Galen DeHay, the senior vice president on Tri-County Technical College’s executive leadership team, was named the College’s next president by the Commission following a special called meeting Thursday, April 11.
DeHay, the College’s former science department head who has served as senior vice president for the past four years, will succeed Dr. Ronnie L. Booth, who was named the College’s third president in 2003. Dr. Booth announced last September he will retire June 30.
Commission Chairman John Powell and members of the College Commission announced their selection by unanimous vote following an executive session.
The Presidential Search Committee conducted a national search over the past several months and conducted interviews with DeHay and two other candidates in late March.
DeHay will assume his duties as president July 1, 2019.
Upon accepting the offer, DeHay thanked the Commission and said, “I am humbled and honored. This College means a lot to me.”
He acknowledged his admiration for Dr. Booth, whom he calls a mentor.
As senior vice president, DeHay has provided leadership for all academic, student support, enrollment and workforce development functions of the College, including Academic Affairs, Student Support and Engagement, College Transitions, Marketing, Research and Evaluation and Integrated Workforce Solutions.
Under his direction, the College has developed manufacturing and health care pathways (I-BEST programs) for high school and non-traditional student populations. He also led the team in the creation of the Michelin Manufacturing Scholars program in collaboration with Michelin North America. The program won the 2018 Innovation Program award from the Community Colleges of the Appalachia.
He co-developed and implemented a business and industry relations model that improved the College’s ability to meet emerging workforce needs and designed an integrated workforce solution structure that integrates non–credit and credit programming to meet workforce needs.
In collaboration with College staff, DeHay created partnerships with Adult Education that resulted in the formation of a state model educational pathway between adult education and technical colleges. In February, the College was honored at the South Carolina Association for Adult and Community Educators conference with the Outstanding Organization of the Year Award for its partnership with Adult Education in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties to develop and support the I-BEST career pathways.
He previously served as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, and assistant vice president for instruction and institutional effectiveness.
A former biology faculty member and science department head at Tri-County, DeHay has more than 11 years of teaching experience in the College’s Arts and Sciences Division.
He says a love for biology and teaching led him to Tri-County 20 years ago after he graduated from Clemson University. “I wanted to make a difference for students like me so I wanted to teach at Tri-County,” said DeHay, who was raised in a single parent home and worked 25 hours a week in the summers to afford books while a student at Clemson.
He taught Biology for 11 years and served as department head for four years before accepting an administrative post as director of planning and institutional effectiveness in 2012. He joined the College in August of 1999.
Over the years DeHay has been a major player in the progress the College has made in becoming a ‘Learning College,’ one that is focused on students’ learning and success. He took a sabbatical from teaching in 2006 to focus on leading a team to develop the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) for SACS reaffirmation. The result of the collaborative effort was the Learning Excellence Initiative (LEI).
As coordinator of science instruction, he collaborated with the Bridge to Clemson program and Clemson University’s Academic Success Center to pilot a Supplemental Instruction program at Tri-County designed to enhance student success in historically difficult first-year courses.
He is the 2007 recipient of Tri-County’s Presidential Medallion for Instructional Excellence, the highest award presented to faculty at Tri-County. The same year he was named the S.C. Governor’s Professor of the Year for two-year institutions. In 2013 he was named Tri-County’s Administrator of the Year at the South Carolina Technical Education Association conference.
Currently he serves on the Anderson County Economic Development Collaborative board and Foothills CAN. He serves on the Commission on Higher Education Advisory Committee on Academic Programs and the BASF Community Advisory Panel. He is a member of the American College Personnel Association and the Society for College and University Planning.
Over the past several years, he has been a presenter at state and national conferences for the Association of Community College Trustee Leadership Congress, American Association of Community Colleges, Society of College and University Planning, state and national STEM conferences and local business and industry forums.
The Central resident holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Clemson University and is a Dissertation Candidate toward a Ph.D. from Clemson University.
Prior to joining Tri-County’s faculty, he was a teaching assistant for anatomy and physiology at Clemson.