Pasco-Hernando State College announces new president

The school’s board selected a veteran Texas educator, passing over a DeSantis administration appointee and two other finalists.
Jesse Pisors was announced as the fifth president of Pasco-Hernando State College on Sept. 19, 2023.
Jesse Pisors was announced as the fifth president of Pasco-Hernando State College on Sept. 19, 2023. [ Pasco-Hernando State College. ]
Published Sept. 19|Updated Sept. 19

Pasco-Hernando State College announced Tuesday that Jesse Pisors was selected as the school’s fifth president.

Pisors has served as vice president at Texas A&M University-San Antonio and the University of Houston-Victoria. He was one of four finalists for the job.

The slate of finalists included Eric Hall, who was appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis to serve as secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice and previously served as senior chancellor in the Florida Department of Education, which oversees the Florida College System.

“We have full confidence that Dr. Pisors will continue to uphold the college’s core values and will lead PHSC to further success in all future endeavors,” Lee Maggard, chairperson of the college’s board of trustees, said in a news release.

A previous news release said Pisors had demonstrated his ability to grow enrollment and philanthropy, and praised his “dedication to inclusivity” at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, where the student body was more than 75% Hispanic and 60% who were the first in their families to attend college.

He holds a doctoral degree in education from Texas Tech University, where his dissertation focused on fundraising challenges and expectations facing university presidents, the release said. He is also fluent in Spanish and has taught courses in U.S. history and public speaking. He has served as a top leader in several civic organizations, including Rotary clubs and chambers of commerce, along with YMCA and United Way groups.

An 18-member-committee launched a search with the firm Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting, reviewing more than 100 applications and interviewing 13, according to the news release.

Besides Hall, the other finalists included Saul Reyes, vice president for enrollment management and student affairs at the College of Central Florida, and Gilbert Evans, vice president for legal affairs/general counsel at St. Johns River State College.

Pisors is expected to start in January after the retirement of Timothy Beard, who has served as president of Pasco-Hernando State College since 2015.

Divya Kumar covers higher education for the Tampa Bay Times, working in partnership with Open Campus.