The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Chancellor offers contracts for South, SE presidents

By Bethany Peterson/editor-in-chief

South and SE campuses may soon have new presidents.Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley offered William Coppola the SE position and Peter Jordan the South position Nov. 14. The district awaits signed contracts from each.The offers were made after the two then-finalists underwent a day of interviews and meetings with Hadley, their respective campus’ leadership team, faculty and students earlier that day.

Jordan and Coppola were picked because they received the highest marks from the interview committee made up of a total of 15 people representing both campuses, Hadley said.

“They [the interview committee] were looking at job knowledge; experience, education and training; communication skills; interest in the position and the institution; motivation to succeed; personal presentation; problem-solving and analytical skills; insight and alertness and interpersonal skills,” she said.

The finalists were matched with campuses because of their strengths and experiences, Hadley said.

Jordan was matched with South because of his background as a vice president for institutional effectiveness.

“We have a lot of community initiatives we need to continue,” Hadley said. “It fits very well with what Jordan has been doing at LaGuardia.”

Jordan outlined his plan to faculty attending a luncheon on South Campus.

“The first couple months or three months on campus, I want to spend time really listening and getting to know you,”

he said. “That is my visionary brand, a listener.

“In terms of that vision, it’s simple. I want to be a partner with members of the Tarrant County College community to really focus on becoming, making this campus the engine for economic development and growth and student success within our service area.”

Jordan wants students to know he will be there for them as well as for faculty, staff and administration to support students’ progress and success in their education, he said.

“Helping students achieve their educational goals is what I’m all about,” he said. “They should know I’m student-centered and student-focused.”

South vice president of continuing education Gladys Emerson was part of the selection process and said she believes Jordan will be a great asset to TCC because of his background in working with continuing education.

Coppola’s work at Lone Star College in Kingwood, Texas, as executive director of academic partnerships and initiatives helped Hadley match him with SE Campus.

“Right now, SE has a lot of those,” Hadley said. “He would be very good to continue the work [former president] Judith Carrier has begun.”

Coppola joined 40 faculty and staff members at a lunch meeting in SE Campus’ North Ballroom. Lone Star has just finished an Achieving the Dream program that TCC is beginning, Coppola said.

“Been there, done that, ready to do it again,” he said.

Coppola does not see Achieving the Dream as a challenge but a change in thinking.

“We are all here to serve students,” he said. “Students learn more from who you are than what you do.”

Student success is everyone’s job, Coppola said. If students can reach 20 credit hours, they realize they have an investment in the college and will continue toward graduation. He also said he would support whatever method of textbook is cheapest for students.

Coppola also said he plans to keep information transparent on SE.

“There is never too much communication,” he said.

He earned his doctorate in higher education administration and master’s in vocational/technical education from the University of North Texas.

SE mathematics assistant professor Sharon Holmes said Coppola seems open and personable. However, she will reserve overall judgment until he comes.

“I did appreciate that the college he is coming from is very similar to what we have here,” she said.

Holmes also appreciates that Coppola plans to spend three or four months getting to know the campus.

“I think that is a wonderful concept,” she said.

Coppola has worked at Lone Star since October 2001 starting as a dean of computer information and moving up to executive director in September 2009. As executive director, he led and oversaw budgetary management and major college partnerships and initiatives, according to his application.

Coppola started his career with the Dallas County Community College District, working at North Lake College from 1984 to 1998. He has also served the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board as facilitator/consultant of the workforce education course manual from 1996 to 2007.

Jordan earned his doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. He has worked for the LaGuardia Community College/City University of New York since 2002, starting as vice president of enrollment management and student development, then as interim vice chancellor for student affairs and, as of January, as vice president for institutional effectiveness.

As vice president, his job included evaluating strategic planning and accreditation and making recommendations on the college’s progress, according to his application.

Staff members Mona Lisa Tucker and Karen Gavis contributed to this story.


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