Recently appointed to serve as Georgia Gwinnett College”s interim president, Dr. Stanley “Stas”# Preczewski talked with Gwinnett Magazine about the college”s accomplishments and how he unwinds after a day at the office.
You”ve been with Georgia Gwinnett College since 2006, what are the accomplishments you are most proud of at the college?
Student success, there”s no question about that. Our college continues to attract students who are – in many cases – the first to attend college in their family. We want to focus not only on getting them accepted to and enrolled in our college, but also seeing them along the path to graduation. Because we have made this our mission, we hold above average retention and graduation rates. That”s definitely our single biggest accomplishment!
We are also proud of our growth. Our college has grown to almost 10,000 students in seven years. I”m glad to say we”re committed to both student success and growth. It”s the best part of my job!
What led you to Georgia Gwinnett College?
I was on my way to another university and Dr. Daniel Kaufman called me about joining Georgia Gwinnett College [Kaufman and Preczewski were former colleagues at United States Military Academy at West Point.] When he described to me his mission and vision for the college, I couldn”t possibly say no.
Since my hiring, we”ve attracted faculty and staff from the finest colleges in the country. Last year alone, we hired 30 new faculty members and we had 5,500 applicants from across the country and around the world. Dr. Kaufman always had a philosophy: Hire good people, treat them well and they will do good things, and that”s exactly what were finding at the college.
How do you unwind?
There”s very little time for me to unwind nowadays with the growth, construction, and hiring we”re experiencing at the college. However, once a year, I squeeze in a cruise with my family where I”m able to unplug and relax.
What keeps you motivated or inspires you?
My answer would be student success. I get thank you emails from students so appreciative of our college for giving them the opportunity and believing in them. We don”t make these students successful – that has to come from within, but we do provide them with the programs, staff, and resources that allow them to achieve greatness, and we care about each one of them.