great people? Then maybe Washtenaw Community College Board will thank him for his great service? Then they will start a serch for a new President who wants to spend less time with his family.


Mon, Sep 27, 2010 : 3:47 p.m.

Larry has done a great job keeping WCC ahead of the curve. No catchup for him. When the economy crashed and the WCC enrollment started to climb, they were in good shape. Plus the Fitness Center is the best in this area.


Mon, Sep 27, 2010 : 2:29 p.m.

As a recent graduate of WCC, I can say that I am proud to have had Larry Whitworth as the President of my incredible community college. We will certainly miss you and wish you all the best, Larry!