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community SECTION C • SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2014 SPOTLIGHT ON EDUCATION: GEORGIA GWINNETT COLLEGE LOOKING AHEAD Preczewski focuses on vision, not title By Keith Farner There is no timetable for the Board of Regents to name an official president, spokesman John For the first time in his career, Millsaps said. Stanley “Stas” Preczewski is putThe standard process for finding ting down roots. a college president includes the forAfter he spent a career in mation of two separate committees: the U.S. Army, a campus search committee and a Preczewski has Regents search committee. worked at Georgia Preczewski earned a bachelor’s Gwinnett College degree in engineering at Cornell since 2005, first as University in 1980 and concurrentprovost and now as ly received his Army officer cominterim president, mission. His other degrees include the longest time he a master’s in engineering from the and his wife have University of Massachusetts, a Stas lived anywhere. In master’s in National Security StratPreczewski their time together, egy and Planning from the United they’ve moved 19 States Naval War College, and a times. doctorate in Higher Education from “It’s nice to have roots,” Precze- the University of Missouri. wski told the Daily Post in a recent Preczewski met his wife, Jean, a interview in his office. “I know my legal assistant in Buford, 42 years neighbors’ names. They know me. ago and they have been married We’re not packing again. So that for more than 30 years. They have stability is quite nice.” three adult children, each of whom At the office, Preczewski said he hold the rank of captain in the U.S. and colleagues can communicate Army. in shorthand and more efficiently With a military background as a because they know each other well, retired colonel, Preczewski said he and what to expect. makes decisions based on the misFor the second time in his career, sion and the vision of the college. Preczewski is an interim president He also doesn’t treat the interim of a college institution, this time title as a sort of on-the-job interas GGC now counts 9,869 stuview for the permanent position. dents — while class sizes remain at “I’ve never made a decision, 22 — as it nears an eventual goal ever, in my life that benefits me, in of 13,000 students. Yet because of fact I’ve done things that have hurt his personality, and the way GGC myself,” Preczewski said. “We’ve was built, Preczewski believes the always operated, and will always interim title doesn’t change the job operate, in the best interest of the description. students. If we do what’s in the “Whether you have interim bebest interest of me, generally that’s fore you’re name, the decisions still not what’s best for the students. … have to be made and the responsiThere’s only one reason a college bility is still the same,” Preczewski exists, there’s only one reason we said. “You just have that word out have jobs. It’s because students front. I operate the same, whether choose to come here. They choose to come here because they’re sucit’s there or not there.” cessful here.” The appointment, which began While the job description hasn’t on July 1, follows GGC President changed, Preczewski’s duties have Daniel Kaufman’s recent move as since he was provost, which he the new president of the Gwinnett admitted to being largely internal to Chamber of Commerce. Preczethe campus. The president’s duties wski previously served as vice president for Academic and Student are largely external, and deals with every stake holder that touches the Affairs. university: students, faculty, staff, Preczewski was also interim alumni, parents, donors, legislators president of Georgia College & and the Board of Regents. State University in Milledgeville “Everybody has a slightly diffrom July 2011 through June ferent twist of what they would 2012. While he learned some leslike to see a college to do,” he said. sons in his first stint as an interim president, Preczewski said GCSU’s “You’re job is to find that middle more than 100-year-old history is a point. It’s not a science, it’s an art.” stark contrast to GGC still being in See GGC, Page 9C the development stages. File photos of the Georgia Gwinnett College campus. (Photos courtesy of GGC)

Education Guide - February 2014

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