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KCTCS President names interim head to lead Bluegrass Community and Technical College

VERSAILLES, Ky. (May 3, 2007) KCTCS President Michael B. McCall announced today the selection of J. Larry Durrence as interim president of the Bluegrass Community and Technical College in Lexington, with administrative duties set to begin May 15.

Dr. Durrence served eight years as president of Polk Community College (PCC) in Lakeland and Winter Haven, Fla., until his retirement in February, 2006. He replaces Dr. Jim Kerley, who has accepted a position as president of Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Fla. During his tenure at PCC, Dr. Durrence increased enrollment on the two-campus college by 32 percent from 1998-2004 despite stagnant growth in state funding. He also initiated a variety of support services, educational programs and training opportunities to increase dramatically the number of minority students enrolled at the college. Additionally, Dr. Durrence led efforts to expand and upgrade technology on campus and developed close partnerships with key business and industries to provide new opportunities for educational and workforce training.

Prior to his post at Polk, Dr. Durrence served as a taxpayer rights and intergovernmental advocate for the Florida Department of Revenue. He also served as a program director within the Florida Center for Public Management at Florida State University. For 20 years, Dr. Durrence served as a professor in the Department of History and Political Science for Florida Southern College, including six years as the departments chairman. He is also a former mayor and city commissioner for the City of Lakeland.

Dr. Durrences educational credentials include a bachelors degree in history from Florida Southern College, a masters degree from the University of Georgia and a doctorate from the University of Georgia.

I am confident Dr. Durrences successful blend of scholarship, service and innovative leadership will prove to be a winning formula for the Bluegrass Community and Technical College as we continue the search process for the next president, President McCall said. We welcome him to our extended KCTCS family of 16 community and technical colleges on 65 campuses across the Commonwealth. We know he will be a winning member of our team.