Newsmakers

Interim CEO

Ronald Gerhard will be interim chancellor of the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District in California, effective Jan. 22. He currently is the district’s vice chancellor of business services. Gerhard has served in multiple roles for the district, including vice president of administrative services at Chabot College. Previously, he was vice chancellor for finance and administration at City College of San Francisco, vice chancellor of finance and administration for the Peralta Community College District, chief business officer for the Compton Community College District and business manager for San Bernardino Valley College.

Retirement

Randy Parker, president of Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) in North Carolina, plans to retire on July 31. He has led the college for seven years and served the North Carolina Community College System for four decades. During his tenure at GTCC, the college has experienced significant growth, from enlarging its aviation program and expanding the Larry Gatlin School of Entertainment Technology and Center for Performing and Creative Arts, to opening three new campuses and construction and/or major renovation projects totaling more than $100 million.

Under Parker’s leadership, the college has seen a 40-plus percent increase in student completion in earned for-credit credentials, despite experiencing an over 30 percent decline in student enrollment. Programs that have been added to support student completion include a Veterans Resource Center and Titan Link, a wraparound services support program to help students with life issues that arise outside the classroom. The GTCC Foundation assets have also grown more than 33 percent from 2011-2018 from approximately $10 million to $15 million.

“When the board recruited Randy, we were looking for a forward-thinking leader who would best position GTCC to meet the future needs of students and businesses in the Triad area,” said Susan Alt, chair of GTCC’s board of trustees. “He’s done just that and deserves a lot of credit for our progress. Under Randy’s guidance, GTCC has continued to grow and prosper. Our graduates are successful, and they are a tremendous asset to our region.”

In 2018, Parker received the Phi Theta Kappa national Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction and the 2018 Distinguished College President Award from the Carolina’s Region of Phi Theta Kappa Student Honor Society.

Parker came to GTCC from Vance-Granville Community College in North Carolina, where he served as president from 2004 to 2011. Earlier in his career, he spent more than 25 years at Lenoir Community College (North Carolina), where he advanced from general engineering instructor to vice president of instruction and student services.

Kudos

Frank Friedman, president of Piedmont Virginia Community College, is the recipient of the 2018 Carol Luthman Meritorious Service Award given by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The annual award recognizes outstanding service to the SACSCOC, including volunteerism, leadership and commitment to the principles of accreditation.

SACSCOC board chair Brenda Hellyer (left), chancellor of San Jacinto College in Texas, and SACSCOC President Belle Wheelan present Frank Friedman with the 2018 Carol Luthman Meritorious Service Award.

Obituary

Joseph Hankin, who for 42 years served as president of Westchester Community College in New York before his retirement in 2013, passed away on Jan. 16.

Hankin came to WCC in 1971 and immediately began to transform it by opening the campus to the community, expanding academic programs and repairing infrastructure, in addition to embarking on his commitment to quality, accessibility, affordability and expansion. For example, he oversaw the expansion of the Harold L. Drimmer Library and Learning Resource Center, which doubled in size, and opened the Gateway Center, a 70,000-square-foot educational resource center. Expansions to the 218-acre campus in Valhalla, New York, and numerous offsite locations and extension centers throughout Westchester County further increased access. Simultaneously, the college reached record enrollment for both credit and non-credit study, more than doubling the numbers from 5,800 students early in his tenure.

Hankin also was a significant member of the team that expanded the Westchester Community College Foundation, which has raised substantial resources in support of faculty and staff. Millions were raised for student scholarships with approximately $2 million now distributed annually. The foundation also helps to fund the enrichment of many academic programs and the development of infrastructure improvements.

In 1986, a project sponsored by the Exxon Educational Foundation named Hankin one of the Hundred Most Effective College Presidents of two-year and four-year colleges and universities. In 1988, the University of Texas included him among the 50 best community college presidents, for which he earned the Thomas J. Peters Award for Leadership Excellence.

“Assuming the mantle of one of the most admired community college presidents presented a unique opportunity to extend his legacy of service to students and community,” said WCC President Belinda Miles. “He made monumental contributions to the community college field as our institutions became increasingly important pathways to high-quality and affordable higher education, and he did it with an exceptional team of faculty and staff who cared deeply about the college and surrounding community.”

Westchester was Hankin’s second college presidency. In 1967, at the age of 26, he was the nation’s youngest college president when he became president of Harford Community College in Maryland.

Appointments

Margaret McMenamin, president of Union County College in New Jersey, was elected to serve as chair of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) for a one-year term starting this month. Middle States is the regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education performing peer evaluations of over 525 institutions of higher education. McMenamin has served as a commissioner with Middle States since 2014.

Laura Lefebvre is now director of public safety at Holyoke Community College in Massachusetts. Most recently, she was senior sergeant in the campus police department at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

Sandra Ramirez has been appointed as vice chancellor, human resources, organizational and talent effectiveness at San Jacinto College in Texas. She previously was the college’s vice president of human resources. Her experience also includes 17 years in the private sector as director of human resources.

Torry Reynolds has been promoted to dean of math, science and technologies at Forsyth Technical Community in North Carolina. She previously was the college’s Title III coordinator/project director and served as interim dean for six months in 2018.

At Gwinnett Technical College, LaShanta’ Cox is now vice president of human resources, Melvin Everson is vice president of economic development and Chuck McKinnon is vice president of communications. Previously, Cox was executive director of human resources at the college. Everson was the college’s director of business and industry training. McKinnon previously was the college’s executive director of communications.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
is editor of Community College Daily and serves as publications director for the American Association of Community Colleges.