Dr. Billy Stewart
Dr. Billy Stewart
East Central Community College President Dr. Billy Stewart has announced his plans to retire, effective July 1, 2020.

Stewart made the announcement at the monthly Board of Trustees meeting on the Decatur campus last week.

Stewart has served as the college’s eighth president since March of 2012. Chief among his accomplishments is Stewart’s strategic planning initiative, dubbed 2020 Vision, which was adopted in 2013 and has shaped and guided the last six years of growth and expansion for ECCC.

“When the East Central Community College Board of Trustees selected me as the college’s eighth president, I received the greatest professional honor in my 30-year career in education,” Stewart said at the meeting. “I believe as a result of the 2020 Vision, The Lord gave us as an institution in February of 2013, the foundation that was laid by all of those who came before and the tireless work of the entire college family, we have achieved remarkable results as an institution. In many ways, that vision will have been realized by the end of next year.

“I will treasure the continuing friendship and support of so many exceptional colleagues and students at ECCC. Working closely with all members of the ECCC family has been one of the greatest joys of my professional career. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to have been a member of the ECCC family and for the profound privilege of serving this college as its president.”

Jimmy Hollingsworth, chair of the ECCC Board of Trustees, said a search committee made up of board members will convene to select the next president. The search committee will accept applications through Dec. 31, 2019. Hollingsworth said the plan is to review applications in January, conduct interviews in February and, tentatively, name a new president at the March 2020 board meeting.

A native of Pearl, Stewart earned his bachelor’s degree in history and his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, both from the University of Southern Mississippi, and his doctorate in higher education administration from Mississippi State University.

Prior to assuming the presidency at ECCC, he served as vice president for finance and administration at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Stewart has also worked as dean of community services and dean of the Simpson County Center for Copiah-Lincoln Community College. 

To date, he has served almost 30 years in various teaching and administrative positions in all levels of education in the state of Mississippi.