Pumphrey looks back on advancements

Pumphrey takes a moment to discuss the many advancements in which he was proud to take part at the college. Photo by Teal Christensen.

South Puget Sound Community College President Gerald Pumphrey said he has witnessed amazing advances at the college since beginning his work as president on Aug. 1, 2006.

Though determined not to enter with presumptuous goals, Pumphrey was immediately introduced to prospective projects including the development of a Hawks Prairie campus that he found “tremendously intriguing.”

Because of a national economic decline, college funding did not allow the project to be implemented, but other aspects of the college maintained the president’s excitement.

According to Pumphrey, his expectations of the college spawned from several years of experience at other institutions.

Though some features are similar between all community colleges, SPSCC’s comprehensive quality is especially important to him, he said. Pumphrey said he is proud of the extensive opportunities at the college which include academic transfers, continuing degrees, and technical training.

The physical appearance of the campus is also superior, said Pumphrey, having visited over 200 different campuses, he sees this campus as the most beautiful and neat.

The main changes that have occurred since Pumphrey began working at the college are the new resources and support for hybrid classes, and vast technical advancements in several programs. These developments include new labs for computer drafting and digital media, and the use of hybrid cars in automotive programs.

Throughout his time at SPSCC, the main problem he has faced was tuition not fully compensating for state funding cuts. He said, “Other problems pale in comparison.”

The best way to avoid major problems is to engage a fully supportive faculty and staff who are willing to work through harsh funding cuts, said Pumphrey. Previous staff changes in a few positions have consequently insured this support.

To his successor, Pumphrey advised setting a goal to know the institution before initiating severe changes.

He also suggested listening to the staff and students who have been working and studying here, ending on the assurance that whoever fills his position is “coming into a good college with good people.”