Pasco-Hernando State College president Timothy Beard, Ph.D., has earned near-perfect scores on his annual review by the college’s District Board of Trustees (DBOT). At a June DBOT meeting, read a related news release, The College Board of Trustees gave him an overall average score of 4.95 out of 5, “noting his excellent communications with the District Board of Trustees, community stakeholders, as well as administrators on the college’s administrative leadership team. DBOT Chair Marilyn Pearson-Adams summarized the review comments in a letter to the trustees, noting that “Dr. Beard’s personal and professional demeanor have positively impacted his performance as president and consequently facilitated the college being one of the premier institutions in the Florida College System.” He exceeded performance standards in all areas of this evaluation.”
Beard is starting the second year of a tri-year contract awarded in 2020 by the college trustees.This review is consistent with last year’s review, in which Beard earned a 4.86 for board relations; a 4.88 for community, state and national relations; a 5.0 on fiscal accountability; a 4.99 for leadership; and a 5.0 for accountability. The president’s overall average percentage score continues to increase annually with 96% in 2019, 98% in 2020 and 99% this year.
This honor marks another in a long line of accomplishments for Beard, whose initial career ambitions lie outside the academic arena.
“In the ’80s, I went to school to study communications and journalism,” said Beard. “At first, I wanted to be the next Howard Cosell or Curt Gowdy.”
Yet even stronger than Beard’s love for sports was his overwhelming desire to help others. And after exploring the field of rehab and physical therapy, he finally decided to pursue a career in education.
Beard earned his doctoral degree in rehabilitation counseling with a special emphasis in higher education administration from Florida State University in Tallahassee. He also holds a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from Florida State University.
Timothy L. Beard, Ph.D. began his duties as Pasco-Hernando State College’s fourth president on July 1, 2015. Prior to his appointment, Beard served as PHSC’s Vice President of Student Development and Enrollment Management since February 2007. Beard served as the Dean of Student Affairs for the University of South Alabama in Mobile. He was also the acting Vice President of Student Affairs from August to December of 2005 for the University of South Alabama. From 1999 through 2002 he was the Director of Student Affairs and Enrollment Manager at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.
Prior to holding this position, Beard spent a year as a board member with special gubernatorial appointment at The Florida State Board for Independent Colleges and Universities. He also spent two years as the director of graduate student and enrollment management services, four years as the Director of Instructional Research Assessment and Special Programs, and five years as the Director of Career Services at Florida A&M – Florida State University in Tallahassee. Prior to that, Beard held the position of Assistant Career Counseling and Placement Center Director at Florida A&M University.
“I like working with people, empowering them,” he said. “Ultimately, by choosing a career in education, I could help so many students realize their career dreams.”
And by working at a community college, Beard felt that he could make the biggest difference in the lives of these pupils.
“At community colleges, we help so many people who have not had their piece of the American dream,” he said. “My whole mission at PHSC is to further the success of students, to lend them a helping hand by both providing them the confidence they need to be successful.”
Community colleges, Beard asserts, serve the broadest population of students.
“We take students from all walks of life,” he said. “About 65-70 percent of students work part time while they go to college.”
Through scholarship programs and financial aid, Beard hopes to make the American dream more accessible to students. And in his mind, moral support is just as valuable as its financial counterpart.
“The employees and staff at PHSC are a family,” he said. “There’s a deep sense of caring. We do care.”
To this end, PHSC offers a Student Life and human services program to help students who may need basic necessities like food and clothes, or perhaps guidance and counseling services.
“We want to eliminate all of the roadblocks between our students and graduation,” she said.
And as much as the school serves students, Beard also strives to serve the community as well.
“We train our students to join and strengthen the Hernando County workforce with their technical skills, and develop programs to give them the credentials they need to work in their chosen fields,” he said. “We enable them to transition quickly into the workplace.”
Beard says that he and his staff have received numerous letters and visits from students saying PHSC put them on the road to a successful life. And he also has plenty of fans throughout the Hernando community.
“Timothy Beard has a great passion for students,” said business and community leader Frank Morsani. “And he is well-liked throughout the college and community.”
“He has shown such great leadership,” said John Mitten, former County Commissioner District 1 of Brooksville, and the owner of the only Chick-fil-A in Hernando County. “We are blessed to have him here, he has done so much. He is gold.”
DBOT Chair Marilyn Pearson-Adams agrees.
“To Timothy Beard, it’s all about the team–and all about the students,” she said. “He lifts everybody up.”
Ultimately, said Beard, his goal is always to lift his students up.
“When our students come to school with a dream,” he said. “We aim to help them fulfill it.”