Waco — Chancellor Mike Reeser announces the appointment of Gail Lawrence as president of Texas State Technical College West Texas, pending board approval. The TSTC Board of Regents will consider the appointment for approval on Aug. 5, at their next regular meeting.
Lawrence has served in an interim capacity since Reeser stepped down as president when he was chosen to serve as the TSTC System Chancellor/CEO on Nov. 4, 2010. A presidential search committee considered numerous candidates and presented Lawrence to the Chancellor. In May, the search committee completed an initial search cycle without selecting a final candidate. The search committee is made up of TSTC employees, administrators and regents.
“We put candidates through a rigorous interview process,” said Jonathan Hoekstra, chair of the presidential search committee, “and Ms. Lawrence went through an even more intense experience, having served in the position of president for the past eight months.”
“Ms. Lawrence’s outstanding performance as interim president earned the respect of the other three TSTC presidents, so it’s understandable that she holds their unqualified endorsement, as well as that of the entire search committee,” said Chancellor Reeser.
"Gail Lawrence's private and public sector experience, when coupled with her years of success in higher education, make her the ideal leader for the president role in west Texas,” said Regent Joe Hearne, chair of the human and organizational development committee for the TSTC Board of Regents, and member of the presidential search committee.
“Gail has been a west Texan for decades and is a proven performer who never forgets that the students are the reason for our efforts. So, I look forward to discussing her selection at the TSTC Board meeting in which we will consider her ratification,” said Regent J.V. Martin who also served on the presidential search committee.
“I'm very pleased for the students and employees of TSTC West Texas who will be the fortunate beneficiaries of her leadership,” added Reeser.
Lawrence holds a bachelor of science in business from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. Prior to serving as interim president, Lawrence served at TSTC West Texas as the director of human resources, chief of staff and executive vice president. In addition to serving in higher education, Lawrence has also worked in the health care industry, serving as director of human resources for both Hendrick Health System in Abilene and Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital in Sweetwater. Her public service includes: nine year member of the Sweetwater ISD Board of Trustees, having served as secretary, vice president and president; founding board member of West Texas Children’s Advocacy Center; board member, Texas Midwest Community Network; and board member of the Nolan County Appraisal District.
Lawrence has been a member of the Big Country community for 27 years. She implemented and chaired a “Back to School” project providing free school supplies for area students. She is a graduate of Leadership Sweetwater and member of First United Methodist Church Sweetwater.
Lawrence and her husband Kyle have been married for 25 years. They have five children: Kaitlin, 23, a second year Baylor Law Student; Jake, 19, a sophomore at The University of Texas at Austin; Elise, 16, a junior at Sweetwater High School and twins Mark and Michael, 13, eighth graders at Sweetwater Middle School.
Texas State Technical College (www.tstc.edu ) consists of four technical colleges: TSTC Harlingen, TSTC Marshall, TSTC Waco and TSTC West Texas, which has campuses in Abilene, Breckenridge, Brownwood and Sweetwater. TSTC colleges rank among the top colleges in the state and nation for conferring associate degrees in engineering, precision production, computer information sciences and support services, science technologies/technicians and enrollment of Hispanic students (http://www.ccweek.com ). Washington Monthly magazine's annual publication of America’s 50 best community colleges for 2010 ranked TSTC Waco No. 41 on the magazine’s list; TSTC West Texas and TSTC Waco landed in the second and third spots respectively in Texas in the Community Colleges category.