University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor Sonny Perdue today named Dr. Donald J. Green interim president of Gordon State College, effective May 20, 2023. Green, who most recently served as president of Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pa., replaces outgoing Gordon State President Dr. Kirk Nooks.
Nooks recently announced he would be leaving his post May 19 to become President and CEO of the Atlanta-based Council on Occupational Education.
Green has 27 years of leadership experience in education, seven of them with USG. Prior to taking the helm at Point Park in 2021, he served as president of the university system’s Georgia Highlands College (GHC).
“Dr. Green while at GHC excelled at prioritizing student success, an effort that saw the college experience an increase in the number of students graduating and successfully going out into the workforce,” Perdue said. “Those are the very things that will help Gordon State continue to serve its community and the students and families who depend on it. We thank Dr. Nooks for his service and are glad to welcome Don back into the USG family.”
During Green’s tenure at GHC, he oversaw initiatives and strategic planning that led to higher retention rates and significant enrollment growth. Green also expanded GHC’s degree offerings with multiple associate and bachelor’s degrees to meet the needs of rapidly growing career fields. Green’s leadership helped increase GHC’s economic impact to over $181 million. In addition to significant increases to the college’s foundation and student scholarship opportunities, he oversaw the addition of a 52,000-square-foot academic building focused on STEAM-based areas of study.
In 2020, Green was one of 13 college presidents across the country who received the Phi Beta Kappa Shirley B. Gordon award for outstanding work in support of student success. Recipients of the award are nominated by students on their campus and are only eligible to receive the award once over the course of their careers.
“I’m excited to join the students, faculty and staff at Gordon State and appreciate Chancellor Perdue’s confidence in my leadership,” Green said. “Most of all, I’m eager to get to work with the campus community to identify barriers to student success and do whatever it takes to bring those barriers down.”
Before USG’s Board of Regents named him the fourth president of GHC in September 2014, Green served in several leadership roles at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich. At Ferris State, he worked to more than double the number of community college-based campus locations from nine to 19 and achieved an annual enrollment growth rate average of more than 8% per year for his division.
Green’s higher education experience also includes administrative and teaching posts at Grand Rapids Community College and Davenport University, both in Grand Rapids, Mich. Green previously ran a consulting firm advising corporations, governmental organizations and educational institutions on training and education.
Green holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from Michigan State University, a master’s in labor and human resource management from Ohio State University and a Doctor of Educational Leadership degree from Western Michigan University. He and his wife, Cathy, have two sons and a daughter.