Pellissippi State Community College President Allen G. Edwards announced today his intent to retire. In an e-mail to faculty, staff and the Pellissippi State Foundation Board of Trustees, he said that after 40 years of service in community colleges, he thought it was time to retire.
Edwards has been president of Pellissippi State since 1993. His retirement becomes effective June 30, 2011.
“I have enjoyed every minute of the challenges and the joys of my work,” said Edwards. “I am retiring simply because I celebrate my 66th birthday in January, and it is time to move on.”
During his tenure at Pellissippi State, Edwards has been the driving force behind numerous significant initiatives at the college: the construction of a new Blount County Campus and the Bagwell Center for Media and Art, the creation of a Nursing program in Knox and Blount counties, the launching of the annual Pellissippi State Hot Air Balloon Festival, the development of the Common Academic Experience, and the founding of the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies.
Throughout his residency in Knoxville, Edwards has been an active member of the community. He is a member and former chair of the Knox County Great Schools Partnership, a public educational foundation serving Knox County Schools.
He currently serves on the boards of Knoxville Project GRAD, the Tennessee Technology Corridor Development Authority, the Great Smoky Mountain Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. He is also chair of the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies.
Edwards earned his doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin and was named a Distinguished Graduate of the Community College Leadership Program there in 1992. He was president of Lexington (Ky.) Community College for seven years. He is a former Fulbright exchange scholar.
Edwards has brought worldwide recognition to Pellissippi State through his participation in national and international organizations. He has served on the board of the American Association of Community Colleges, a leading proponent and the national voice for community colleges. In addition, he is co-founder and president of the International Association of Colleges, an organization for community and technical colleges that has hosted conferences around the world on technical education issues.
Edwards and his wife, Sue Bunney, are members of Cokesbury United Methodist Church.