Senior Leadership Team
Laura B. Leatherwood, Ed.D.
Dr. Laura B. Leatherwood was named the College’s fourth president in July 2017.
Prior to being named president at Blue Ridge Community College, she served for 17 years in various roles at Haywood Community College including vice president of student and workforce development, executive director of Haywood Community College Foundation, and director of institutional advancement.
Dr. Leatherwood holds a doctorate degree in university and community college leadership, a master’s degree in human resource development, and a bachelor’s degree in business law, all from Western Carolina University.
Vice President for Instruction
Ms. Allen joined Blue Ridge in 2004 and serves as the College's chief academic officer.
Before being named Vice President in 2018, she served as Dean for Business and Service Careers and Early Childhood Instructor. Ms. Allen holds a holds a bachelor's degree from Appalachian State University and a master's degree from Arcadia University.
Chris English, Ed.D.
Vice President for Economic and Workforce Development / Continuing Education
Dr. English joined Blue Ridge in 2000. Prior to being named Vice President in July 2019, he served as Interim Vice President, Dean for Advanced Technologies, and Automotive Systems Technology Instructor.s. He is responsible for NCWorks Centers, Work-Based Learning, Small Business Center, Corporate & Customized Training, Occupational Training, Law Enforcement, Emergency Services, Environmental Health and Safety Institute, and Personal Enrichment. He also oversees the Advanced Technologies curriculum programs.
Dr. English holds an associate degree from Greenville Technical College, a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania College of Technology, a master’s degree from New Mexico State University, and a doctorate degree from Western Carolina University.
Vice President for Student Services
Ms. Bunch joined Blue Ridge in 1998 and has held various roles in Student Services. She was named Vice President in May 2018 and is responsible for counseling, student activities, registrar, financial aid, and enrollment management. She previously served as the Registrar.
Bunch holds an associate degree from Blue Ridge Community College, a bachelor's degree from Mars Hill University, and a master's degree from Western Carolina University.
R. Chad Merrill, Ed.D.
Vice President for General Administration
Dr. Merrill joined Blue Ridge in 1996 and is responsible for human resources; facilities and plant operations; police and public safety; information technologies; and planning, research, and institutional effectiveness.
Prior to his current position, he served as Cooperative Education Director, Dean for Transylvania Programs, and Chief of Staff.
Merrill holds a bachelor's degree from University of North Carolina at Asheville and master's and doctorate degrees from Western Carolina University.
Vice President for Advancement
Ms. Adkins joined Blue Ridge in September 2019.
Prior to Blue Ridge, she worked as the Executive Director at the Buncombe County Schools Foundation in Asheville; a role she started in 2010. Prior to this, she worked as the Director of Marketing and Financial Development for the YMCA of Western North Carolina from 2004-2007. She’s also worked as the Corporate and Major Gifts Officer for the Pardee Hospital Foundation in Hendersonville; Director of Development at the Indiana Humanities Council in Indianapolis; and Development Director for Ballet Internationale in Indianapolis.
Ms. Adkins received her Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from Texas A&M University, a Certificate in Fund Raising Management (CFRM) from the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and is currently earning her Master of Liberal Studies from East Tennessee State University.
Associate Vice President for Technology/CIO
Mr. Young joined Blue Ridge Community College as the Director of Information Technology in 2010 and assumed the role of Associate Vice President for Technology / CIO in October 2016. Currently he is a full-time Information Technology instructor and continues to serve as CIO. Prior to serving at Blue Ridge Community College, Mr. Young worked in the federal government and in various technical roles at a software company for six years.
Mr. Young has a bachelor's degree in computer science from SUNY at Buffalo and a master's degree in information systems management from Carnegie Mellon University. He has also completed the Vision Henderson County and North Carolina Community College Leadership programs.
Carolyn W. Alley
Associate Vice President for Finance/CFO
Ms. Alley joined Blue Ridge Community College in 2004 and currently serves as Associate Vice President for Finance/CFO primarily responsible for the fiscal resources of the College and oversees business and auxiliary services.
Before being named Associate Vice President for Finance/CFO, she served as Purchasing Technician and Director of Administrative Services at Blue Ridge Community College. Ms. Alley also worked in local government and the private sector in various accounting, emergency services, and computer programming roles.
Ms. Alley holds a bachelor's degree in computer science with a minor in financial accounting from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and a master's degree in business administration from Western Carolina University. She is a graduate of the North Carolina Community College Leadership Program.
Glenda H. McCarson
Associate Vice President for Transylvania County Campus
Ms. McCarson was named Associate Vice President in July 2015. She manages all functions pertaining to the Transylvania County Campus including development and coordination of instructional programs and personnel, student and administrative services, business and administrative services, and facility management.
McCarson earned her bachelor's degree from Montreat College and a master's degree in Educational Administration of Community Colleges from Western Carolina University. She is a graduate of the North Carolina Community College Leadership Program.