Tacoma Community College selects Georgia tech college VP Ivan Harrell as new president

Tacoma Community College has chosen the vice president of a Georgia technical college as its newest president.

The college’s board of trustees unanimously selected Ivan Harrell, the executive vice president of academic and student affairs at Georgia Piedmont Technical College, as the school’s 11th president.

The official appointment will be made Wednesday at the board’s regularly scheduled meeting.

“I want to continue the great work that this college community has been doing for over 50 years, while simultaneously working to develop and implement a shared vision for where we want to see TCC in the future,” Harrell said in a statement.

Georgia Piedmont, located in Clarkston, is designated as a predominately black institution by the U.S. Department of Education. Clarkston, a small town near Atlanta, is noted for its ethnic diversity. The school serves 12,000 credit and non-credit students.

Previously, Harrell was the vice president of success at Lone Star College in Texas and dean of student services at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland.


Tacoma Community College has selected Ivan Harrell as their 11th president. Harrell is currently the Executive Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs at Georgia Piedmont Technical College.

Courtesy TCC Courtesy TCC

TCC, which serves about 13,000 students, launched its search for a new president in fall 2017.

The search committee was made up of members of the board, staff, faculty, students, the TCC Foundation and community members.

Three finalists were selected from a pool of 61 candidates. The finalists interviewed on campus during the week of March 12.

The trustees considered survey results from community members, students and employees in making their decision.

“Dr. Harrell demonstrated the intellect, integrity and passion that represent our values, and will lead us well,” said TCC Board chairman Bob Ryan.

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“He is the leader who will continue to build upon the great work we have accomplished and brings the focus and charisma to support our goal of student success.”

Former TCC President Sheila Ruhland resigned in December 2016 after school faculty wrote a scathing letter to the TCC Board, complaining in part about the college ending up on probation during her leadership.

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities since has restored the college’s accreditation status.

The commission put the college on probation in June 2016 because of the school’s failure to file required financial reports to the commission in time. The reports were filed by August, and the college remained accredited.

The reporting process began before Ruhland started at the school in March 2015, but the missed deadline was during her tenure.

Mary Chikwinya and Bill Ryberg have been interim co-presidents since Ruhland’s resignation.

Staff writer Kenny Ocker contributed to this report.