JUNE 21, 2016

JAMESTOWN, N.C. — Dr. Quentin R. Johnson has received the prestigious Stellar Leadership Award from Wilberforce University for his role in helping to lead the historic institution in restoring its full accreditation.

From September 2014 to July 2015, Johnson temporarily stepped away from his role as vice president of Student Support Services at Guilford Technical Community College, to join Wilberforce as Provost to assist in saving the university’s accreditation. Founded in 1856, the Ohio-based Wilberforce University is the nation’s oldest, private historically black college and university (HBCU). Its accreditation was in jeopardy due to low enrollment and financial deficits but was fully restored in November 2015.

Dr. Quentin Johnson. (Photo by Carla Kucinski/GTCC)

Dr. Quentin Johnson. (Photo by Carla Kucinski/GTCC)

To receive the Stellar Leadership Award, a person must have exhibited superb leadership in their profession and community,” said Dr. Algeania W. Freeman, president of Wilberforce.

“Dr. Quentin Johnson has changed many lives helping students to become productive leaders in the global marketplace. … Dr. Johnson came to help me save the accreditation at Wilberforce University because of his excellent administrative skill, his ability to work extremely well with others, and his expert knowledge of Student Affairs and student learning outcomes as related to accreditation. … Overall, Dr. Johnson is a superb leader who has made a strategic difference in changing the lives of others so they too can become productive leaders and citizens.”

Johnson previously served as vice president of Student Affairs under Freeman when she was president at Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C. Johnson said he was touched when he received Freeman’s call asking for his help in restoring the institution’s accreditation.

“It was an opportunity to make a real difference,” Johnson said. “I’m passionate about student success and because of the historic significance of Wilberforce I felt a responsibility to do my part.”

As Provost at Wilberforce, Johnson was given broad responsibility across the university and also assisted with drafting portions of the 3,000 page Show-Cause Report requested by the governing body of the Higher Learning Commission that accredits institutions of higher education. He also was responsible for restructuring the administration, supervising the hiring process for faculty, creating new course catalogs and handbooks, and preparing for and hosting the High Learning Commission’s site visit.

In nine months, they were able to turn the institution around. Today, the lawns are immaculate, enrollment is up, a new infrastructure is in place, and the institution has added online classes. Once Johnson knew that Wilberforce University was in good-standing, he returned to Guilford Tech and resumed his role as vice president of Student Support Services. He brought back with him not only the knowledge he gained from the experience but also a sense of fulfillment.

“It’s humbling to have been a part of such an important cause,” Johnson said. “I’m a servant leader. We have a responsibility to do what we can to make the world a better place. It was exciting to have such a unique leadership opportunity.”

Guilford Technical Community College is the fourth largest of 58 institutions in the NC Community College System. GTCC serves more than 40,000 students annually from five campuses and a Small Business Center. Learn more at www.gtcc.edu.


— Carla Kucinski/GTCC