A Presidential search committee comprised of business leaders, community representatives and Pasco-Hernando State College faculty and staff has selected Gilbert L. Evans Jr., J.D., Ph.D., Eric Hall, Ed.D., Jesse D. Pisors, Ed.D., and Saul Reyes, Ed.D., as finalists in the presidential search to succeed PHSC President Timothy L. Beard, Ph.D., upon his retirement in January 2024.
The finalists will be introduced during a town hall at the PHSC Instructional Performing Arts Center in Wesley Chapel on Sept. 6 and tour the institutions five campuses the following day to meet and greet faculty and staff. A final selection by the PHSC District Board of Trustees is expected later that month.
The search committee diligently reviewed over 50 of the most qualified candidates provided by Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting firm during a thorough and robust review process beginning in July.
“This search committee has meticulously reviewed all applicants and we are confident PHSCs District Board of Trustees final selection is amongst these distinguished candidates,” said John Mitten, PHSC Trustee and Chair of the PHSC Presidential Search Committee.
Gilbert L. Evans Jr., J.D., Ph.D., is a Central Florida native and proud graduate of the Florida Community College/State College system.
Evans received an Associate in Arts degree from St. Johns River Community College, a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degree in English and educational leadership from Florida State University, and a Ph.D. and J.D. from the University of Florida.
During his academic pursuits at the University of Florida, Evans’ Ph.D. dissertation, “Job Satisfaction and Organizational Climate as Perceived by Community College Presidents,” was nominated “Dissertation of the Year,” he was named MPLE Law Fellow, and graduated law school with distinctive honor. In addition, Evans work is published in several professional and educational journals.
Currently, Evans is the vice president for Legal Affairs/General Counsel at St. Johns River State College. During his 26-year tenure at the college, he served as English/social science professor, workforce development administrator, and vice president of Student Affairs/Assistant General Counsel. He also served as an attorney at the Lowndes, Drosick, Doster, Kantor, and Reed in Orlando, Florida, where he specialized in Bankruptcy, Family Law, and Probate. He is a member of the Florida Bar and a Florida Certified Family Law mediator.
Evans has enjoyed serving students in every major area of higher education and considers this his calling.
He is married to Detra Nicole Evans, and they have two children, Derrick and D’Asia.
Eric Hall, Ed.D., was raised in Pasco County, Florida and has more than two decades of experience serving in executive leadership, with extensive expertise in the fields of education, public safety and public policy. He currently serves as the secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, where he was appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis in November 2021.
Prior to his appointment, he served as the state’s first senior chancellor at the Florida Department of Education (FDOE), where he oversaw multiple divisions, including the Florida College System. Before joining FDOE, he served as deputy state superintendent at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, where he successfully led multiple divisions and initiatives within North Carolina’s education system. Throughout his career, Hall has built strong partnerships and impactful relationships with state and local leaders in both the public and private sectors. He is a lifelong educator and holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary science education, a master’s degree in educational leadership, and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of South Florida. He serves on several boards and councils including the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet, CareerSource Florida Board of Directors, and Special Olympics Florida, among others. He is the son of two public school teachers, his wife is a school social worker and together they have two children.
Jesse Pisors, Ed.D., is a seasoned leader in the field of higher education with a deep commitment to facilitating transformation through education. With a distinguished career spanning over 25 years, he demonstrated an ability to drive positive growth, enhance student experiences and strengthen community ties.
Pisors’ career has been marked by significant accomplishments, having served as vice president at two public universities: Texas A&M University-San Antonio (TAMUSA) and University of Houston-Victoria (UHV). His leadership at TAMUSA, a Seal of Excelencia-certified institution, showcases his dedication to inclusivity, where over 75% of the student body is Hispanic and 60% are first-generation students. With Pisors’ leadership contributions, TAMUSA achieved a record-high overall enrollment, 40% growth in graduate enrollment and substantial growth in philanthropy last year.
His tenure at UHV saw transformative initiatives including restructuring the Office of University Advancement and executing a $13 million campaign, surpassing its goal by 12%. Notably, his involvement in the University of Houston System's $1 billion campaign demonstrated his influence on a larger scale.
Pisors holds a Doctor of Education from Texas Tech University, where his dissertation focused on fundraising challenges and expectations facing university presidents.
Fluent in Spanish, he spent three years leading a private K-12 school in Mexico earlier in his career.
Passionate about leadership, teaching, strategic planning and organization, Pisors’ commitment to education is evident not only in his leadership roles but also in his involvement in academia as a professor. He taught a range of courses, from U.S. History to Public Speaking.
His professional engagement and leadership extend to organizations like the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), where he contributed through conference presentations and articles, sharing insights on various aspects of educational advancement. He presented at district, national and international CASE conferences and served on conference committees and the CASE District IV Cabinet.
Pisors served as the president of his Rotary Club, chair of the local Rotary Foundation Board, chair of a Chamber of Commerce Board and in board roles for the United Way, American Heart Association, the YMCA and other organizations. He is passionate about building mutually beneficial links between a college and the business and non-profit community where that college calls home.
Through community service, leadership roles in various organizations and a demonstrated commitment to higher education that is accessible to and inclusive of everyone, Jesse has solidified his reputation as a forward-thinking higher education leader.
Saul Reyes, Ed.D., served as vice president for enrollment management and student affairs of the College of Central Florida since January 2015. The institution serves 9,000 students at six locations in Marion, Citrus, and Levy counties. The college has been recognized consistently by the Aspen Institute as one of the top 150 community colleges in the nation.
Reyes has 14 ½ years of experience in the Florida College System. Previously, he served at Polk State College as dean of student services and center manager for the JD Alexander Center. Prior to that, he worked at the University of South Florida. In his 35-plus years of higher education experience, Reyes has extensive experience leading student-centered programs and services to promote enrollment, retention, completion, transfer, and employment.
Reyes has a doctorate in higher education leadership from the University of South Florida and a master's in counseling from West Virginia University. He participated in leadership programs of the American Association of Community Colleges, National Community College Hispanic Council, and Florida College System Chancellor’s Leadership Program.
Reyes is serving as chair of the board for Marion County Cultural Alliance. He serves on the national board for HERDI Innovate (Higher Education Research and Development Institute). He previously served on the American Association of Community Colleges’ Commission for Global Education and Commission on Structured Pathways. He previously served as chair of the Council of Student Affairs for the Florida College System.
Reyes is a first-generation American, born to Cuban immigrants, and the first in his family to graduate from college. Reyes and his wife Sharon, married since 1986, have lived in Florida for more than 27 years. They enjoy spending quality time with their sons, daughters-in-law, and four grandsons. An avid nature photographer, Reyes also enjoys visiting America’s national parks and cycling.