HCC names Timmons new president

  • George Timmons has been selected as Holyoke Community College’s fifth president. He will replace Christina Royal. SUBMITTED PHOTO

  • George Timmons has been selected as Holyoke Community College’s fifth president. He will replace Christina Royal. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Published: 4/25/2023 3:53:08 PM
Modified: 4/25/2023 3:52:46 PM

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College’s board of trustees has chosen George Timmons as the college’s next president.

Timmons is provost and senior vice president of academic and student affairs at Columbia Greene Community College in Hudson, New York.

Trustees Chairman Robert Gilbert said Timmons is expected to start his term as HCC’s fifth president the last week of June, pending approval from the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education on May 9.

Timmons would succeed Christina Royal, who will step down in mid-July after 6½ years at the community college’s helm. He was chosen from among four finalists who visited HCC earlier this month for a day and a half of tours, open forums, presentations and interviews.

During deliberations, trustees noted that the strength of all four finalists for president made the exercise of choosing difficult.

“I have struggled because each brings their own unique talents and skills,” said trustee Vanessa Smith, “but the one who embodies the whole package for me is Dr. George Timmons.”

After initially failing to reach a majority, the board ultimately voted for Timmons by a margin of 6-2-2. A third, ceremonial vote was unanimous.

“We had four very diverse candidates,” trustee Yolanda Johnson said, “but the candidate I could envision leading HCC is George Timmons. He is a leader who could build on what has already been accomplished under President Royal. He is well prepared to build on that foundation, and he has a story that could resonate with our Black and brown students and move the needle on enrollment.”

Timmons, 61, holds a doctoral degree in higher education administration from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio; a master’s degree in higher education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, and a bachelor’s degree in financial management from Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia.

He has held his position at Columbia-Greene Community College since 2019. Before that, he worked at Excelsior College in Albany, New York, where he held a number of administrative positions culminating with dean of the School of Liberal Arts.

HCC, Massachusetts’ oldest community college, celebrated its 75th anniversary in the 2021-22 academic year.

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