Home /  Templin Announces Retirement as NOVA President
By CCWeek Staff  /  
2014 September 9 - 08:42 am

Templin Announces Retirement as NOVA President

He’ll Step Down in February After Leading College Through Record Growth


Robert G. Templin Jr., president of Northern Virginia Community College since 2002, has announced he will retire in February 2015.

“My time at NOVA has been the highlight of my career,” Templin said. “NOVA is one of the very top colleges in the country for creating higher education opportunities and producing outstanding graduates. I’m thankful for the experience of working with so many dedicated elected officials and business, civic and education leaders across our region to expand educational opportunities for tens of thousands of additional students.”

Board Chairman Michael Wooten said. Templin will be difficult to replace.

“During his tenure at NOVA, Dr. Templin focused diligently on improving the quality of life for the 2.1 million citizens of Northern Virginia,” he said. “He worked tirelessly with local governments, businesses, community organizations, school districts and universities to strengthen our economy through innovative programs and services. His retirement is well-deserved but the news of his retirement was tough for me to hear. You don’t replace a Bob Templin. The best you hope to do is to find a worthy successor.”

 The chancellor of the Virginia Community College System echoed Wooten’s sentiments. “I’ve worked with many college presidents during my career and Bob is at the top of the list for his commitment to change lives and improve communities,” said Glenn DuBois.

Templin assumed the presidency during an economic downturn when state funding was shrinking. Rather than turn away students, Templin employed a counterintuitive strategy to increase revenues by serving more students. Today, enrollments are up by 18,000 and revenues have increased by $150 million annually. To accommodate the growth, Templin opened three new centers and began major capital projects totaling nearly 1 million square feet of classroom and laboratory space.

Under Templin’s leadership, the College achieved numerous milestones:

  • More than 500,000 credit and noncredit students enrolled at NOVA during Templin’s tenure. Eighty percent of the enrollment growth comes from minority, low income and first-generation college students.
  • NOVA became an Achieving the Dream Leader College, guiding a national effort to increase the number of community college graduates who enter the labor force or transfer to a university to complete a bachelor’s degree.
  • NOVA increased the number of graduates by 120 percent to over 6,000 graduates annually. NOVA now transfers more students to George Mason University, Virginia Commonwealth University, James Madison University, Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia than any other institution.
  • NOVA developed “Pathway to the Baccalaureate,” an award-winning college access and baccalaureate completion program serving more than 10,000 students annually from 55 high schools and centers located in low-income, minority and immigrant communities.  For NOVA Pathway graduates, the baccalaureate completion rate at George Mason University is currently 83 percent.
  • NOVA became Virginia’s leading minority-serving undergraduate institution, serving more African-American students than the state’s two public historically black universities combined. Thirty-five percent of all Latino students and nearly one-third of all Asian undergraduates in Virginia public higher education are enrolled at NOVA. 
  • NOVA spearheaded a regional initiative with 10 hospitals and five universities to double the number of registered nurses and increase by 50 percent the allied health professional and technical graduates in Northern Virginia within five years.

Templin also led the development of a national partnership between Goodwill Industries International and the American Association of Community Colleges. This program has trained more than 17,000 low-income adults through 72 local Goodwill agencies working with 121 community colleges across the United States.

He was also the founding board chairman of Achieving the Dream Inc., a national nonprofit organization serving more than 200 colleges in 34 states. Achieving the Dream is dedicated to helping more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, gain access to college, stay in school and earn a postsecondary credential.

Prior to his appointment at NOVA, Templin was the president of Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, an organization that enhances Virginia’s economic competitiveness through technology-based economic development.

Templin has been honored with the Earle C. Williams Leadership in Technology Award from the Northern Virginia Technology Council, the Marta V. Wyatt Award from the Hispanic Committee of Virginia for his commitment to the state’s immigrant community, the “We Are America Now” award from Northern Virginia Family Service, the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Virginia Government by Virginia Commonwealth University, the Community Foundation of the National Capital Region’s Civic Spirit Award for outstanding leadership in the Washington metropolitan region, and the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce’s James M. Rees Award for contributions to the economy and quality of life in Northern Virginia.

Templin started his educational journey at a community college. He earned an associate degree at Harford Community College in Bel Air, Md., before going on to Towson University for a bachelor’s degree, Georgetown University for a master’s degree, and North Carolina State University for a doctorate in education.

After retiring from NOVA, Templin will continue working to improve higher education. He has accepted a part-time appointment with The Aspen Institute where he will serve as senior fellow with the College Excellence Program. He will also hold a part-time appointment as professor of practice with the Department of Leadership, Policy and Adult and Higher Education at North Carolina State University. Both roles will focus on developing leadership programs to help prepare the next generation of community college presidents and to develop resources to improve student success across the higher education sector.

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