CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Higher Education Policy Commission looked close to home to find a new interim chancellor.

During a regularly-scheduled meeting, the commission named Sarah Armstrong Tucker, who is already chancellor of West Virginia’s community and technical college system.

That means Tucker will be wearing two hats temporarily.

She’ll be over both the four-year institutions and the community colleges.

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Mike Farrell

“Chancellor Tucker is uniquely qualified and well positioned to serve in this role,” stated Mike Farrell, chairman of the Higher Education Policy Commission.

“She is a proven leader with strong relationships already built with staff and the stakeholders in higher education as she currently works with the majority of them day in and day out.”

Tucker became chancellor for the community and technical colleges in October 2015.

“Dr. Tucker’s rapport with the legislature, executive branch and business leaders across the state was a key reason the Commission selected her,” Farrell said.  “And I am confident that she will be a staunch champion for our four-year institutions.”

Tucker said she is pleased by the appointment.

“I am gratified by the Commission’s confidence in me to lead both organizations,” Tucker said.  “There is much work to be done and I believe that both the Commission and the CTCS are up for the challenge.”

Carolyn Long

She succeeds Carolyn Long who has served in the role since July 2018. Long is returning to her regular job as president of WVU Tech.

“We are grateful to Carolyn Long for her steadfast leadership during this latest transition, and appreciate the time she dedicated to leading the Commission,” Farrell said.

The HEPC was already well into a search for a new, long-term chancellor last year because of the impending retirement of Paul Hill.

But last summer’s appointment of a Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education to study possible changes West Virginia’s college system halted the search.

Hill was retained for six months as an adviser. Both he and Long were making the same base salary, amounting to $227,119 a year.

Hill’s retention expired in December.