CFCC President explains decision to retire

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - After more than 40 years in education and 18 years at Cape Fear Community College, President Eric McKeithan recently announced his retirement, saying 2012 is the perfect year to end his career.

"I tried to retire before," explained McKeithan. "I tried to retire in 2007, and that didn't work out so well."

This year, he says he hit a breaking point, but it wasn't because of an issue or argument. Rather, McKeithan says he wants to own 100 percent of his schedule and focus on family efforts.

Particularly, his children are in the final stages of launching their own business.

"So, it's kind of exciting to have that opportunity to watch my grown children go into some type of venture like that," he said.

Personal excitement aside, McKeithan admits the end of his career with CFCC hasn't been without a few bumps in the road as he recalls tense, recent board of trustees meetings.

"I was disappointed with the direction that they are taking with the Humanities ad Fine Arts building," he said. "I think the community is the loser there by not having a 1,500-seat hall."

Although McKeithan says he is passionate about all of the new building projects, he chose not to stay to see them through, and despite not seeing eye-to-eye with the board on some topics, he still has confidence in the team that's formed over the years.

"My expectation is, the next president coming in is going to inherit a good team," said McKeithan. "Going to do a lot of great things, and I don't see myself sitting back second guessing."

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