HOUSTON — Lone Star College System Chancellor Dr. Richard Carpenter announced today that he plans to retire this summer.
“I want you to know that these seven years with Lone Star have been unequivocally the pinnacle of my career,” Dr. Carpenter wrote in a statement released to LSC employees. “Your dedication, your hard work and your compassionate focus have all combined to bring Lone Star to a whole new level of state, national and international prominence. And that you afforded me the privilege of being a part of this journey is a gift for which I will forever be grateful.”
Dr. Carpenter cited health issues coupled with personal family needs as the reason for his retirement.
“At the end of this academic year I will mark my 40th year in the education profession, 32 as either a college president or system CEO. While I count every one of these years as a blessing, the time has come for me to enter the next phase of my life,” he wrote.
Dr. Carpenter joined LSCS (then named the North Harris Montgomery Community College District) in August of 2007. In January 2008, the college officially changed its name to Lone Star College System.
During his tenure, credit enrollment grew by 30,000 students and the college system added more than 2 million square feet of state-of-the-art academic space. LSCS is now the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and one of the fastest-growing community college systems in the nation.
In addition, Dr. Carpenter oversaw the opening of the new LSC-University Park campus and the second LSC-University Center, as well as the creation of Lone Star Corporate College, which was put in place to respond to the training needs of business and industry.
“I speak for the board when I say we’re sad to see Dr. Carpenter leave,” said David Holsey, DDS, chair of the LSCS Board of Trustees. “We’re grateful for his hard work, his diligence and the success of the college under his leadership.”
Dr. Holsey pointed out that during Dr. Carpenter’s service, student enrollment nearly doubled while administrative costs were significantly lowered and a stronger emphasis was made on the quality of instruction and innovation of LSCS programs.
“Dr. Carpenter is leaving the college in great shape, and the future is brighter than it has ever been for the college, its faculty and staff, and the community,” Dr. Holsey said.
The LSCS Board has appointed a search committee to immediately initiate the search.
“Dr. Carpenter will be tough to replace, but his leadership has helped create an institution that has risen to such national and international prominence that this is a highly-desirable position which we know will draw top candidates from throughout the country,” Dr. Holsey said. “We expect to have a very successful national search.”
Dr. Carpenter began his career as president at Somerset Community College in Kentucky at the age of 29, the youngest college president in the country. He was subsequently recruited to college presidencies in the states of Minnesota, California, and Alabama, before serving as state president and CEO of the 16-college Wisconsin Community and Technical College System, which enrolled more than 400,000 students with a $1 billion annual budget. Most recently, he had served as president of the College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas, and as state director for Nevada’s Community Colleges.
He received his associate degree from Southwest Mississippi Community College, bachelor and master degrees from Northwestern State University, and his doctorate from North Carolina State University.
Dr. Carpenter said that his future includes plans to “continue my activities as a consultant, but with more control over my schedule and pace.”
Lone Star College System has been opening doors to a better community for 40 years. Founded in 1973, LSCS remains steadfast in its commitment to student success and credential completion. Today, with 78,000 students in credit classes, and a total enrollment of more than 90,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and the fastest-growing community college system in the nation. Dr. Richard Carpenter is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.