New President Dr. Richard Gough brings higher education, military experience to TCL
The Technical College of the Lowcountry welcomed Dr. Richard J. Gough as President in early January. Though Gough has been with TCL for only a few short months, he is already one of its biggest champions.
“TCL has all the parts that a great community college should have,” Gough said. “TCL gives people the opportunity to improve their lives. It provides open access for those who would otherwise not have it.”
Gough says that it’s this idea of educational opportunity that specifically attracted him to a career in community colleges.
“Perhaps it was a sense of giving back to the community after this country had given me so much,” he said.
Gough’s career began with 25 years in the United States Marine Corps, where his primary duties were in aviation, logistics, and training and education. He served at every level of command prior to retiring as colonel in 2000. Gough went on to work for a defense contractor installing computer networks at air stations and on ships.
He then started his career in higher education as the Dean of Business and Administrative Services at Montgomery Community College in Troy, N.C. He most recently served as Executive Vice President at Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst, N.C. While there, Gough was instrumental in expanding enrollment and outreach and focused on economic development partnerships that helped attract new businesses and enterprises to the area while meeting the training needs of existing industry and business partners.
Gough credits his father for instilling in him a value for education and a belief that it’s never too late. His father could not go to college right after high school but did earn an associate degree later in life.
“Like him, I believe that education is the key to a better life. Giving back and making a difference are important to me and certainly have given me great job satisfaction,” Gough said.
He says his personal mission is to assist students in clarifying their lifelong goals, developing their interpersonal skills, fostering their entrepreneurship skills, and maximizing their career potential.
Gough says that TCL is one of the Lowcountry’s most valuable assets and wants to see more financial support for the College. “We need additional funding from a variety of resources to ensure that we can break into the next level of excellence,” he said.
Gough holds a Doctor of Education from East Carolina University, a Master of Arts in Human Resources Management from Pepperdine University, a Master of Science in Management with a concentration in Finance and Systems Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from Michigan State University.
He and his wife Judy, have three children and seven grandchildren.