By Melissa Woodford
Seminole State College declared Dr. Georgia Lorenz, vice president of Academic Affairs at Santa Monica College, president-elect Wednesday. Seminole’s board of trustees voted unanimously in her favor April 11.
“I am absolutely thrilled to become Seminole State College’s next president,” Lorenz said in a statement provided to The Seminole Scribe. “I have been so impressed by the many achievements of the College, the clear focus on promoting student success and the ways in which it serves both the students and the community.
“Seminole State College is a compelling and inspiring institution and our future is bright. I look forward to learning from and working with the Board, faculty, staff, students and community as I make the transition into this new role.”
The board’s decision comes on the tail end of eight months of searching, according to Mae Ashby, the college’s associate vice president of human resources.
The college received 52 applications for the new presidential position, Ashby said.
General Counsel to the College J. Paul Carland II said that, from an initial set of 13 candidates, the search committee interviewed eight semifinalists. Out of the eight, the committee recommended three finalists to come for on-campus board interviews, and they were on campus for a few days preceding the decision.
Ashby added that the search was performed nationally with a professional consulting and search firm called AGB Search, which is an affiliate of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.
When asked about Lorenz’s coming leadership, Wendy H. Brandon, CEO of Central Florida Regional Hospital and chair of the Board of Trustees, said: “because [Lorenz] is only the third president in our college’s history, it signifies that we have a rich legacy of stability and long term leaders who are attracted to the culture of Seminole State that didn’t want to leave … and few colleges in the country can say they’ve have two leaders in 52 years.”
Brandon also spoke about the selection of the three candidates, saying that “those last three candidates all would have made a very, very good president for Seminole State. So what it really came down to was which of the three was the best fit for the culture of our organization and who would be best to lead us from where we are today into the future.”
She expressed excitement for Lorenz’s new position, whose first official day will take place on Aug. 1. The Board and leadership of the college plan to have a welcoming event for her.
Brandon encouraged students to invite Lorenz to Student Government Association meetings, club meetings and any events where she would have an opportunity to meet and to start getting to know the students.
She also expressed her gratefulness to outgoing President E. Ann McGee, who retires July 31, when she will take the new role of president emerita.
“To our new president, I wish you even more joy and success than we have experienced over our 52-year history,” McGee said in an email statement. “You are being entrusted with a great college and an amazing faculty and staff who are truly the finest in the land. Listen to them, nurture them, collaborate with them, and then lead them to new heights of accomplishment and success!”
With the approval and unanimous support of the president and the board, Lorenz said she believes the future looks bright.