Bucks County Community College Picks Next President

The military veteran and educator has been picked to lead the community college.

Dr. Patrick Jones.
Credit: Submitted

Bucks County Community College has hired its next president.

On Tuesday, the Bucks County Community College’s Board of Trustees announced that Dr. Patrick Jones will take the helm as the sixth president starting on July 1.

Jones, a military veteran, was selected unanimously by the trustees to lead the community college, which serves over 10,000 academic-credit students and 25,000 alternative-credit students annually across its campuses in Bristol Township, Newtown Township, and East Rockhill Township.

The decision concludes a nationwide search that began last fall following the resignation of Dr. Felicia Ganther, who stepped down from her role as president in December 2023. Her contract was due to expire in July 2024.

Dr. Felicia Ganther, president of Bucks County Community College, speaking in June 2022. Credit: PA Internet News Service

“We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Jones home to Bucks County,” Board Chair Thomas Jennings said in a statement. “We are confident that he will lead the college forward with integrity, skill, vision, and enthusiasm. He is a compassionate leader, driven by results, devoted to students and well-acquainted with service to our diverse communities.”

Currently, Jones is serving as a chancellor of Penn State Schuylkill and a professor of music. He had held previous administrative roles at various colleges and universities.

The new president’s appointment comes at a crucial time as the college seeks to navigate through challenges, including improving its finances and enrollment.

“I am grateful to the trustees for this opportunity to help Bucks County Community College continue to make a difference in the lives of our students and communities across the county” said Jones. “The college is a gem and I look forward to working with the trustees, faculty, staff, and students on our campuses and centers, and our business, community, and elected leaders in ensuring it thrives and fulfills its indispensable role as an educational, cultural, and economic engine of Bucks County.”

Last week, the Bucks County Community College Federation of Teachers, the union that represents full-time and part-time faculty, issued a letter to the trustees last week that they did not feel any of the finalist candidates were qualified to lead the institution into the future.

The union called on Provost Dr. Kelly Kelleway, a longtime educator, to be appointed to the interim leader.

The selection process was led by the Presidential Search Committee in collaboration with RH Perry and Associates. The search saw finalist candidates visiting Bucks County and meeting with stakeholders.

Below is the biography of Jones released by the community college:

Dr. Patrick M. Jones is currently the chancellor of Penn State Schuylkill as well as a professor of music. During his tenure which began in January 2019, he has overseen the addition of in-demand programs such as nursing, cybersecurity, and information technology. Dr. Jones has also overseen upgrades to the campus’ physical plant including new laboratories for chemistry, nursing, and radiological sciences; a learning center; and technology and equipment upgrades to classrooms and athletic and recreation facilities. In addition, the campus partnered with the business and non-profit community to develop and launch Penn State Schuylkill Co-op in Fall 2020.

Dr. Jones served in a variety of academic and administrative roles prior to joining Penn State, including Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs at Drexel University, Director of Veteran Enrollment Practice and Director of the Setnor School of Music at Syracuse University, Chair of the Music Education Department at Boston University, and Head of the Music Education Division at The University of the Arts. He also has held leadership positions in national and international scholarly societies, presented papers at academic symposia around the globe, and published book chapters and research articles in numerous peer-reviewed journals.

In addition to his academic career, Dr. Jones served for thirty years in both the Army and Air Force, retiring from the Air National Guard at the rank of Colonel. His assignments included serving as a musician, unit commander, and Chief of Air National Guard Bands and Advisor to the Air Force Director of Public Affairs. As Chief of Bands, he was responsible for units across the country and a worldwide mission that included diplomatic outreach globally and troop entertainment in deployed locations throughout the Middle East, Central and Southwest Asia, and the Horn of Africa.

Dr. Jones holds the Bachelor of Science degree in music education from West Chester University, a Diploma of Fine Arts in conducting and wind literature from the University of Calgary, the Master of Arts degree in conducting from George Mason University, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in music education from Penn State University. He also is a graduate of the Armed Forces School of Music, Air National Guard Academy of Military Science, Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, and Air War College.

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for 12 years for both newspaper and online publications. Tom’s reporting has appeared locally, nationally, and internationally across several mediums. He is proud to report on news in the county where he lives and to have created a reliable publication that the community deserves.

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