(Grand Island, Neb.) – Central Community College is pleased to announce that Dr. Matt Gotschall has been named the fifth president of the school, succeeding Dr. Greg Smith who will retire in January 2018. The CCC Board of Governors approved Gotschall’s appointment during its monthly meeting on Thursday.
“The CCC Board of Governors considered a number of exceptional candidates and we feel we have made the right choice in selecting Dr. Gotschall to be the next president of Central Community College,” said Linda Aerni, CCC Board chair. “So much is expected of a college president, not only internally but externally, and given Dr. Gotschall’s academic credentials, leadership skills and community involvement, he will hit the ground running, making for a smooth transition. The CCC Board of Governors also thanks Dr. Smith for his leadership of CCC during a most important time in the school’s history and we wish him and his wife, Marilee, all the best as they move on to the next chapter of their lives.”
Gotschall currently serves as the campus president of CCC-Columbus, a position he has held since 2005. In this capacity, he oversees more than 100 full-time faculty and staff and serves as vice president of CCC’s academic education, extended learning services and workforce training and development divisions. During Gotschall’s tenure, CCC has taken significant strides in expanding offerings for credit and non-credit students, revised procedures for early college and increased the Hispanic/Latino enrollment. The campus has also seen growth with the construction of an additional residence hall, a nearly 10,000-square-foot addition for the welding and mechatronics programs, and an expansion of the Raider Fieldhouse and athletic programs.
“I am very excited to be asked to lead and serve Central Community College and continue the great mission set forth by the CCC Board of Governors of maximizing student and community success,” said Gotschall. “Dr. Smith has been a positive mentor to me and others at CCC and I look forward to working with him on a smooth transition during the fall semester as we implement some major initiatives across our 25-county service area, including the opening of our new Kearney Center.”
Prior to serving as campus president, Gotschall served as the dean of educational services from 2003 to 2005. During that time, he oversaw the creation and updating of transfer articulation agreements with numerous institutions, including the University of Nebraska system. Gotschall also assisted with the expansion of online delivery of CCC coursework. From 2001 to 2003, he served as the associate dean of instruction/trades and industry, supervising advanced manufacturing and technical programs.
“The CCC Board of Governors has selected wisely,” said Smith. “Dr. Gotschall’s education, experience and personal integrity will serve the college well. For good reason, Matt is well-liked and respected by the CCC board, his peers, our employees, our students and the community at large. Dr. Gotschall is a tireless advocate for students. I am confident that Dr. Gotschall will be a positive role model and will lead CCC to even greater successes.”
From 1991 to 2000, Gotschall served in a number of capacities at Barton County Community College in Great Bend, Kan., including executive director of EduKan, director of BARTONline, and market development specialist. In his first three years at Barton, he taught agriculture and management courses as a full-time tenured member of the Barton faculty, receiving a National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) award.
Gotschall’s leadership is utilized by numerous professional and community organizations, including the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), where he was recently appointed to serve a term on the AACC commission on research, technology and emerging trends. Since 2006, he has been a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission and is a current member of the Nebraska Economic Development Association. Gotschall is a past chairman of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and a past chairman and current board member of the Columbus Area Community Foundation Fund.
A Nebraska native raised on a ranch near Atkinson, Gotschall earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He and his wife, Michele, are the parents of five daughters, four of whom are CCC alums. The fifth will attend CCC as an early college student in the fall while completing her senior year at Lakeview Community Schools.
Gotschall will begin his tenure as CCC president on Jan. 3, 2018. A national search for his replacement as CCC-Columbus campus president will begin immediately.