Dr. Donald J. Green, who was named interim president of Gordon State College May 30, was the first person in his family to go to college and thus has a deep affinity for access institutions which is the role the local campus plays in the state’s university system.
Addressing the Barnesville Rotary Club June 6, Green, who wants to be called Don, said he hopes to have the word interim removed from his title and make good things happen here.
“I grew up in a small town in Michigan. We didn’t have a red light and we had more cows than people. My wife and I really like it here and hope to stay. That is in the works,” Green said.
He has 27 years of leadership experience in higher education with seven of those years spent in Georgia. He most recently served as president of Point Park University in Pittsburgh. Prior to that, he was president of Georgia Highlands College in Rome where he oversaw initiatives and strategic planning that led to higher retention rates and significant enrollment growth.
Gordon has struggled in both those areas in recent years.
“Over the past several years, about 50% of the students who came to Gordon as freshmen did not return for year two. There is no one particularly to blame for that but it is something I plan to address,” Green told the Rotarians.
Green holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from Michigan State University, a masters degree in labor and human resource management from Ohio State and a doctoral degree in educational leadership from Western Michigan.
He hopes to encourage more and more high school graduates from the area to save money and get associate’s degrees at Gordon before going on to Georgia, Georgia Tech and other four-year institutions.
Dr Green and his wife Cathy have three grown children and are already immersing themselves in Barnesville. He promises to be involved with the community.
“You’re going to see me everywhere,” Green concluded.