PANAMA CITY Gulf Coast State College President announced Monday that he will retire at the end of the 2013-2014 school year.
Dr. Jim Kerley made the announcement at the annual “Welcome Back” meeting for all college employees. “The faculty and staff are the heart of the Gulf Coast family, and I felt that they needed to hear it from me first,” he said.
Kerley also wanted to give the District Board of Trustees and the community time to develop a transition plan and conduct a thorough search for the next president.
As a longtime educator, administrator and supporter of state and community colleges, he has served in higher education for over 30 years and as a president for 25 years. He became Gulf Coast’s fifth president on June 1, 2007 and will have served seven years as its president when he steps down next summer.
Kerley is known for his focus on regional economic development, career education partnerships and a desire to keep students in the forefront of any decision-making. He will soon help open the College’s largest and most innovative building: the Advanced Technology Center. He also led the College through its name change from Gulf Coast Community College to Gulf Coast State College, and with it, an expansion of its mission by offering workforce-oriented bachelor’s degrees.