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Dr. Jo Marshall Set to Retire as SCC President and CEO

dr. marshall photoDr. Jo Marshall, president and CEO of Somerset Community College since 2000, recently announced her plans to retire from the college effective June 30, 2018.

"My decision to retire has not been an easy one; however, I rest assured that SCC will continue to grow and flourish as it has done for the past 53 years," said Dr. Marshall. "My tenure at SCC started with a successful SACS accreditation for the college and was quickly followed by the unification of Somerset Community College, Somerset Technical College and Laurel Technical College in 2003."

Under Dr. Marshall's leadership, SCC added seven new buildings, started the SCC Foundation, which now boasts a student scholarship fund of nearly one million dollars, and received numerous awards. SCC was named a "Great College to Work For" by The Chronicle of Higher Education, a "Best Place to Work in Kentucky" for 10 years, a Military Friendly School and a Top 120 Community College by The Aspen Institute.

In 2011, SCC saw its largest enrollment numbers, topping out at more than 10,000 students. By working with area business and industry, Dr. Marshall led the efforts to enact several initiatives that focused on getting students into high-wage, high-demand careers by adding short-term certificates and diploma options. In addition, Dr. Marshall and her leadership team successfully navigated numerous transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities throughout the state, allowing SCC students to transfer with ease to complete bachelor's degrees.

In addition to drastic increases in student enrollment, Dr. Marshall also effectively navigated enrollment declines as the economy improved, unemployment rates decreased and the college's budget was cut by state-ordered mandates.

"The past 18 years have not always been easy," Dr. Marshall said. "We have worked hard to meet the needs of the communities we serve. We have all creatively managed the changes that occur in higher education with great resound, and, most importantly, we have all remained compassionately committed to our students."

Dr. Marshall earned her doctoral degree from the University of Alabama in English/Administration of Higher Education. She served as vice president and dean of the college at Chattahoochee Valley Community College in Phoenix City, Alabama, until 2000 when she moved to Kentucky with her husband Scott to take the reins at SCC. Scott retired from the Alabama college system and taught economics for Eastern Kentucky University until his passing in 2011. The Marshalls have two children — daughter Kristin is a college faculty division chair, and son Scott Jr. is a physician. Marshall enjoys spending time with them and her four grandsons and one granddaughter.

"I've loved SCC and this community since I first called it home," said Dr. Marshall, who has been active in numerous community organizations and has served as a member of several local, regional and state boards. "I look forward to finishing out the academic year at SCC and watching the great things the college accomplishes in the future."

Dr. Marshall serves on the board of directors for The Center for Rural Development and the Southern Kentucky Economic Development Corporation (SKED). She is a past member of the Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital board of trustees. In 2011, the Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce named her Business Woman of the Year, in 2015 she received the Master Musicians Festival Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2017, the Somerset Business and Professional Women's Club named her the Business Woman of the Year.

Dr. Marshall also serves as an international facilitator for the Phi Theta Kappa/Kellogg Foundation Leadership Development Project. Phi Theta Kappa is one of the largest and most prestigious honor societies serving community colleges. The inaugural Marshall Leadership Award, named in her honor, was presented in June 2013 at a Phi Theta Kappa convention in San Jose, California. The international award was created for Phi Theta Kappa advisors at community colleges to encourage their professional growth beyond the completion of professional degrees.

Dr. Jay Box, president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) will travel to SCC on January 10 to meet with the college's board of directors and faculty and staff. He plans to provide an overview of the presidential search process and will lay out a timeline for events that will follow.

"Dr. Marshall has been a passionate and inspirational leader at SCC," said Dr. Box. "It has been my pleasure to work with her. While it will be difficult to fill her shoes, we are committed to building on the example she set over the past 18 years as we search for a new president and CEO."