Gaston College President Dr. Patricia Skinner announces plans to retire in 2020
Dr. Patricia Skinner, President of Gaston College, announced on Monday, March 25, 2019, that she will retire from her position in March of 2020. The announcement marks a milestone in her more than 50-year career in higher education in Michigan, Ohio, and North Carolina. When Dr. Skinner became the fourth president of the College in 1994, she was the first woman to serve in that position.=
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as president of Gaston College,” said Dr. Skinner. “This college has become an integral part of Gaston and Lincoln counties, and I am grateful for the tremendous support the College has received over the years. [Gaston College is] an institution focused on quality education and student success, and I am proud that we have become one of the top community colleges of the 58 in North Carolina.”
During her presidency, Dr. Skinner has always been committed to student success and excellence, as evidenced by her many accomplishments. They include:
- Focus on the quality of the learning environment for students through the expansion of program opportunities and new and renovated facilities;
- Obtaining financial support from the community, state, and federal government through donations and grants;
- Hiring and retaining the best-qualified faculty and staff;
- Support to business and industry through customized training, apprenticeships and work-based learning opportunities;
- Evidence of quality through specialized voluntary accreditations and student success through student completions, graduations, and many awards;
- Partnerships with Gaston and Lincoln County Schools;
- National and state recognition for excellence for faculty and staff.
Gaston College has experienced tremendous growth during Dr. Skinner’s tenure. The Lincoln and Kimbrell (Belmont) campuses were established and, with the addition of 11 new buildings, instructional and administrative space grew from 371,294 to 793,264 square feet. The number of students graduating rose from 347 in Dr. Skinner’s first year to 1,455 in 2018.
The College expanded to 170 programs of study, 60 degrees, 26 diplomas, and 87 certificates during Dr. Skinner’s presidency. Gaston College is regionally accredited by The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and, in addition to this regional accreditation, 12 programs of study have received national accreditation.
Along with serving on many professional boards in various capacities, Dr. Skinner is the recipient of numerous distinguished awards, including the NC Student Success Center Champion Award; the Wells Fargo President of the Year Award, given by the North Carolina Community College System; the Gaston County Hall of Fame for Women in Business; and Women Administrators in North Carolina Higher Education Leadership Award.
Upon learning of Dr. Skinner’s plans to retire, Dr. Jim Watson, Chair of the Gaston College Board of Trustees, said, “We are forever grateful for all she’s done for the College and will continue to do in this next year. Thanks to Dr. Skinner’s vision and leadership, the College has experienced unprecedented growth since she became president more than 24 years ago. She and her dedicated team of faculty and staff have prepared this institution to serve the students, businesses, and industries in our counties for many years to come.”
The full text of the press release about Dr. Skinner’s retirement plans and detailed information about her many accomplishments are available below: