Centerville resident Robert G. Templin Jr. will become the next president of the five-campus community college — the largest in Virginia, state officials announced Monday.
Virginia Community College System Chancellor Glenn DuBois said Templin’s local ties will help him elevate the two-year college to national prominence.
“Bob is a highly capable professional who has tremendous connections with both academic and corporate Virginia,” DuBois said in a press release. “He’ll do an outstanding job in raising the national image of the college and in generating resources.”
Templin succeeds former president Belle S. Wheelan, who was promoted to Secretary of Education by Gov. Mark R. Warner in December.
College board members and the selection committee interviewed Templin and other finalists in early July and presented their recommendation last week. The committees’ overwhelmingly preferred Templin, who will take office as president on Aug. 27.
Currently a senior fellow and advisor at the Morino Institute in Reston, a non-profit organization addressing Internet issues, Templin is a veteran of the Virginia Community College System.
He was dean of instruction at Piedmont Virginia Community College in the early 1980s before serving as president of Thomas Nelson Community College for 9 years.
Templin left Thomas Nelson in 1994 to become president of Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, a state-funded private non-profit organization responsible for technology-based economic development in cooperation with Virginia colleges and universities.
Templin said he will use his background to promote the college as a preeminent part of the region’s recent technology boom.
“Technology is going to change how business is done,” he said in an interview. “The question is how quickly Northern Virginia Community College can transform to meet those needs.”
Templin also wants to work towards eliminating the shortage of health care workers in the region through increased training programs.
In addition to the technological change, Templin said one of his greatest challenges will be addressing the demographic changes in the region.
“We want to incorporate these new Americans,” he said. “It is the college they are likely to turn to for their first experience in higher education and we want to help them become an integral part of the future of the community.”
Templin admits that his goals are ambitious, considering the decline in state funding of higher education.
To alleviate the budget limitations, Templin plans to start a major fund-raising campaign to increase revenue once in office.
“We live in a prosperous community that values higher education and a business community that realizes an educated workforce is the key to success,” he said. “The can be an invaluable source for the college.”
College Board chairman Connie Gilman said she is excited about Templin’s selection.
“We will look for him to play a key role in making the college a larger part of the community,” Gilman said.
Northern Virginia Community College includes five campuses in the area, including one in Manassas and another in Woodbridge. More than 63,500 students took credit courses at the college during the 2001-2001 year.