RICHMOND — Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, announced today that Dr. Gene C. Couch, Jr., of Burlington, N.C. will become the 6th president of Virginia Highlands Community College (VHCC) beginning July 1.
Couch, an Abingdon native who grew up in southwestern Virginia, is currently executive vice president at Alamance Community College in Graham, N.C.
“Gene has an impressive track record of leadership in the North Carolina Community College System -- a state system of community colleges that I have a lot of respect for,” DuBois said in making the appointment. “He is also a product of our system, having achieved his first degree at Southwest Virginia Community College. His Virginia Highlands Community College appointment is a great fit.”
Prior to serving at Alamance, Couch was vice president for instruction and student services at Southwestern Community College in Sylva, N.C. from 2005-2010 and was vice president for instructional services from 1999-2005, after also serving as chair of the health sciences division there and program director for radiography.
”I applaud the community college system on its presidential selection process,” said Jamey Rector, chair of the Virginia Highlands College Board. ”The system has a great tool in bringing in a new president. We had four really good candidates, and we are confident Dr. Couch will be the next key element in moving Virginia Highlands forward.”
“I’m a product of Virginia’s Community Colleges – and I hope that students see that as proof that they can stay near and go far,” Couch said, who added the appointment is definitely a homecoming for him.
“Virginia Highlands has a rich history of service to southwest Virginia,” he said, “and I am looking forward to joining the team. I recognize the trust shared with me to become an outstanding leader and member of the VHCC Community.”
He holds an associate degree from Southwest Virginia Community College in Richlands, a bachelor’s degree from Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, N.C., a master’s degree and an education specialist degree from Western Carolina University and a doctorate from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee.
Couch replaces Dr. Ron E. Proffitt, who retires this year after four years with Virginia Highlands.
About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Created more than 40 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 400,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.
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