On April 28, 2022, Dr. Felicia Ganther, a lawyer with a Ph.D. in Community Resources and Development, was installed as the fifth President of Bucks County Community College making her the first African American to hold the post in the school’s 58-year history. In describing why Ganther was selected for the presidency, David Breidinger, the First Chair of the College Board of Trustees said, “We wanted a leader who was innovative, passionate, and a strategic thinker with a history of cultural change and accomplishments. Dr. Ganther, check.”
Prior to joining Bucks County Community College, Dr. Ganther was the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs for the Maricopa County Community College District where she worked for nearly a decade. She has also taught speech, interpersonal/group communication, and higher education law courses. At Maricopa, she also facilitated the development a new branding system, website realignment and a system-wide enrollment process. Ganther has had a twenty-five year career in higher education and an impressive resume, working at schools in Virginia, Utah, Wisconsin, Illinois, Arizona and now Pennsylvania. Her focus was always in student affairs.
When asked in an interview, “If you could clone yourself, what other career would you pursue?” Ganther replied, “In law school I worked with the courts doing mediations for civil suits. I also was a teaching assistant for the director of the arbitration program. So, if I had a chance to clone myself, I would be an arbitrator/mediator. While the concepts are vested in the legal world, the way in which you as an arbitrator/mediator help two parties to come to some agreement is the same way you help community stakeholders find common ground on solving issues in their communities.” In the same interview she was asked to state her life motto in one sentence and she responded, “Never let fear paralyze you, because your gift will knock down any barrier and your passion for helping others will get you in places you never imagined.”
In another interview Ganther was asked, “As a working woman, what is the one organizational tool that you can’t live without?” She replied, “Interpersonal Communication. If you can’t develop dyadic relationships with the people you work for, work with, or who work for you…it’s a bust! This is a skill set that is often overlooked by leaders who are moving up their career ladder. Its great you know how to present publicly, you can send out emails, write superb documents…BUT...if you can’t talk with, emotionally connect to, and find commonality with each individual you are working with…those other shiny skills don’t matter.”
Ganther earned her J.D. from the University of Illinois’ John Marshall Law School.
Fun Fact: One thing we have in common – we both played the bass clarinet.