Finalist Named for Georgia Highlands College Presidency

The Board of Regents voted today to name Dr. Mike Hobbs as the sole finalist for president of Georgia Highlands College (GHC).

Hobbs currently serves as vice president for student affairs and athletic director at Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham, Ala.

Dr. Dana Nichols, GHC’s chief academic officer and provost, has served as the college’s interim president since President Don Green left in July 2021.

“I want to thank GHC’s campus search committee for bringing forward three qualified candidates,” Perdue said. “The Regents Special Committee was impressed with Dr. Hobbs’ professional career and innovative outreach to students using technology to keep them engaged and progressing toward earning their degree.”

Hobbs has been Jefferson State’s vice president since 2018. During that time, he has played a key role leading the college’s efforts to increase overall cohort graduation by 200%, student retention by 22% and transfer-out rate to four-year schools by 20%. He also supported capital campaigns that generated more than $50 million for Jefferson State and the St. Clair County School Board. He assisted with completion of two successful SACS-COC accreditation reaffirmations with a third in progress.

While at Jefferson State, he spearheaded the enrollment efforts to bring three separate instructional sites to full campus status, established a mental health response team called “Jeff Care,” created a new scholarship program focused on student retention, highly involved in the leadership team for construction of two new campuses and drove student success efforts with new initiatives in counseling, career assessment, academic advising, veteran affairs and Americans with Disabilities Act services.

“Dr. Hobbs impressed the committee with his experience and his passion and commitment for students,” said Regent Lowery May, chair of the Regents Special Committee, which assisted with the search. “He understands access institutions and can lead Georgia Highlands to continued growth and success as it expands its four-year offerings and focuses on student achievement and workforce development.”

Hobbs’ previous roles at Jefferson State include dean of Enrollment Services, director of Enrollment Services, coordinator of Transfer Advising and Dual Enrollment and professor of economics. In addition to teaching at Jefferson State, he has been an adjunct instructor in economics at Samford University in Birmingham and in higher education for the executive Ed.D. program at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa.

Prior to joining Jefferson State, Hobbs served as coordinator of Admission Services at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

“I’m honored to be considered for the presidency of Georgia Highlands College, an institution that is critical to the Northwest Georgia region’s workforce and whose students, faculty and staff are passionate about its success,” Hobbs said. “There are many similarities between Georgia Highlands and my current institution, not least of which is making sure students succeed. I believe every student deserves the opportunity to excel and reach their highest potential, and I hope to work with the GHC community to expand the college’s impact.”

Hobbs has post-graduate coursework in economics from the University of Detroit Mercy and earned his Ph.D. in community college leadership from Mississippi State University. He has a master of arts in education supervision and leadership and a bachelor of science in criminal and justice science from UAB. He also has an associate degree in applied science from Jefferson State.

The Board of Regents will take action on the position at a future board meeting, no sooner than five days from naming a finalist.