Nine interim positions filled internally

There are many familiar faces in new positions this semester at GHC. After a large turnover last year, a number of interim positions have been filled at the college by returning staff members.


The newly filled positions are as follows:
• Dana Nichols — Interim President
• Sarah Coakley — Interim Chief, Academic Officer, Provost
• Jason Christian — Interim Dean, School of STEM
• Jessica Lindberg — Interim Dean, School of Humanities
• Brandan Harrell — Interim Director of Athletics
• Dorothy Morgan — Interim Director of Student Support Services
• Julia Reidy — Interim Chair of English
• Brandy Rogers — Interim Division Chair, School of STEM
• Paula Stover — Interim Director of Nursing


The positions opened up for a number of reasons, some related to COVID-19, and others for personal or professional reasons. Many staff and faculty members used the pandemic as a time for reflection, causing them to pursue other interests or accept new positions.

“There are multiple levels,” Floyd HR Programs Manager, Brad Gilmore said, “It created a change within people. So you went from a traditional model where you’re in person all the time to a more remote model, or different things.”

“So maybe a position that you’ve had for a number of years isn’t quite as fulfilling anymore,” said Gilmore, “And so you’re looking for other opportunities or something along that line. So looking at it through that lens, it is partially COVID related.”

The University System of Georgia, or USG, also played a role in why some left the staff. The USG is the body that governs the 26 colleges and universities in the state.

“The USG offered a pretty generous early retirement package, kind of towards the end of COVID,” said Gilmore, “And so we did have several in senior leadership positions that chose to take that package. So that opened up some [positions]”

“Anytime you have a shift up, you have a kind of a shuffling underneath, too.” Gilmore said.



Hiring freezes also affected the filling of interim positions.

Gilmore said, “Anytime that there’s a hiring freeze, it’s not like Georgia Highlands goes out and says that there’s a hiring freeze, we’re not going to personally do it, it typically comes from the USG. What that means is if you have positions that are open and posted, then those positions remain open.”

“Say I wanted to add another team member to the library and the position had not existed before,” said Gilmore, “I want to have that new position. Now there’s a little bit more red tape to be able to get approval or denial to actually create a new position”

“Another piece of that puzzle is that we had our college president Don Green, he accepted another position up in Pennsylvania,” said Gilmore, “So anytime that there’s a large leadership change, there is a little bit of fallout from that. Which there actually has not been a lot of people leaving just because of that, because our interim is fantastic.”

Dana Nichols has taken over as Interim President, while Jessica Lindberg fills the role of Interim Dean of the School of Humanities.

“This is what I’ve always wanted to do,” said Lindberg. She said that many of the positions that opened up this year were from individuals stepping up to fill the newly vacant positions. Her position opened up after former dean Jon Hershey retired after nearly 40 years at GHC.

“[The position] feels like a year-long interview,” said Lindberg, “I need to do a good job demonstrating my ability in the position.”