CEO on the move

John Gossett has been named the seventh president of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College in North Carolina. He comes from McDowell Technical Community College, also in North Carolina, where he has served as president since 2016. Gossett’s 32-year career in higher education began as a business administration instructor and department chair at Mayland Community College (North Carolina). He also served at the college as assistant vice president for academic services, associate vice president for workforce development, director of research and planning, and vice president of student development. He joined McDowell Tech in 2012 as vice president for learning and student services. Gossett also has served on numerous local, regional and statewide boards and committees in support of community college education and economic development initiatives.


Andrew “Andy” Bowne will serve as the next president of Johnson County Community College (Kansas), effective July 1. He is currently senior vice president and chief operating officer of Indiana’s Ivy Tech Community College, where he guides the leadership teams of all 18 campuses. Bowne came to Ivy Tech in 2012 as regional chancellor of its Muncie region. Prior to that, he headed Grand Rapids Community College’s foundation and was also associate vice president for college advancement at the Michigan college. Bowne began his career as a resident director at Calvin College. Bowne currently serves on the Ferris State University Advisory Board for the Doctorate in Community College Leadership program where he teaches, mentors students and serves on dissertation committees.


Thomas Everett Barton, who was president of South Carolina’s Greenville Technical College for 46 years, passed away on March 18 at age 90. He became president of Greenville Tech — the first community college in the state — in 1962 after serving in the public school system as a teacher, coach and school superintendent. 

Barton built the college from an eight-acre campus with one building and 800 students that many thought might fold within its first year to a multi-campus system that remains integral to the county’s and state’s workforce and economic development. 

“I don’t think I’ve ever known a human that was more focused than he — it was not only his job; it was his career, his being,” Coleman Shouse, chair of Greenville Tech’s Area Commission, told the Greenville News. “He was Mr. Technical College.”

Among his kudos and accomplishments, Barton served on President George H.W. Bush’s Advisory Committee Education Board and received the Thomas J. Peters Award for Leadership Excellence, as well as the Whitney M. Young Humanitarian Award from the Greenville Urban League. He was awarded the state’s highest award for a civilian, the Order of the Palmetto, in 1975 and 2002. In 2000, Greenville Tech’s main campus was dedicated and renamed in his honor. 

Barton also was a national leader for community colleges. In 2004, when House lawmakers were working to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act, Barton testified about the program’s importance to community college students, noting that Greenville Tech used Perkins funds to serve the needs of special student populations, including travel and child care costs for single mothers and English-as-a-second-language programs. 

In introducing Barton at the House hearing, Rep. Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) commented that Greenville Tech was a major part of helping to develop the economy of South Carolina by training workforces for new companies such as BMW and Michelin that moved into the state. He also complimented Barton for starting a charter high school as a part of Greenville Tech, noting that all the students in the first graduating class went on to college.

“Through his innovation, we are seeing better ways to educate in higher education,” DeMint said.

Below, Thomas Barton talks about Greenville Tech in celebration of the college’s 50th anniversary in 2012.

After serving in the U.S. Navy from 1946 to 1948, Barton was recruited by legendary Clemson University football coach Frank Howard and attended on a full football scholarship. Howard nicknamed him the “Black Cat” for his black hair and fast feet. Barton played for Clemson in the 1951 Orange Bowl and 1952 Gator Bowl, earning the university’s Athlete of the Year honor in 1952. He was named to All-State, All-South and All-American football teams in 1953 and was drafted by the Pittsburg Steelers. While playing in the college All-Star game at Chicago’s Soldier Field, Barton had a career-ending knee injury.


Che’Reese Anderson is the new dean of nursing at Ivy Tech Community College’s Muncie-Henry County campus in Indiana. Anderson has more than 20 years of experience and has been with Ivy Tech for 10 years, most recently as nursing program chair for the Henry County site.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
Matthew Dembicki edits Community College Daily and serves as associate vice president of communications for the American Association of Community Colleges.