National search underway for president’s successor - After a 17-year tenure at Pasco-Hernando State College, President Timothy L. Beard, Ph.D., will retire effective January 31, 2024. As of that date, Beard will have served nearly nine years as the College’s CEO and, previously, more than eight years as PHSC’s Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. A nationwide search for Beard’s successor begins today. The firm Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting will lead the campaign for the College’s fifth president in collaboration with a presidential search committee comprised of community stakeholders and PHSC faculty, staff and students.
PHSC has six locations serving nearly 10,000 students annually, a $69 million operating budget, and approximately 1,000 employees including nearly 550 full-time faculty and staff. Under Beard’s leadership the College’s operating budget has increased by nearly 40 percent. PHSC Foundation assets increased more than 60 percent, with the president personally raising several hundred thousand dollars to establish and fund scholarships.
During Beard’s presidency, PHSC constructed the $18 million Instructional Performing Arts Center (IPAC), located in Wesley Chapel. The high-tech, architecturally award-winning facility, which opened in 2021, provides instruction in music, dance, theater and multi-media design. In collaboration with Pasco Fire and Rescue, plans are underway to construct a $5 million Burn Center and Fire Academy training center at the College’s East Campus in Dade City. The Dade City Campus will also house the future STEM Student Success and Community Engagement Center with a projected $25 million budget. In Hernando County, the College is establishing a
Corporate College at the Dr. Dennis Wilfong Center for Success located at the Brooksville—Tampa Bay Regional Airport. The Corporate College, in collaboration with industry partners, will provide career and technical training for in-demand, skilled, higher paying positions within the region.
“The Board has been impressed by Dr. Beard’s steadfast dedication, his tireless service and student-centered leadership,” said John Mitten, chair of the College’s nine-member District Board of Trustees (DBOT). “The sincerity, warmth and enthusiasm he brings to the presidency continuously forges strong stakeholder relationships, enhances the College’s image locally and throughout the state and garners support for the College and our programs. His leadership will be missed by the trustees, faculty, staff, students and the entire community.”
Beard’s success is testament to the power of education. Born in Port St. Joe, Florida, he was raised with seven siblings in a two-bedroom “shot-gun” style home by strict, supportive parents. He was so excited about entering kindergarten that he attempted to self-enroll a year early. Beard began first and second grade prior to the full integration of public schools in the early 70s and graduated as an outstanding athlete and high honor student from Port St. Joe High School in 1980. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Florida A&M (FAMU) in 1984, followed by master’s and doctoral degrees from Florida State University. Before accepting the vice president’s position at PHSC, he held staff, faculty and administrative positions at FAMU, Florida State University and the University of South Alabama in Mobile. Beard has continued the College’s legacy of strong leadership, succeeding former PHSC presidents Katherine M. Johnson, Ed. D, the late Robert W. Judson, Jr, Ed.D. and Milton O. Jones, Ph.D., the College’s founding president.
“Serving as PHSC’s president has been the crowning achievement of my career,” Beard said. “The College has made exceptional progress, thanks to the guidance of our trustees and the dedication of our administrators, faculty and staff. I remain in awe of the transformative power of education. To greet students as they enter PHSC, often unsure of their potential, and watching them grow, graduate, pursue successful careers and join the College’s more than 60,000 alumni is gratifying. Most of our graduates choose to work and reside within our district and contribute to our vibrant, growing communities. The decision to retire after nearly 40 years in higher education has been difficult,” Beard continued, “but the time is right to pass the baton to a new leader.”
The DBOT expects to introduce the College’s fifth president to the community in September 2023.
Information on PHSC’s Presidential Search, including details about the application and nomination process, will be available at myersmcrae.com. Information about the presidential search will also appear at phsc.edu/about/leadership/presidential-search.