Three finalists named for BC president

Published 9:00 pm Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Two Georgia university officials and an educator from Washington state were named the three finalists to fill the vacancy of Bainbridge College president.

Regent Doreen Stiles Poitevint, chair of the Special Regents’ Committee for the presidential search at Bainbridge College, and University System of Georgia (USG) Chief Operating Officer Robert Watts announced the names Tuesday in a news release.

A national search was launched to replace Bainbridge College President Tom Wilkerson, who is retiring at the end of the year, after having served the University System in this capacity since 2005.

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Watts said Tuesday the Board of Regents will then choice from among the three to be president. That decision may be during its regular November meeting.

Neil Aspinwall

Neil Aspinwall, vice president of enrollment and student services at Waycross College in Waycross, Ga., since 2007 is a finalist. During his service at Waycross College—an institution with 1,100 students—Aspinwall streamlined many of the admissions, financial aid and student services functions in order to better meet the needs of a growing student population.

He implemented the college’s first on-line advising system, first high school based dual enrollment program and first collegiate athletics program. He was instrumental in the creation of an on-site Teacher Education program and an on-site Early College program at two different high schools in the college’s service area.

Aspinwall was appointed chair of a committee charged with a rebranding campaign, which resulted in the introduction of new college logos, a redesigned Web site and new marketing strategy.

Since Aspinwall’s appointment, enrollment and retention are at their highest levels in the 34-year history of Waycross College. In 2010, he was instrumental in designing and creating the three-year graduation and retention plan and assisted the college’s president in its presentation to the Board of Regents Graduation and Retention Committee.

Prior to his arrival at Waycross College, Aspinwall served as vice president of economic development at Okefenokee Technical College, a member institution of the Technical College System of Georgia, from January 1999 to August 2007. While at Okefenokee Technical College, he played a key role in increasing enrollment and generating additional revenue for the college by working with business and industry, city and county governments, and local boards of education to implement new programs and services and establish new off-campus locations in all seven counties within the college’s service delivery area.

Aspinwall holds an Ed.D. in educational administration earned in 1999, an education specialist degree in 1994 and a master of education degree in 1992, both with a major in school administration and supervision. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Education in Technology Education in 1986, all conferred by Georgia Southern University (formerly Georgia Southern College).

F. Gary Barnette

F. Gary Barnette, vice president for student affairs at Darton College in Albany, Ga., since 2001. Initially hired as dean of students in 1994, Barnette was promoted to vice president in 2001, and, since June 2009, he has also served as interim vice president for academic affairs at Darton College.

Prior to his arrival in Albany, Barnette served as vice president of student affairs at Lindsey Wilson College, a college of more than 1,200 students in Columbia, Ky., from 1991 to 1994. Before that, he was the area coordinator for housing and residence life at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Miss., from 1989 to 1991.

Barnette’s oversight of Student Affairs departments at Darton College includes admissions, financial aid, registrar/records, student activities, Challenge Course Program, disabled student services, career development Center, International Student Services, Minority Advising, Evening Operations, counseling services and student housing. His responsibilities have also included enrollment management.

During this time enrollment increased by 119 percent to more than 5,800 students. Barnette designed, implemented and currently oversees a comprehensive student success program and has worked with faculty to research retention and graduation data.

This effort resulted in a comprehensive retention plan that was presented to the USG Board of Regents. He serves on the Regents Academic Affairs Committee and Regents Administrative Committee on Student Affairs for the USG.

Barnette holds a Ph.D. in counselor education with emphasis in student development in higher education conferred in 1991 by Mississippi State University in Starkville, a Master of Science in Counseling and Human Development earned in 1988 from Troy University in Phenix City, Ala., and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology earned in 1987 and conferred by Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga.

Richard A. Carvajal

Richard A. Carvajal, vice president for student success services, since 2006, at Cascadia Community College in Bothell, Wash., an institution serving more than 3,300 students.

Prior to his arrival in Bothell, Carvajal served as dean of student services at Independence Community College, a college of more than 1,100 students in Independence, Kan., from 2003 to 2006. Before that, he was the associate dean of student services at Coker College in Hartsville, S.C., from 1997 to 2003.

In his current role at Cascadia Community College, Carvajal led a college-wide transition to strategic enrollment management that reached and surpassed enrollment goals, growing by 43 percent from fall 2006 to fall 2009. He had oversight of the organizational restructuring and a business process redesign of a one-stop student services center, including renovation of the facility, that dramatically improved services to students.

Carvajal has served as an executive officer of the Washington State Student Services Commission and has served as a member of the College Budget Council, the Capital Projects Committee, the Cascadia Community College/UW-Bothell Co-Location Committee, and was a co-founder of the Strategic Enrollment Management Committee.

Carvajal holds a Ph.D. in educational administration with emphasis in higher education conferred in 2005 by The University of South Carolina in Columbia, a Master of Science in College Student Personnel Administration earned in 1995 from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication/Sociology earned in 1993 and conferred by East Central University in Ada, Okla.