On Tuesday, September 19, 2023, the Pasco-Hernando State District Board of Trustees (DBOT) tabbed Dr. Jesse Pisors as PHSC’s next president. Set to become the fifth president in the state college’s 51-year history, Pisors will succeed Dr. Timothy L. Beard, who has served as president since 2015. The president-elect will take the reins on January 31, 2024, following a transitionary period of roughly one month.
“It is a tremendous honor and responsibility to be asked to lead any institution of higher learning, but to have the opportunity to do so at Pasco-Hernando State College that, in over half a century, has only had four presidents is truly special,” Dr. Pisors said. “I am attracted to the College for many reasons, but I am especially drawn to the great people who work there, the mission they serve, and the communities of Pasco and Hernando Counties.”
Following Dr. Beard’s announcement of his imminent retirement, PHSC initiated a comprehensive search. Posted on March 1, 2023, by consulting firm Myers-McRea, the position received 100 applications. The search committee put together to accomplish this task was comprised of 18 members who were leaders from across Pasco and Hernando Counties. According to DBOT Trustee and Chair of the Search Committee John Mitten, after the field was whittled down to 56, the search committee proceeded to vet each remaining candidate one by one. A July meeting narrowed the list of candidates further to 13, and each candidate was subsequently interviewed via video at a meeting in August.
By that step of the process, Mitten stated that the final four “had clearly distinguish[ed] themselves as such.” The qualified quartet included Gilbert L. Evans Jr., J.D., Ph.D., Eric Hall, Ed.D., Saul Reyes, Ed.D., and Jesse D. Pisors, Ed.D. The Sun wrote a brief overview of the candidates and their backgrounds in an issue last month.
What helped Dr. Pisors stand out above the rest? The state college’s president-elect earned his Doctorate in Education from Texas Tech University and has had a 25-plus year career in education. His experience as a vice president for not one but two different colleges appears to have prepared him for a smooth transition into this new role. According to the release, his time as an educator with institutions like Texas A&M University-San Antonio (TAMUSA) and the University of Houston-Victoria (UHV) displayed his aptitude for enhancing student experiences, driving growth, and strengthening community ties. The president-elect accomplished this by spurring significant growth in the areas of graduate enrollment and philanthropy while at TAMUSA.
“Dr. Pisors’ experience and understanding of the importance of working and collaborating in the community stood out to me,” said Lee Maggard, Vice Chair of the DBOT. “Combined with his experience in the university system and working in another state, Dr. Pisors will bring new and unique perspectives that will synchronize well with the College and Pasco-Hernando communities.”
Not only was there a month for the board to decide who would emerge victorious from the final roster of candidates, but a town hall was held by PHSC at the Instructional Performing Arts Center in Wesley Chapel on September 6. This was a prime opportunity for each member of the four-man field to separate themselves as they answered questions from the public, met one-on-one with Trustees, and established connections with attendees and those online. Afterward, they were taken on tours of each of PHSC’s five campuses.
“Both in the town hall and campus tours, Dr. Pisors took the time to meet the people from the audience,” said Gilberto Mattei-Fernandez, Student Representative on the Board of Trustees. “He sat down and even ate lunch with the staff, went on and beyond on creating connections with the students and faculty.”
The District Board of Trustees met one last time to interview the finalists in person on Tuesday, and the votes were cast for Dr. Pisors later that day. PHSC’s newly-minted president-elect is appreciative of this opportunity extended to him by the DBOT and is ready to start this new chapter of his career.
“I am deeply grateful to the District Board of Trustees for entrusting me with this precious and critical responsibility,” said Dr. Pisors. “My wife of 27 years, Nayeli, shares my enthusiasm, and we are both eager to put down roots and contribute both to the College and to the broader community.”