Cape Fear Community College President Amanda Lee is resigning from her post, and the school has settled a lawsuit that was filed by her predecessor, officials announced Thursday night.
The college’s Board of Trustees approved her resignation, effective Dec. 31, during its meeting Thursday night, shortly after 7 p.m.
"I have valued my time at Cape Fear Community College, and I am thankful for all of the opportunities provided to me over the years. I am confident that the College will continue to serve as a leader in higher education," Lee said in a statement. She did not attend Thursday's meeting; officials said she was on vacation.
The school’s executive vice president, Jim Morton, will serve as the interim president once Lee leaves and as needed in an acting president's role prior to Lee's resignation date, should she, for example, take extended leave, a statement and officials said.
At the meeting, the board also approved a settlement in the lawsuit filed by former CFCC President Ted Spring. Under the settlement, the case will be dismissed, and the school will pay him “approximately the amount of the severance offered to him at the time of his resignation,” an announcement stated.
Spring's salary was $268,356 per year, CFCC officials have said previously, and news reports in 2015 and last year said the board had offered him six months' worth of severance pay.
The college's insurance carrier also will pay Spring "for his losses and his costs in pursuing the case," according to the statement.
Lee was named the college’s president
in June 2015 having served as interim president during a tumultuous time for the school. She took the helm after Spring resigned abruptly
during a January 2015 Board of Trustees meeting. Spring subsequently asked to be reinstated to the post, a request that was denied, and his attorney filed a lawsuit against CFCC's Board of Trustees
in March of that year alleging the board had forced him to resign, which the college disputed.
In the weeks leading up to Spring’s resignation, concerns were raised about CFCC enrollment figures, media reports related to expense reimbursements and disagreements with board members.
Costs associated with the lawsuit prompted the settlement, CFCC officials said Thursday.
"Sometimes finding a resolution is the best course of action, even when you believe strongly in your position," CFCC trustees chairman Mat White said in a statement. "With a settlement, the College can move forward without the cloud of this past history with Dr. Spring overshadowing it. We believe that the financial investment by Dr. Spring in this case was substantial, and all parties desired to seek closure."
During her time as president, Lee has overseen a growing college
, which has more than 23,000 curriculum and continuing education students annually. That work included the opening of CFCC's new Advanced & Emerging Technologies building and other new facilities at the college’s North Campus. During her time, the school also received its largest capital donation ever and opened the vocational technical high school SEA-Tech High School.
"We wish her the best in her future endeavors," White said at the meeting.
Before her role as president, Lee served as vice president for instructional services, where she was primarily responsible for the planning and oversight of the college's academic divisions, including arts and sciences, technical and vocational education, continuing education and the college's learning resource centers.
In addition, according to her biographical information on CFCC’s website, Lee worked with faculty and business representatives to coordinate the development, approval and implementation of new academic curricula and job training programs.
She joined CFCC in 2003 as an instructor, having previously taught courses at Nash Community College, Texas A&M University, University of North Carolina Wilmington and Baylor University in Texas.
The biographical information says that in addition to her experience in higher education, Lee has worked in private industry as a director of standards, quality assurance and personnel for a medical services company with nearly 100 employees.
Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Lee attended Baylor University, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree in telecommunications and her master's degree in communication studies. Lee earned her doctorate in communication arts from Regent University in Virginia.