Earlier this week Peninsula College President, Dr. Luke Robins, informed the College Board of Trustees that he intends to retire from his position at the end of the 2021-22 academic year. Dr. Robins joined the college as its sixth president on July 1, 2012.
Under Dr. Robins’ leadership, the college acquired and renovated the former Bank of America building in Forks to house the college’s West End campus. Working with the College Foundation, the Washington State Parks Department, and the Fort Worden PDA, the college transformed an historic barracks building at Fort Worden in Port Townsend into a Jefferson County PC campus. In 2017, construction was completed on a new Allied Health and Early Childhood Education building on the Port Angeles campus.
During Robins’ tenure, the college has reaffirmed its commitment to student success and service to the communities of the Olympic Peninsula. The institution is deeply engaged in implementing Guided Pathways principles to enhance student success, and was awarded a $2.2 million federal Title III grant focused on institutional capacity building. PC has also developed a new Strategic Plan and Facilities Master Plan under his leadership and recently completed a successful mid-cycle review with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Dr. Robins has also been actively involved in economic development and community efforts in the region, serving on the Clallam County Economic Development Council, the Greater Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce, and the North Olympic Healthcare Network boards. He also serves on the American Association of Community Colleges’ Commission on Small/Rural Community Colleges.
“I am proud of the accomplishments that the college community has achieved during my tenure,” said Robins. “The tireless efforts of our faculty and staff to continue serving students during the pandemic is a testament to the college community’s resilience and dedication to student success. We will face continued challenges and opportunities in the coming academic year, and I look forward to leading our return to campus in the coming months. For now, we’re excited about our face-to-face commencement ceremonies next weekend and looking forward to summer quarter.”
Robins added that he is also looking forward to spending more time with his family, taking opportunities to travel, and new professional challenges in the years ahead.
“Announcing my intentions at this time allows the board the time they need to plan and execute a robust search process to identify PC’s next president,” he said.
“While we were sorry to hear the announcement, we want to thank Dr. Robins for his effective leadership as college president, and are happy for his for new adventures ahead,” Erik Rohrer, Peninsula College Board of Trustees Chair said. “The board is focused on working with Dr. Robins on post-pandemic recovery at the college, continuing the legacy of commitment to student success, and preparing for a smooth transition to new leadership at the conclusion of the academic year.”
The Board of Trustees will begin developing a process and timeline for recruiting and hiring the college’s next president in the coming months.
Prior to his appointment as president of Peninsula College, Robins served as Chancellor of Louisiana Delta Community College in Monroe, LA, where he provided leadership resulting in the new college’s initial regional accreditation and the construction of a new $45 million college campus including an Advanced Technology Center. During his tenure, the college was recognized as one of the fastest growing colleges in the nation. He also served as Chief Academic Officer at two-year colleges in Idaho and Arkansas, and has nearly 20 years of experience as a community college instructor.
A native of Illinois, Dr. Robins holds a Bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College, a Master’s degree in English from Illinois State University, and a Ph.D. in Community College Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin.
Peninsula College is home to the first Native American Longhouse to be located on a community college campus, and offers a wide range of excellent transfer and professional technical degrees, including a BAS degree in applied management and strong allied health programs. Each year the college welcomes international students from across the world and offers an innovative Honors Program. PC regularly offers unique programs for the community such as Studium Generale, Magic of Cinema, and the Maier Hall Concert Series. The college also boasts highly competitive athletic programs in men’s and women’s soccer and basketball, with numerous NWAC championships to their credit.