A-B Tech Names New President

John Gossett sitting in a chair
March 19, 2020
News Coverage

Dr. John D. Gossett Selected by Board of Trustees

A-B Tech announced today that John D. Gossett, Ed.D., has been named the college’s seventh president. Gossett currently serves as president of McDowell Technical Community College in Marion.

Gossett, 57, succeeds Dennis King, who retired January 31. Gossett was selected on March 9 by the A-B Tech Board of Trustees from a pool of more than sixty candidates and three finalists. In accordance with state law, his appointment subsequently was approved today by the N.C. State Board of Community Colleges. Gossett’s start date is July 1. Interim President Joseph Barwick began February 1 and will continue in the role until June 30.

“We’re excited to welcome a sitting North Carolina community college president of Dr. Gossett’s caliber to A-B Tech,” said Board of Trustees Chair John Parham Jr., M.D. “His stellar experience and lifetime of connections to Western North Carolina and East Tennessee will serve us well. He has served in many leadership positions in community colleges, has been a successful advocate for his colleges and the community college system, and he understands what A-B Tech needs to be on the leading edge of education in the 21st century.”

“Dr Gossett’s 32 years in the North Carolina Community College System will serve our college well as we continue to provide excellent educational services to Buncombe and Madison counties and beyond,” said Board of Trustees Vice Chair Roger Metcalf.

Gossett was selected following an extensive search process that began last June, said Past Board of Trustees Chair Joe Brumit, who also helped lead the college’s 2014 presidential search.

“As a board, this is one of the most important decisions we can make on behalf of A-B Tech,” Brumit said. “It has been one of the most thorough processes I have ever been engaged in, and I’m confident that we found the right person in Dr. Gossett to lead A-B Tech and our community.”

When King announced his retirement last May, Brumit said the board immediately began a process that entailed obtaining input from employees and the community, developing the position description, advertising the position nationally, conducting extensive vetting and background checks through college attorneys and the Executive Leadership Associates search firm, and convening many meetings of the board’s search advisory committee and full board. The board selected semi-finalists for telephone interviews, then chose three finalists for in-person interviews and public forums.

“I am humbled and honored to accept the Board of Trustees invitation to become A-B Tech’s next President,” Gossett said. “I have seen what makes A-B Tech great: pride in the school and the work being done, a desire to serve students, and a strong sense of community that has led to the earned reputation of excellence. We are excited about moving over the mountain to A-B Tech and getting involved in the Asheville, Buncombe County, and Madison County communities.”

Gossett has served as president at McDowell Tech since 2016. His 32-year career in higher education began as a Business Administration instructor and department chair at Mayland Community College. He also served Mayland as Assistant Vice President for Academic Services, Associate Vice President for Workforce Development, Director of Research and Planning, and Vice President of Student Development. He joined McDowell Tech in 2012 as Vice President for Learning and Student Services. Gossett also has served on numerous local, regional and statewide boards and committees in support of community college education and economic development initiatives. His professional interests include community and small business development, as well as leadership development for staff and students. 

Gossett holds a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Tennessee, an M.B.A. from Appalachian State University, and an Ed.D. in Adult and Community College Education from North Carolina State University. His doctoral dissertation focused on the role of community colleges in economic development.

He and his wife Julie are the proud parents of four adult children, two daughters-in-law and one grandson.


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