Vol State president Faulkner announces retirement

UPPER CUMBERLAND – Jerry Faulkner, president of Volunteer State Community College, has announced that he will be retiring this summer. Faulkner will have served as president for more than nine years, guiding the college through a period of growth and challenge. 

“It has been a great privilege and honor to have served in the Vol State college community,” Faulkner said. “My time here has been the most rewarding of my life.”  

Faulkner began his term on May 15, 2012. He worked to expand opportunities for students in the Upper Cumberland region. Faulkner negotiated a plan that made Vol State the community college operating a campus in Cookeville, eventually adding more than 900 students to the college each semester. The Livingston campus added new programs, including computer information technology and nursing. The first nursing graduating class had a 100% pass rate on licensing exams. Mechatronics expanded from Cookeville to the Gallatin campus in 2018.  

Most recently, Faulkner led the college through the COVID-19 pandemic. That included a sudden move to online learning in March of 2020 and the development of a comprehensive screening and tracking program on the campuses to help protect student, faculty and staff from the coronavirus. The celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the college will be marked this year with virtual events because of the pandemic.  

“In the 50 years Vol State has served the citizens of north middle Tennessee, the college has awarded more than 30,000 degrees and certificates,” he said. “That is 30,000 lives that have been changed and 30,000 families that have been impacted. We hope people join us in celebrating that achievement.” 

Faulkner served as the vice president for Academic Affairs at Cleveland State Community College from 2008-2012. Prior to that, he was a faculty member, then department head for Life Sciences and later teacher education coordinator at Chattanooga State Community College. He also held a two-year term as associate vice president for Academic Affairs at Tennessee Temple University.  

Faulkner and his wife, Wanda, are still exploring options for retired life but will likely take many opportunities to travel. The effective date of the retirement will be Aug. 31, 2021. The Tennessee Board of Regents will launch a search process for his successor, with a goal of a transition in the late summer.Faulkner is the third president to serve Vol State in its 50-year history. 

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