By Josh Cross
Orinthia Montague has been chosen by the Tennessee Board of Regents to become the fourth president of Volunteer State Community College.“As the college celebrates its 50th anniversary I am excited to join the community,” she added. “I look forward to continuing to build upon the great work already in place at Vol State as we look towards our next 50 years.”
The search to find the next president of Vol State began earlier this year after Jerry Faulkner announced his plan to retire at the end of August after more than nine years at the college.
An 18-member search committee reviewed 78 applicants from across the county before eventually recommended Montague and two others for the position.
Following separate campus visits and forums in late June, Tydings conducted interviews with each of the three finalists and reviewed feedback from the public and campus communities before making her recommendation that Montague be hired.
Volunteer State Community College is a comprehensive two-year public community college that primarily serves 11 northern Middle Tennessee counties. In addition to its main campus in Gallatin, the school also has campuses in Cookeville, Livingston and Springfield. It operates on a budget of more than $90 million and has more than 450 full-time employees, including more than 180 full-time faculty members.Montague, who has served as the president of Tompkins Cortland Community College in New York since 2017, was unanimously confirmed for the position during a special-called meeting Tuesday. She will start in her new role Sept. 1.
“Dr. Montague … is by far the best choice going forward for Volunteer State Community College and the success of its students,” TBR Chancellor Flora Tydings said before the vote. “I know that (she) will continue the progress that has been made and will strive to keep the momentum going for students at this fine college.”
Before her time at Tompkins Cortland Community College, Montague served as the dean of students at Normandale Community College in Minnesota before becoming vice president of student affairs and chief diversity officer at the school. She has also worked at the University of Missouri-St. Louis along with several other education-related jobs in the St. Louis area.
She holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, a master’s degree in counseling from Lindenwood College and a bachelor’s degree in interpersonal communication from Truman State University.
In a prepared statement after the vote Tuesday, Montague said she was “humbled and honored” by her confirmation.
By Josh Cross