Pumphrey announces retirement from South Puget Sound Community College

Olympia – Dr. Gerald Pumphrey, president of South Puget Sound Community College, will retire from the college in January 2013. Pumphrey announced his plans at an All-Campus Meeting on Wednesday, May 2.


“It has been a great honor to lead South Puget Sound Community College for the past six years, and it has been a great gift to be entrusted with the responsibility for shepherding our college through a challenging period in its history,” said Pumphrey.  “I feel extraordinarily privileged to have had a mission-centered vocation that has provided me great intrinsic rewards though countless opportunities for seeing our students achieve their potential.”


Pumphrey took on the role of South Puget Sound Community College’s president on Aug. 1, 2006. He came to the college after serving five years as president of Bellingham Technical College, where he received acclaim for leading BTC toward more international exchanges and diversity on campus and was commended for his efforts in strengthening the community.


Before coming to Washington state, Pumphrey spent six years at Guilford Technical Community College, in Jamestown, North Carolina, where he served as Director of Workforce Preparedness, Dean of Instruction, and finally as Vice President of Instruction.


While Pumphrey came to South Puget Sound at the height of good financial times, he has deftly navigated the college through the eye of the state’s economic storm. Under his leadership, the college has established stronger, more systematic approaches to strategic planning, allocation of resources, and assessment.


“The community and technical colleges are among the most powerful resources we have for enabling individuals of all walks of life to participate fully in our American democracy and economic system.   It is a perfect time for the college to benefit from new vision and new energy, and it is the right time for me to accomplish some other long-deferred, personal goals. I have truly appreciated the support I have had from our Board of Trustees, our executive team, the campus community, and the greater Olympia community”


“The Board of Trustees is saddened by Dr. Pumphrey’s decision to retire but completely respects and supports that decision,” said Judy Blinn, chair of South Puget Sound Community College’s Board of Trustees. “Dr. Pumphrey has provided strong, supportive leadership to the college through some of the most challenging years in our history. With the downturn in the economy and reduction in state funding — on top of increased enrollment, he has remained committed to finding ways to continue to deliver high-quality education to our students, with the least negative impact. We thank Dr. Pumphrey for his dedication to SPSCC and to our community, and wish him all the best in his upcoming retirement.”


The Board of Trustees has begun the presidential search process, and will be assisted by an executive search firm.  The Board will conduct college and public forums in June to help establish a profile of characteristic sought in the next president.  Once the profile has been established the position will be advertised in early July.


The Board will form a presidential steering committee that includes representatives from all stakeholder groups.  The committee’s work will begin in September. The process of screening, interviewing and prioritizing of candidates will be ongoing through the fall quarter. The Trustees should be prepared to announce the new college president in December 2012 and anticipates having a new president on board by March 2013.

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