New president named for Columbus Technical College

Lorette Hoover, president of the Altamaha Technical College in Jesup and a former Columbus resident, has been selected as the next president of Columbus Technical College.

Hoover will assume the position now held by Bob Jones, who is retiring at the end of this month, Ron Jackson, commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia, said in a statement. She will start on July 1.

At a meeting in Atlanta on Thursday, board member Chunk Newman of LaGrange made a motion to approve Hoover after Jackson said she’s his choice to lead the technical college with 6,281 students. Columbus Tech serves Chattahoochee, Harris, Muscogee, Quitman, Stewart and Talbot counties.

Hoover has been president at Altamaha since 2007. She has ties to Columbus where she received a bachelor’s degree from Columbus State University and a master’s of science from Troy University.

After she was approved, Hoover told the board that she’s ready for the job and the prospect of working in a community she knows well.Her father chose Columbus as his home after retiring from the Army.

“It’s incredible to think that years later, I’m returning to the city to lead Columbus Technical College and help to ensure that thousands of students can achieve their education and career goals and that the workforce needs of employers are met,” Hoover said.

Hoover's mother, Renate Wiley, still lives in Columbus. Her father Wayne Patrick Wiley and four other Americans were killed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Nov. 13, 1995, after a truck bomb exploded at the Saudi National Guard. Wiley retired as an Army major at Fort Benning, but he was working as a civilian in civil service in Saudi Arabia.

Hoover said Columbus is the only place she has ever called home. "Columbus is the only place I have ever called home even though I didn't live there until I was almost 19 year's old because I spent my childhood on about 15 other military bases all over," Hoover said. "Columbus is home so I'm glad to come home."

Outgoing president Jones has known Hoover for years and described her as the consummate professional. “I am completely confident that she will lead Columbus Technical College well into the future with an air of professionalism and integrity,” he said.

Jackson said Hoover’s broad experience in technical education, adult education and economic development helped make her his first choice for the job.“Bob Jones has worked long and hard with his faculty and staff to build Columbus Technical College into an institution that’s widely known and respected for its commitment to student learning and achievement,” Jackson said. “I believe that Lorette Hoover has all the attributes to continue that good work and be the next great leader of this great college.”

Hoover has worked almost three decades in technical education, getting her start in 1984 at West Georgia Technical College in LaGrange as an adult literacy instructor before serving as public relations coordinator, director of instruction and vice president of instruction and student services. From 2000 to 2007, she served as vice president of instruction and in other key positions at Southwest Georgia Technical College in Thomasville. Ga.

Beginning July 1, Jackson said he has informed the board that he will ask Lonnie Roberts to serve as Altamaha’s acting president until a replacement for Hoover is named. Roberts now serves as vice president of institutional effectiveness.