At the regularly scheduled meeting of the PHSC District Board of Trustees held on June 17, President Katherine M. Johnson, Ed. D., announced her intention to retire, effective June 30, 2015. In a formal letter presented to the Board last night, Johnson wrote “This letter, although very bittersweet, is to officially inform the PHSC Board of Trustees of my decision to retire as president of PHSC. At that time I will have successfully completed 10½ years of service as president, fulfilling my promise to the board in 2004. It is my hope the timing of this announcement will allow the board ample opportunity to complete the search for and selection of a new president ensuring a smooth transition in leadership by July 1, 2015.”
District Board of Trustees Chair Len Johnson said, “Each year, the board is asked to evaluate the president’s service. In nine years, the trustees’ provided nearly perfect evaluations of Kathy Johnson, commenting on her strength as a leader, knowledge about education, superior communication skills and devotion to this institution.” “In short,” continued the chair, “Kathy’s leadership is inspiring, and she will be greatly missed.”
Dr. Johnson spearheaded the opening of two new campuses, the Spring Hill Campus in 2010 and the Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch in January 2014. The college also transitioned from Pasco-Hernando Community College to a state college in January 2014—acquiring a new name and an updated mission statement that includes offering baccalaureate degrees. PHSC is now accepting applications for two new bachelor’s degrees, beginning August 2014.
The college has an overall operating budget of nearly $47 million dollars. The PHSC Foundation, with assets of more than $41 million, provides approximately 700 scholarships and college program support valued at more than $1 million annually.
The college was nominated for the prestigious Aspen Award in 2009, and as a finalist was named among the top 150 community colleges in the nation. Nominated again this year, the college is being considered for the 2015 $1 million Aspen Prize. After a rigorous evaluation process the college was awarded reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and Schools (SACSCOCS) in 2010.
PHSC has consistently received nearly perfect financial and operational audits. In 2013, an independent study commissioned by the Association of Florida Colleges estimated that the college’s annual economic impact on the two-county district topped $240 million annually.
During the president’s tenure, student engagement has grown substantially in college activities, events, clubs and organizations, sports and intramural activities. More than 50 clubs and organizations coordinate community-service projects, honor academic achievement, and participate in intercollegiate competitions, frequently winning local, state and national awards. In 2010, the women’s volleyball team won the national championship for Division II, and the men’s baseball team recently competed in the NJCAA College World Series.
“Many critical projects and initiatives are in progress. I am so proud of college administrators, faculty, staff, students and our many volunteers,” said Johnson. “I look forward to working with everyone to meet the college’s goals in my final year as president.”
Johnson said she is looking forward to spending more time with her husband, retired PGA golf professional Chuck Johnson. “Chuck supported my decision to accept the position of president, understanding the significance of the commitment I made to the College. “My other commitment was to my husband, promising Chuck that I would join him in retirement at the end of a decade of service, to enjoy time with him, our extended family and friends.”
The board is expected to discuss the search for a new president at its reorganizational meeting in July.