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Four certified as finalists for Piedmont Virginia Community College presidency

Piedmont Virginia Community CollegeThe State Board for Community Colleges has certified four finalists for the position of president at Piedmont Virginia Community College. The finalists were among 96 applicants from across the nation.

The four finalists, in alphabetical order, are Dr. Julie Leidig of Centreville, Va.; Dr. Jean Runyon of Fort Collins, Colo.; Dr. Walt Tobin of Columbia, S.C.; and Dr. Patrick Tompkins of Onancock, Va.

“This pool of finalists is an impressive collection of diverse and experienced academic leaders,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “Piedmont Virginia Community College plays a leading role in affordable college access, workforce development, and economic development throughout its Charlottesville service region. I am confident that this elite group will yield a president ready to lead the college successfully.”

The four finalists seek to succeed Dr. Frank Friedman, who is retiring this year after having served as the college’s president since 1999. The finalists will soon visit the college to meet with faculty, staff, students, and community members.

Tompkins is vice president for Academic, Student and Workforce Education at Eastern Shore Community College in Virginia, a role he has held since 2019. From 2013 to 2018, he worked at Thomas Nelson Community College as a dean and then provost at the Historic Triangle Campus. From 1993 to 2013, he taught at John Tyler Community College, where he was an associate professor. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Villanova University, a master’s degree from Iowa State University, a master’s degree of fine arts from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a doctorate from Old Dominion University.

Tobin is president of Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College in South Carolina, a position he has held since 2011. Before becoming president, Tobin had served the institution as vice president for academic affairs, from 2002 to 2011, and held a role as interim president at Denmark Technical College. Before starting his higher education career, Tobin held several positions in secondary education in South Carolina, including high school principal, assistant principal, and math instructor. Tobin earned his bachelor’s degree at Clemson University, his master’s degree, education specialist degree, and his doctorate at the University of South Carolina.

Runyon is the campus vice president of Front Range Community College in Colorado, where she is the top executive of the Larimer campus, a role she has had since 2015. From 2007 to 2015, she worked at Anne Arundel Community College, holding successive leadership roles in the college’s Learning Advancement and the Virtual Campus. Prior to this in 2000, she became the director of the Innovative Teaching Center at the College of Southern Maryland, where she was also a professor. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Bloomsburg University, her master’s degree from George Washington University, and her doctorate from Northcentral University.

Leidig is provost of the Loudoun Campus at Northern Virginia Community College, a role she has held since 2010. She served as the vice president of Instruction from 2004 to 2010 at Lone Star College in Texas. Starting in 1996, she worked at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Division of Community and Technical Colleges, where she held several roles, including program director, assistant director of instructional programs and director of instructional programs. She began her career as an instructional administrator and faculty member in Japan, teaching English as a foreign language. Leidig earned her bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and two master’s degrees and her doctorate from the University of Texas.

Established in 1972, PVCC is a nonresidential two-year institution of higher education that serves Central Virginia – principally, residents of the City of Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson.


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