Dr. Phillip Neal marks 10 years of leadership at SKYCTC
Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKYCTC) has witnessed ten years of growth and success under the leadership of Dr. Phillip Neal. At this year’s convocation, the faculty and staff surprised Neal with a tribute to his ten years by highlighting ten areas of accomplishments witnessed by faculty, staff, and students. At the event, Warren County Judge Executive Doug Gorman and Bowling Green City Mayor Todd Alcott proclaimed August 4, 2023 “Dr. Phillip Neal Day”. Faculty and staff of the college honored Dr. Neal by congratulating him on his many accomplishments over the past ten years of his leadership as the President of SKYCTC.
Addressing Dr. Neal’s many accomplishments, several members of the SKYCTC community have subsequently shared their perspectives. Sherri Forester, Vice President of Administrative Services, began, “Under Dr. Neal’s leadership, SKYCTC has been recognized by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Kentucky Society for Human Resource Management as one of the Best Places to Work in Kentucky for nine years.”
SKYCTC Provost, Dr. James B. McCaslin, added that, “Under Dr. Neal’s leadership and vision for the past decade, SKYCTC has been recognized at the local, state, and national level. The college was recognized as one of the Aspen Institute’s Top 150 Colleges in the nation and was also awarded a national Faculty Innovations Award for SKYCTC’s faculty-led Workplace Ethics Agreement. Dr. Neal will demur and tell you that he didn’t achieve any of these things alone. I maintain, though, that he sets the tone for our culture of innovation, support, and empowerment.”
With respect to Career Pathways and the partnerships SKYCTC has developed with area school systems and organizations like United Way of Southern Kentucky and Junior Achievement, Brooke Justice, SKYCTC Vice President for Student Services, added, “Dr. Neal strives to inspire students at the secondary level to envision themselves in a career pathway offered at SKYCTC. Hands-on experiences in our classrooms and labs have helped students to see themselves eventually working in the field.”
With Dr. Neal at the helm, SKYCTC continues to offer programs that meet the workforce needs of Southcentral Kentucky. “Dr. Neal’s support for the continued growth and development of the Commercial Drivers’ License Program has resulted in significant expansion in the five years it has been in existence. Offerings have extended to two additional locations beyond the SKYCTC Franklin-Simpson Center, and the number of students earning the Class A CDL grew by 65% in FY23 over FY22,” shared Dr. Kim Myers, SKYCTC Dean of Workforce Solutions. Dr. Angie Harlan, SKYCTC Dean of Allied Health and Nursing and Campus Director of the SKYCTC Glasgow Health Campus, added, “Dr. Neal consistently strives to offer and expand academic programs at the college that will meet the workforce needs of the community. He ensures these programs also meet measures that, once completed, the student will be able to obtain a job which will improve their quality of life. Dr. Neal is very supportive of adding student support programs which will help students be successful in their academic program.”
Dr. Gene Basil, SKYCTC Dean of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies and Campus Director of the SKYCTC Transpark Center and the SKYCTC Glasgow Technology Campus, agreed, “Dr. Neal understands that students today lead busy lives and have diverse responsibilities. Dr. Neal continues to champion the students and the business community through his dedication to providing accessible and high-quality education that meets the unique needs of each student.”
“The advocacy and dedication to all areas of the college are so admirable - Dr. Neal truly exudes the culture of caring when it comes to building programs, supporting faculty and staff, and showcasing SKYCTC’s robust commitment to Southcentral Kentucky,” added Kelcie Richart, Campus Director of the SKYCTC Franklin-Simpson Center.
The SKYCTC Culture of Caring, a name that encapsulates the manner in which the SKYCTC community operates, has led to dramatic increases in student access and success. As a result of the Culture of Caring, programs have been initiated to employ Student Ambassadors, to ensure students have access to affordable meal options, and to increase the number of scholarships available. The supportive environment and financial assistance from so many business and community partners has led to a record increase in enrollment, with an emphasis on traditionally underrepresented populations. In the past three years, SKYCTC has secured three federal grants to establish TRIO programs for Student Support Services, Educational Opportunity Centers, and Upward Bound Math Science.
A signature project of Dr. Neal’s has been the establishment of the SKYCTC Merit Scholarship. Any student in Southcentral Kentucky who wants to earn a postsecondary credential can do so. Most students have the opportunity to graduate from SKYCTC with no debt.
Steve Thurmond, Executive Director of the Franklin-Simpson Chamber of Commerce and Chair of the SKYCTC Foundation Board of Directors, added, “Dr. Neal’s passion for all students is impressive. He cares about their academic success, but also about their success as individuals in an ever-changing world.”
Dr. Neal’s leadership extends beyond SKYCTC to the entire KCTCS System. Acting KCTCS President Dr. Larry Ferguson says, “It has been my pleasure to be a colleague of Dr. Neal during his time at KCTCS. He epitomizes what it means to be a servant leader. Southcentral and the KCTCS system is better because of his leadership.”
Pictured below, Warren County Judge Executive Doug Gorman (left) and Bowling Green City Mayor Todd Alcott (center) proclaimed August 4, 2023 Dr. Phillip Neal Day at Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College’s annual convocation exercises. Faculty and staff of the college honored Dr. Neal congratulating him on his many accomplishments over the past ten years of his leadership as President of SKYCTC.