Gulf Coast State College Announces 6th President

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PANAMA CITY- Gulf Coast State college's board of trustees unanimously selected Dr. John Holdnak from a field of 5 candidates Thursday morning to serve as the new president.

Holdnak is currently the executive vice chancellor of the Florida college system.

"He's number two in the state system and he knows all about all the colleges and he could bring all the knowledge to bare here at Gulf Coast,” said Doctor Bob McSpadden, Former Gulf Coast State College President.

This will be a homecoming for Holdnak, who served at Gulf Coast from 1982 to 2008 in different positions.

"The college has some issues and Dr. Holdnak worked here for decades. He knows the college, he knows the community and anybody but John would have had to come in and take a few years just to get to know the environment,” said McSpadden.

Trustees say he has the leadership qualities they desire in their next president.

"Leader who would work well with the culture of the college. Someone with experience, working with faculty and staff,” said Katie Patronis, Gulf Coast State College Board of Trustees.

Outgoing president Dr. Jim Kerley says Holdnak will have some immediate challenges.

"Funding is not as good as we would want it to be. I think that's one thing. There's not new money necessarily for the college,” said Doctor Jim Kerley, Gulf Coast State College President. “We need to give faculty staff raises, some raise, but also new programs, new technology and the list goes on."