Colleagues mourn former WNCC president |

Colleagues mourn former WNCC president

staff reports

A former Western Nevada Community College president who helped develop the Douglas County campus is being remembered for his contributions to higher education throughout Nevada.

Jim Randolph, who headed WNCC from July 1995 through November 1998, died Thursday after a short illness. He was 58.

Randolph left WNCC for a job as associate vice chancellor for finance and planning in the University and Community College System of Nevada’s Las Vegas office. He was appointed interim vice chancellor for finance and administration in August 1999.

His death shocked Jill Derby, president of the University Board of Regent and a Gardnerville resident whose district includes WNCC’s territory. Derby, who has been a regent for 11 years, was on the original search committee that hired Randolph.

“He had a quiet leadership style and empowered other people in a wonderful way,” said Derby. “We all loved him. He was just a kind and gentle human being that saw humor in many things and really had a kind of special grace that people who knew him came to love.

“In the several years at (WNCC), he made a profound difference. He really took that institution to the next level.”

Current WNCC officials remembered the personal touches Randolph brought to the school. He was also instrumental in overseeing construction of the Douglas campus on Buckeye Road.

“He was just a wonderful man to work for,” said Bus Scharmann, who oversees the Douglas campus as dean of WNCC’s Fallon campus and extended programs. “He was always there when he was needed, and he had great confidence in his workers.”

Michele Dondero, vice president for academic and student affairs, called Randolph “A dynamic, effective leader who gave others opportunities and shied away from the limelight himself.

“He’s been very influential at Western in terms of his style,” she said. “He was interested in the total college. He brought that kind of vision to the school.”

Randolph is survived by his wife and two sons. Services will be held Jan. 15 in Wilkesboro, N.C., where he was president of Wilkes Community College from 1989 to 1995.

The family asks that any donations go to Opportunity Village in Las Vegas or the Ormsby Association for Retarded Citizens in Carson City.