Hodges University's longtime President Terry McMahan will retire on July 1, 2013 and be succeeded by Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Jeanette Brock, the school announced Tuesday.
Brock, who has worked in higher education for more than 30 years, including 17 in her position at Hodges, was selected for the position by the university's board of trustees. She said the board's request that she step in as president came as a surprise and an honor.
"I've known the institution for many years. I know where we've come and where we're going, and I thought it would be a good opportunity for me," she said. "I just thought I should step up to the plate."
Brock earned her bachelor's degree from Rutger's University and her juris doctor degree from the Rutgers School of Law as an adult, much like many of Hodges's students. After graduating from law school, she held positions at Schiller International University's Florida campus and with the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools.
As president of Hodges University, Brock plans to look into offering doctoral programs and expanding distance education programs once the college finishes its reaccreditation process with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which will send representatives to visit Hodges in March of next year.
With McMahan, 62, at the helm for more than 20 years, the school has been transformed from a small college to a university with nearly 3,000 students. It now has campuses in Naples and Fort Myers as well as learning centers in other communities.
"It's been incredible," McMahan said of the college's growth. "When you're in the old shopping mall with an escalator that doesn't work to having brand new facilities and labs and state of the art classrooms and amenities that your students appreciate, it's quite a pathway."
After his retirement, McMahan will become the Hodges University's first president emeritus, and assist with donor support, advancement and local community relations.