Gateway gets new president amid turmoil

Kate Murphy

Fernando Figueroa will be the new president of Gateway Community and Technical College. Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) President Jay K. Box announced his appointment Friday.

“Dr. Figueroa brings a broad range of experience to GCTC,” Box said. “He’s a proven leader that will be a good fit for the college and the community.”

Figueroa, who is currently vice chancellor for educational policy at Dallas County Community College, said he is honored to serve as president of Gateway and looks forward to getting to know the students, faculty and staff.

He comes to the Northern Kentucky college during turbulent times.

Significant cuts in state appropriations sought by Gov. Matt Bevin forced KCTCS and Gateway administrators to make tough decisions, including cutting programs and laying off employees. Gateway is also undergoing a restructuring review amid an enrollment decline, increased fixed costs and questions about its performance on workforce development, especially in the manufacturing sector.

Gateway faced with layoffs, program cuts

Figeuroa will step into his new role as president after July 1.

“There are so many opportunities for developing strong community and business partnerships in this region," he said. "I’m excited to become a part of this great system and college as we work together to develop strategies to serve the needs of our community and business and industry.”

Figueroa also held leadership positions at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas; Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas; and Morton College in Cicero, Illinois.

He earned a doctorate and a master’s degree in English from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University in New Orleans.

“Fernando Figueroa was the unanimous and enthusiastic choice of the Gateway Board of Directors to serve as the next president of Gateway CTC,” said Gateway board chair Jeff Groob.  “His unrelenting focus on student achievement and workforce development make him exactly the right person at exactly the right time for Gateway. He will win hearts and minds across Northern Kentucky. An exciting new chapter in Gateway's contribution to the growth and vitality of our region began today.”

Figeuroa replaces Ed Hughes, who retired in September 2015. The school had two interim presidents, most recently Vic Adams.