Dr. Anthony J. Clarke Selected as Next President of Guilford Technical Community College

Published on: August 7, 2019
Anthony J. Clarke, Ph.D. has been selected to become the eighth president of Guilford Technical Community College.

JAMESTOWN, N.C. – Anthony Clarke, Ph.D. will be the next president of Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC), pending final approval by the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges. The GTCC Board of Trustees unanimously approved his selection today.

Dr. Clarke has nearly 15 years of experience in community colleges and has held faculty, administrative, and senior leadership roles at institutions in North Carolina and Kentucky. He will become GTCC’s eighth president, succeeding Dr. Randy Parker who led the college for eight years before retiring July 31, 2019.

“We could not be more excited about this appointment,” said George Ragsdale, chair of the GTCC Board of Trustees. “Dr. Clarke brings the highest level of expertise from his work within the North Carolina Community College System and his experience in private industry.  We are confident that he is a dynamic leader for the future of GTCC, and we look forward to introducing Dr. Clarke to our community partners throughout the region.”

Dr. Clarke currently serves as president of Southeastern Community College (SCC) in Whiteville, North Carolina, a position he has held since 2014. Under his leadership, curriculum enrollment at SCC has increased by 9 percent, reversing a 26 percent decline over the previous five years. He also strengthened the college’s partnerships with two county school systems, resulting in an 85 percent increase in dual enrollment.

From 2012 to 2014, he served as vice president of instruction and chief academic officer at Richmond Community College in Hamlet, North Carolina. He began his community college career in 2005 at Gateway Community and Technical College in Florence, Kentucky, where he held both faculty and administrative roles. As dean in workforce development, he focused on advanced manufacturing and also served during his tenure as academic division chair for the college’s manufacturing and technologies programs.

A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Dr. Clarke spent two decades working in industry and he brings a deep understanding of the operational demands manufacturers face in today’s business environment. He worked as a production engineer for General Mills, a consulting manager for Arthur Andersen, and a quality leader and six sigma black belt at GE Aircraft Engines.

"I'm deeply honored to have this opportunity to serve as the next president of Guilford Technical Community College," said Dr. Clarke. "I want to thank the GTCC Board of Trustees, as well as the college's faculty and staff for the trust they have placed in me."

Dr. Clarke shared that he and his wife, Margaret, look forward to joining the GTCC family and building on the college's legacy of service to Guilford County.

“The skills and experience I’ve developed in military, industry, and community college leadership positions have prepared me to serve,” he added. "I will work hard to lead the talented team at GTCC and contribute to the educational attainment and economic development of Guilford County both now and into the future.”

Dr. Clarke earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Behavior at Union Institute & University in Cincinnati, Ohio; a Master of Business Administration in Business Policy at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois; a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration from the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky; and a Bachelor of Science in General Engineering and Military Studies at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.

He was selected by the GTCC Board of Trustees to lead the college after an extensive nationwide search that attracted a strong and diverse pool of over 70 applicants. The Association of Community Colleges Trustees (ACCT) assisted GTCC with the search and selection process. The firm held a series of listening sessions with faculty, staff, students, and members of the community to narrow the field to the top three candidates.

The North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges is scheduled to vote on the selection of Dr. Clarke at its Aug. 16 board meeting. Pending the state board’s final approval, GTCC anticipates Dr. Clarke will take office no later than Nov. 1, 2019. 

Dr. Gordon Burns is currently serving as interim president and will continue to lead GTCC during the transition.

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