Grand Rapids Community College’s 10th president, Bill Pink, hits the ground running in his second week.
“For the past 10 years of my career, I’ve focused on becoming a college president, even before I came to GRCC, just from a standpoint to drive change,” Pink said. “When I came here to GRCC, I loved what we did and stood for and I decided that this was the place where I wanted to be.”
For the past two years, Pink has been working as GRCC’s vice president of Workforce Development. He was the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Oklahoma State University before he came to GRCC.
Pink said his past titles working as a faculty member, vice president, athletic director and dean helped him to prepare for his presidency.
“Those roles gave me an idea of what happens on a college campus,” Pink said. “I’ve been a faculty, I know that life. I’ve been a coach, I know that life. I’ve been a recruiter, I know that life. It gives a full vision from a campus standpoint.”
Pink’s first day as president was with the Board of Trustees in the first budget work session on May 1.
“The first week was good, we really hit the ground running,” Pink said. “It was a little more relaxed in terms of the schedule, but it just gave me the opportunity to get situated in the different setting.”
Being at the college for two years and knowing how the school is run and knowing everyone has helped Pink ease into his new role.
“I believe it would have been very different if I was new to the college,” Pink said.
In contrast to his first week, Pink’s said his second week involves a busy schedule.
“This week is hopping,” Pink said. “The calendar is very full and I’ve recently heard from my assistant that the schedule is going to be pretty full all through summer and into the fall semester.”
Pink said that the fall will be busy welcoming returning faculty and students as well as newcomers.
“For myself I will be busy trying to acclimate from a vice president standpoint to a president standpoint,” Pink said.
Keeping a solid position in the Grand Rapids community is also a large part of Pink’s position, which he aims to work hard to grow.
Although Pink acknowledged that retired GRCC president, Steven Ender, was a great president and did a lot for the school, he also said that there will be some differences in how they lead the college.
“The things we do that may be different is how we get to our own personal goals and goals of the college, so we will look into our strategy and possibly make minor changes to help move forward,” Pink said. “I’m very excited to see where the future takes us.”