Posted on Wednesday, October 3, 2018

1. You’ve been in the role of president for a little over a year now. What issue have you focused on more than any other and why?VCCS Blog

Enrollment! There are many reasons for this focus but the primary ones are student access and success, defined as the completion of credentials. Increased enrollment generates revenue that allows us to expand services to students. One enrollment success story is the expanded Barbara J. Fried Center in Stafford County, opened this fall and, thankfully, full!

2. You are the first female president of the college. Can you briefly describe what your experience has been like thus far?

I have been a college president before and really hadn’t thought about the significance of being the first female Germanna Community College President. However, thanks to Chancellor DuBois’ commitment to hiring more women into these positions, I am proud to be part of this ground-breaking, glass-shattering class of women presidents. I have found the path of women to leadership positions to be quite different to that of men. One similarity, though, is that we all need help along the way. Mentors and mentoring should mark every leader’s experience.

3. One of your primary objectives after taking office was to focus on graduation rates. How is that coming along?

Germanna had been doing an exceptional job on this when I arrived, thanks to the efforts of its outstanding faculty and staff. Germanna was named one of the top 150 US community colleges identified last year by the Aspen Institute. We are changing our messaging to students about transfer to “COMPLETE before you go on to university.” We are also one of the few VCCS schools up in enrollment this year. We used the Germanna Community College Educational Foundation Guarantee funds to help qualified students who had gaps between what they owed and their financial aid awards. We were able to save many students through those efforts. Now we need to replenish those funds.

4. Can you describe your relationship with external stakeholders (i.e., area businesses, community leaders, etc.)?

Having the word, “community,” in our name has not been lost on me during my 40+ years of working in this space. We exist ONLY to serve our communities! I hope that local leaders think of Germanna first as a partner in what they want to achieve. We sometimes have “strange ways” in higher education that baffle our partners but, if we focus on our shared goals, we can do magic together.

5. Please tell us something about yourself (hobbies, personal interests, etc.) that our readers would be interested in knowing about you.

My first job was as a chicken plucker. I am the third generation of female college graduates in my family. I like antiquing and TJ Maxx. My husband, Bobby Farmer, and I met on-line and have a blended family of three children, acquired through marriage, birth and adoption and four grandchildren, acquired the usual way. And, we love living in Virginia!

cbutterworth@vccs.edu'

Craig Butterworth

A native of Richmond, Craig Butterworth is an award-winning broadcast journalist and communications professional. He has worked as a spokesperson, staff writer and editor for a variety of non-profit and for-profit organizations throughout the Richmond area.

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