Georgia Perimeter president finalist for Florida college job

Update Thursday at 1:30 .m: Georgia Perimeter College president Anthony Tricoli is now one of four finalists to become the new leader of Hillsborough Community College in Tampa.

A poster last week wondered if Georgia Perimeter College president Anthony Tricoli was leaving. So, we called the Regents, whose spokesman said that Tricoli was not on his way and suggested the rumors were an outgrowth of a neighborhood tussle over the spread of one of the Perimeter College campuses.

Nope, the rumors were a result of the news that Tricoli’s under consideration for  the presidency of Hillsborough Community College in Tampa.

The Tampa paper announced that Tricoli is among the 10 finalists.  (Thanks Mae.)

“It’s pretty common that at any given time we have presidents under consideration for jobs.  We usually find out only at the point at which their names become a matter of record in the process,” said University System spokesman John Millsaps when asked about Tricoli on Thursday. ”

Here is the news story:

TAMPA – A presidential search committee picked 10 people today to interview for the top job at Hillsborough Community College.

They include community college leaders from half a dozen states, including California, Texas and Georgia. The only Florida candidate is B. Kaye Walter, vice president at Valencia Community College.

The others are:

• Ken Atwater, president of South Mountain Community College, Phoenix, Ariz.

• Sharon Blackman, senior associate vice chancellor, Dallas County Community College District

• Myrtle Dorsey, chancellor of Baton Rouge Community College, Baton Rouge, La.

• Beverlee McClure, president and CEO, New Mexico Association of Commerce & Industry. Albuquerque, N.M.

• Warren Nichols, president, Volunteer State Community College, Gallatin, Tenn.

• Mark Rocha, president, West Los Angeles College

• Patricia Rowell, campus president, Cuyahoga Community College, Parma, Ohio

• Ronald Sheehy, assistant vice president, Morehouse College, Atlanta, Ga.

• Anthony Tricoli, president, Georgia Perimeter College, Atlanta, Ga.

The committee pared down a list of 38 today in its search for someone to replace Gwen Stephenson, who plans to retire in June after leading HCC for nearly 13 years.

The 15 committee members, including community leaders and HCC faculty and administration, plan to interview the 10 finalists in Tampa next week and recommend three to five to the HCC board. The board plans to make its choice next month.

HCC has about 45,000 students and five campuses across Hillsborough County. It also has two satellite locations, a distance learning program and a corporate training center.

89 comments Add your comment


March 25th, 2010
9:20 am

I bet there will be a lot of GPC students who are glad Tricoli is on his way out. Perhaps he will garner better reception in Florida, because in the Peach State he is obviously not well liked.


March 25th, 2010
9:25 am

Hope Tricoli stays here – we need his vision, experience and business head in this day of budget cuts and growing community college enrollment. This is a new day for college presidents. Happy faculty member!


March 25th, 2010
10:32 am

Close down all community colleges. They’re full of drugs and cigarettes and kaffins. Tricoli should leave for a better job in FL.


March 25th, 2010
10:36 am

He made some mistakes, but all in all a good guy. sometimes a micromanager, but always a visionary. I sure would be sorry to see him go.


March 25th, 2010
10:42 am

Do you suppose the Regents aren’t too internet savvy? How many keystrokes did it take to learn the truth about Tricolli?

[...] Follow this link: Georgia Perimeter president finalist for Florida college job | Get … [...]

Michelle Meaders

March 25th, 2010
11:03 am

What’s a kaffin?

Dr.T Fan

March 25th, 2010
11:06 am

Tricoli is a visionary who really believes in students and wants to improve processes at the college to help them succeed. It would be a true loss for GPC for him to go at this time.

Maureen Downey

March 25th, 2010
11:10 am

Devildog, Laura Diamond and I were just discussing this very issue, but we made our calls to the Regents on March 17 about the rumor and the news from FLorida was not yet out. And I searched myself on that day and the early the next, so we were probably a few hours ahead of the Tampa posting. According to the Regents spokesman, they typically are unaware that a president is looking until he/she is a finalist.
Of course, the question becomes why not let us know when they did find out on March 18th or 19th.


March 25th, 2010
11:12 am

Michelle: It’s misspelled. Regardless, it’s a very derogatory word that shouldn’t come out of any intelligent – or ignorant – person’s mouth (or keyboard).


March 25th, 2010
11:55 am

Well, Maureen, told you so. ;-) I’m glad you followed up on the information I sent you to see that Tricoli is actually trying to leave GPC.

Tricoli is universally disliked by faculty and staff at the school because of his overweaning ego and spendthrift ways. A perfect example is the opening of the Center for Community Involvement and Civic Engagement. The director of this do-nothing center was hired at a cost to the school of over $100,000, and one of her first acts was to send out an e-mail to faculty to tell them to stop having their students volunteering in the community! Former President Jimmy Carter was the keynote speaker at the opening of the center, and that just completed the ego-trip for Tricoli. Meanwhile, everyone who works at GPC is having to take furlough days–everyone, that is, except Tricoli.

[...] Here is the original: Georgia Perimeter president finalist for Florida college job | Get … [...]

GPC faculty

March 25th, 2010
12:32 pm

In response to Mae, I’m a tenured faculty member at GPC. I know for a fact that Tricoli is NOT “universally disliked by faculty and staff at the school.” As with any administrator or leader, he has angered some people at the school through his decisions and leadership style, but the “dislike” is NOT “universal”–I’m not even sure it’s a majority. It must seem that it is “universal” to the people who dislike him because they talk only to other people who also “universally dislike” him.


March 25th, 2010
1:29 pm

If it is true that President Tricoli is leaving GPC, it is a very sad day for our Institution. President Tricoli has served our college community as an innovative leader who cares deeply about student success and faculty concerns. His open door policy allows all college community members access to voice their concerns. He mentors faculty and students in pursuit of excellence. His creative leadership as led our institution out of a dire fiscal crisis brought on by the Regents’ decision to close our largest campus by growing our enrollment and reorganizing our institutional structure. His vision led to the opening of the Atlanta Center for Civic Engagement and Service Learning to serve the greater Atlanta Community while enhancing student engagement. If the College in Florida selects Dr. Tricoli to be thier President, they will be fortunate indeed to have garnered such a fine candidate to lead their institution!

[...] Read the details here. See earlier posting today here. [...]

Maureen Downey

March 25th, 2010
1:34 pm

GPCFan, Please see update that Tricoli is now in the final four for the job.


March 25th, 2010
2:04 pm

Dr. Tricoli has done as good a job as anyone could have done given
the circumstances. Who else are they going to hire that will do any
better? State budget cuts, unruly faculty, limited space on campus sites; Anthony Tricoli has been a dynamic leader who has cut through all this and more.
I dont blame him if he’s looking for other opportunities.
He’s underpaid compared to other/similar positions in academia or even
the private sector.


March 25th, 2010
2:30 pm

I don’t know what you are talking about. Last time I checked, GPC is national acclaimed since Tricoli has been here. Hmmm…I actually even remember he opened a new center for the community with the 39th President of the US! Jimmy Carter just last month at GPC. Test scores are up, more students, better education, more programs and the transfer agreements. I believe that equates to we need to keep Tricoli!


March 25th, 2010
2:36 pm

@GPCFac and others

Are you actually Anthony Tricoli? ;-)
What has the vaunted Center for Civic Engagement and Service Learning actually done? What is it planning to do? Right now, it is essentially an empty department that is soaking up money that could be put to much better use. Who runs it? How much is that person paid?

When Tricoli was asked to find areas in the budget that could be cut, he put the ESL program, which always has a high enrollment (i.e., brings lots of money into the school, on the chopping block. When ESL students wanted to peacefully assemble on the Clarkston Campus to protest these cuts, they were told that they had to get a permit, which would take time. Is this an example of Tricoli’s “open door” policy? If Tricoli is such a great leader, why was he looking to cut a program that is consistently at capacity?

The Clarkston community is full of immigrants who want to take ESL classes at the Clarkston Campus, where Tricoli’s new Civic Engagement/Service Learning Center is located. If cutting the ESL program is an example of how Tricoli envisions engaging and serving the community, he needs a lesson in what those terms mean.

Of course, cutting the ESL program would probably appeal to legislators and our governor who might prefer that immigrants stick to working in poultry plants instead of PAYING to take English classes and working toward careers. On the Clarkston campus, many international students are in the nursing program, but we just don’t need more nurses in Georgia, do we? Nah, let’s just live with the shortage.

Captain P-Card

March 25th, 2010
2:44 pm

I agree wholeheartedly with Mae. Tricoli’s “vision” at GPC has included only money and numbers–not academic quality or ethics. He has spent millions of dollars on marketing, new and non-essential administrative positions, and non-academic programs. The loss of funding and focus on quality education has further driven down the already low academic standards at GPC. I have seen this in the classroom in person. This is his fourth year at GPC, and he has made no honest attempt to reform a mangled system of shared governance that cuts out faculty voice and cloaks dictatorship. He sent out a genmail recently saying that next year we would see an overhaul of governance. The technique here comes from Alice in Wonderland–jam tomorrow but never today. Also, I personally do not believe that vocal volume and intimidation contribute to an effective leadership style–in any professional endeavor. Unless he plans to make major changes in his view of collegiate mission and learn the basics of professional communication and management, then he will not succeed as president anywhere for very long. As a professor, my job is to help students change. Change is necessary to learning and growth. I wish Tricoli well and hope that he can learn and grow in whatever new job he takes. But I will stand by my contention that he will have to do this to succeed at GPC or at any institution of higher education.

BLOG 101

March 25th, 2010
2:47 pm

I found this about this awhile ago on GPC college newspaper Blog.

These students are fast.


March 25th, 2010
2:51 pm

When the Regents asked for budget reducation ideas, Tricoli offered up the ESL program, which is consistently at capacity and profitable to the college and system. This is more than a little ironic since the Clarkston campus serves the many immigrants in the Clarkston community who PAY to take English classes. Tricoli’s vaunted Civic Engagement/Service Learning Center is located on the Clarkston Campus. Is cutting ESL programs an example of “civic engagement”?

I’m just sorry that the Honorable Jimmy Carter was dragged into this mess. It was nothing but grandstanding on Tricoli’s part. The Center is an empty department that has already drained money that could have been better used elsewhere.


March 25th, 2010
2:53 pm

Sorry–”reduction” not “reducation”


March 25th, 2010
2:55 pm

Losing Dr. Tricoli would be like changing horses in mid-stream.
He’s done more for the instituion than his predecessors and if
he leaves now so many good initiatives will be left hanging.

Full Support

March 25th, 2010
2:55 pm

Whoever says that anyone is universally disliked is incredibly biased and has absolutely no credibility. I am a long term professional employee at GPC and have served under two presidents. This man is a true visionary who is certainly assertive, but incredibly competent and effective. He probably rubs people the wrong way because of his high expectations. He may have a big ego, but he is equally as humble, and respectful. He is culturally diverse and I think that is enormously important for someone in his position, since GPC is has such a diverse student population. His leadership in enrollment growth and other areas such as the credit transfer program that enables students to transfer credit to just about any school in the southeast that you can think has helped GPC to avoid massive layoffs. I can’t believe that the Chancellor has accepted his resignation. I feel sorry for anyone who comes in and attempts to fill his shoes… That’s a tall order.


March 25th, 2010
3:01 pm

@Mae – all of the University presidents presented the State Legislature and the BOR with a doomsday scenario to send a message to the legislature and the voters as to what they could lose were they to implement such drastic cuts. It was a political move. And, in case you haven’t been keeping up, it appears it has worked. The sky isn’t falling after all.

I’ve been working with Dr. Tricoli on a few projects at GPC and I can tell you that he IS good for the college. The faculty who don’t like him are most likely responding to his belief that faculty should actually do more than come in for classes and office hours. It’s a trend that I’ve witnessed myself as a TT faculty member. Apathy abounds at GPC.

Maureen Downey

March 25th, 2010
3:09 pm

Blog 101, The student writer needs to fix this: Tricoli is one of four finalists, not five. It’s right in the second graph of the student story, but not in the lead.

President Anthony Tricoli is one of five finalists to replace the outgoing President of Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fl.

The list that consisted of 38 has now been narrowed down to four as of the Mar. 24th.


March 25th, 2010
3:22 pm


Weren’t you the poster who scolded me last week for posting that Tricoli was leaving? If he is doing such a great job and is so well liked, why is he leaving? Why isn’t anyone, including the Regents,trying to get him to stay? And since you are apparently following his career, why didn’t you know he was on the way out? An earlier poster noted that the Regents must not know how to use the Internet. The information about Tricoli being considered for the Hillsborough position was easily accessible to anyone. He was apparently not attempting to hide it. Even though the Regents’ spokesperson denied that Tricoli was leaving, I believe that they knew all along. What does that mean?

What would you–or Tricoli–have faculty members do besides teach classes and work with students during office hours? As a faculty member, I research and prepare lectures, spend hours grading papers, work with students during my office hours and outside of them, prepare papers for presentations at conferences, serve on committees, complete paperwork for administrative requirements, and yes, I teach my classes, all five of them, with 25-30 students in each. I do all this for $35,000 a year. You may see apathy at GPC, but the instructors I see all around me work hard and care deeply about the success of their students.


March 25th, 2010
5:55 pm

@mae – he’s leaving for the same reasons we all leave schools in academia – better pay, more benefits, new opportunities. He was chided by the BOR for his work to get the three-year education degree at GPC – a move up for the school. And who is to say that they aren’t doing what they can to get him to stay? Furthermore, who is to say that they have anything in the way of money, benefits or the like to offer him considering the current state of higher education in this state. Heck, if I could leave, I would. Georgia’s legislature isn’t exactly instilling confidence for anyone to “ride it out.”

If you are doing all that you say that you are, then good for you. What I see are a lot of faculty throwing up their arms every time they are asked to do anything beyond teach and hold office hours, balking at anything new or that translates into more work for them. Even you scoff at the Center for Excellence and Service Learning, yet what do you really know about the center?

An yes, I did chide you because you didn’t have any information to back up your claim – if you are such an insider, why didn’t you send Maureen to the link for the Florida school’s announcement of their candidates?

Maureen Downey

March 25th, 2010
5:59 pm

jacketfan, mae did send it but it ended up in my e-mail junkmail file, which has several hundreds items and which I only go through weekly. Now, I realize I have to go through daily. (Between the blog filter and e-mail junkmail, I spend all day retrieving good info.)
Mae is guiltless in this.

Maureen Downey

March 25th, 2010
6:01 pm

And to Mae, When we did call the Florida college today, we were the first paper to find out that the list had gone from 10 names to four, which is thanks to you.
So, we send our gratitude. (Reporters love to be first, especially in line for lunch.)

bootney farnsworth

March 25th, 2010
6:08 pm

Tricoli has his defenders, true. and no one is universally disliked.
but most faculty and staff who were not on the recieveing end of his largess lost faith in him long ago.

agressive is one word. bully also applies too. so is chavaunist. outside of Lisa Fowler, Ginny Michelich, and Tracy at the Atl Center,
GPC is not a good place to be a woman.

bootney farnsworth

March 25th, 2010
6:10 pm

@jacket fan,

if you keeping doing exactly what your director tells you not to do, and keep spending on personal projects while everyone else is taking pay cuts, and pulling public suprises on your board of directors,

you’ll be looking to get out too.

bootney farnsworth

March 25th, 2010
6:14 pm

@jacket fan,

will you be happy if Tricoli gets a raise or more perks while we continue to be furloughed and lose staff?

is he worth it to you?


March 25th, 2010
6:22 pm

@bootney – and his pluck is exactly what I like about him. I had another president like that and that individual is enjoying great success at another small two-year college – one that is leading the way in a number of new and exciting educational initiatives for its students. Tricoli is an action-type of president. Nothing I hate more than the snail’s pace of academic decision making. Talk, talk, talk – committee after committee. Please. Why do you think the private sector has no respect for academia? It’s because we don’t DO anything that hasn’t spent four years in committee. So, if he does go, I wish him good luck, but I will miss his initiative and drive.

PS – “bully ALSO applies TOO” is seriously redundant. Work on it (actually, work on the whole thing – fragments, capitalization issues, misspelled words, etc.)


March 25th, 2010
6:26 pm

@bootney – The man works most weekends and holidays. He works nights. Attends community meetings in our campus locations to maintain relationships with the residents of those communities. He recognizes the hard work of his faculty, staff and administration. I guarantee you that there aren’t too many more presidents out there as recognizable by students as Tricoli is on the campuses of GPC. And I don’t know that he’s not being furloughed. Do you?

bootney farnsworth

March 25th, 2010
6:27 pm


if you must resort to going after my grammer, it stronly implies you have no real arguement towards anything I’ve said.

if Tricoli is an “action type” president, why aren’t we in India, Roswell, Gwinnett, and why isn’t the Atl. Center overflowing with
folks looking to GPC for guidance?

-answer: bull in a china shop approach is not the same as “action”

feel free to point out all my mispellings, grammer failures, and my choice of shoes if you wish. won’t help you, but if it makes you feel better…


March 25th, 2010
6:28 pm

@mae – well, I guess I owe you an apology, cub reporter. Why didn’t you just post the link when you made your remark on the thread? Whenever is see, “there’s a rumor …,” that’s exactly what I think it is, a rumor. Just saying …

bootney farnsworth

March 25th, 2010
6:29 pm

@jacket fan,

please feel free to actually try to contest my points.

bootney farnsworth

March 25th, 2010
6:30 pm

Jacket fan,

seems you’re not as plugged in as you think you are.


March 25th, 2010
6:35 pm

@bootney – we are currently working on relationships in China. We are also developing plans for online classes for Haitians, who will be looking to continue their education after the devastation of Haiti’s primary institutions for higher education. There are plans to be in Roswell (did you miss that meeting?). The Center for Excellence isn’t “overflowing” because it’s programs are being realigned to fit into the new budget issues. Why don’t you, as a faculty member (I guess you are faculty), ask some questions about these situations rather than making hasty inferences into the state of things at GPC?

Oh, and writing and grammar are the most essential skills you have as an educator. If you can’t communicate, you can’t teach anyone anything. Not to mention, poor grammar just makes you look ignorant (which, from your posts thus far, you appear to be).


March 25th, 2010
6:36 pm

bootney farnsworth

March 25th, 2010
6:38 pm

Jacket fan is correct on one point. Tricoli is not universally reviled – primarily, overwelmingly- but certainly not universally.
and he has done some very good things for us.

and I know him and like him personally.

the biggest problem he has is an any institution, even the “private sector” there is a built in way of doing things. and doing exactly
the opposite of what you were hired to do is not it.

A little reason never hurts

March 25th, 2010
6:44 pm

@ Bootney et. al.

Perhaps you might have been benefactors of “largess” had you not approached the table with arrogance, whining, moaning & conspiracy theories. They are — trust those of us who have had to suffer through your rants — more than modestly off-putting. Tricoli may be active to the point of being reactionary, but at least he leads, and as a lead dog, his view DOES change. Before he came, most of us on the faculty thought student services was an irretrievable mess. There are some challenges today still, but compared to where it was…. hoo boy, Night and Day.

I am sad that he’s leaving before he could get the chance to weed out some of our more annoying colleagues in the faculty ranks. The sad thing is that these colleagues actually BELIEVE they are faculty leaders, but I hasten to point out that there is distinct difference between leadership and obstructionism. Check yourself, colleague: Tricoli is a leader… that would make you…. ?


March 25th, 2010
6:45 pm

@bootney – He was hired to lead our college. Just because he does line up with Errol Davis’ and the BOR’s narrow vision for higher education, does not make him a bad President. He’s done a great deal to shake the stigma that many place on two-year institutions – that they are “lower tier” and incapable of providing their students the kind of opportunities one finds at the state college and/or university level. Students are actually choosing to come to GPC, not just coming to our school as a last resort. That’s moving in a positive direction and is largely due to Dr. Tricoli’s efforts.

LongtimeGPC Fac

March 25th, 2010
6:46 pm

I am saddened as I read the complaints of folks who dislike one program or situation, and turn it into a “hate” fest. Dr. T is neither intensely disliked by GPC faculty, nor by female faculty in particular. Dr. T has increased the morale at GPC, and in fact has made the college a better place to work and attend school since his term began. He has encouraged folks to go the extra mile in making GPC a more humane place for everyone. As a 20 year faculty member of GPC, I have seen the faculty grow malcontent and wary in another administration, but AT has brought heart back into our institution. And I have NOT been one of the faculty to receive any sort of program benefit or personal award under his administration. But I have observed; I have participated; I have listened to voices in the hallways, and I have seen folks trying harder. I think it is shortsighted to sell out on AT, especially without having had a long term position at GPC. Your focus on one program or situation and not the general good of GPC speaks of personal gain or loss and does not encompass a full vision of a college the size of GPC, the third largest college in the state of GA. A true leader may not satisfy each person, but leads with a vision of the whole. Thank you AT.

bootney farnsworth

March 25th, 2010
6:47 pm

oh jacket,

please continue to go after me personally. its the best advocation for my positions I could possibly have.

I am aware of the current attempt to get into Roswell, but it is not the publically stated (you were at convocation, weren’t you) plan.
and why, when we are going broke, are we even bothering with Haiti, China, Thiland, and his other abroad initatives at this moment in time?

the name is Ga. Perimeter College, not Global perimeter college (deliberately not capitalized so you could have something to pick at).

and I suppose you know some of the TAG requirements are stricter than the native rules of some four year institutions?

one of the biggest intellectual mistakes one can make – and you’re making it big here- is to assume you know something about an opponent.
but please, assume away about me.

bootney farnsworth

March 25th, 2010
6:50 pm

@ jacket,

hired to lead the college under the direction of Rob Watts, Chancellor Davis, and the direction of the BOR.

which he has not done.

which is why most of his major initatives have gone nowhere.

IMO the BOR has been astonishingly patient with a man who insists on
going left when told to go right..

that’s not leadership – that’s ego.

bootney farnsworth

March 25th, 2010
6:53 pm


exactly where is the morale growing?
I’ll accept it is somewhere, but nowhere I know of.

morale is the worst I can remember – and I’ve been here
longer than 20 years.

bootney farnsworth

March 25th, 2010
6:56 pm


what you may be seeing in everyone going the extra mile is not morale,
but dedicated professionals trying hard not to let the crappy situtation
effect the students.

and working harder than ever is probably driven more by a fear of failure. he really goes off when he hears something he thinks could be a no.

wonder how Sallie Paschal feels? one minute she’s building a campus from nothing, then …. poof.