Meet Eastern Florida State College's President
Dr. James H. Richey is President of Eastern Florida State College.
Since becoming president in 2012, Richey has expanded the College’s academic mission to include Bachelor Degrees in the fields of business, health care and computer technology.
The move transformed what had been Brevard Community College into Eastern Florida State College in 2013.
The College now offers more than 20 highly popular Bachelor’s Degree tracks. In all, the College has launched more than 60 new academic programs the past seven years with input from business and industry leaders in Brevard County and East-Central Florida.
The goal has been to design programs that will provide students with in-demand job opportunities after graduation, and provide businesses with the workforce they need in today’s global economy.
“Our four-year programs are making a significant difference in peoples’ lives, giving them the ability to advance their careers, and giving business and industry the skilled employees they need to grow and prosper,” says Richey.
“The impact will resonate for generations to come, benefiting individuals, their families and the state of Florida.”
The College has also made major strides in online learning, with more than 250 courses and 40 Bachelor’s Degrees, Associate’s Degree and College Certificates offered completely online.
Those and other efforts earned the College a prestigious Gold Rating from the Florida Board of Education in 2017 for its performance in student success.
The College also received a 2017 Chancellor’s Best Practice Award from the Florida College System for “innovation and excellence in launching exciting careers in aviation.”
In another area, Richey has undertaken a major building plan to make the College a center of higher education and workforce development well into the 21st century.
New facilities include:
- A state-of-the-art Health Sciences Institute that educates the next generation of healthcare professionals.
- A Public Safety Institute that trains law enforcement officers and others in criminal justice fields.
- An Advanced Manufacturing Center that trains workers for local and regional manufacturing companies.
- An Aviation Center that trains students to become aviation and aerospace technicians and mechanics, supporting new human spaceflight endeavors at Kennedy Space Center.
- A cutting-edge Robotics Lab that provides students training in that rapidly growing field.
- A Mechatronics Lab, a field that combines engineering, electronics and computing for product design and manufacturing, is under development.
- A Fire Training Center that trains firefighters for all 13 Brevard County cities and Brevard Fire-Rescue.
- A new Student Union that is the vibrant center for collegiate life.
The College has done all that and more while not raising tuition for seven straight years, making it among the most affordable institutions of higher education in the nation.
Importantly, it also prides itself on cultural diversity, with minority student enrollment at an all-time high.
In still other areas, Richey has created a wealth of new services to help students succeed. They include:
- A Career Planning and Development Center has served more than 70,000 students, providing them critical skills to enter the workforce and perform at a high level on the job.
- A Military and Veterans Service Center works day and night with the 1,100 veterans and their dependents attending EFSC to make sure they receive the benefits they deserve from the Veterans Administration and the G.I. Bill.
- Enhanced Academic Success Centers that provide one-on-one tutors plus Career Center workshops on study skills, resulting in major increases in success rates in difficult math and science courses.
Richey was named College President January 23, 2012, by the Board of Trustees, and is the sixth permanent chief executive to lead the college since it opened in 1960 as Brevard Junior College and later became Brevard Community College.
He held several key posts at Eastern Florida before his selection as president.
The Board of Trustees named him Interim President in October 2011 following the retirement of Dr. Jim Drake who had led the College since 2006.
Richey served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel prior to the appointment.
Richey’s association with the College began when he was appointed to the Board of Trustees by Gov. Charlie Crist in July 2007. He left the board to accept the position of college Internal Counsel on April 2008.
He was named Vice President of Business Affairs and General Counsel in October 2008 before he assumed the Executive Vice President and General Counsel‘s post.
Prior to coming to the College, Richey owned his own law practice in Melbourne, Fla., from 1994 to 2008. His work included advising businesses on contract negotiations, employment policies, employee benefits, corporate governance and charitable giving programs.
In 1995, he successfully argued a case before the Florida Supreme Court.
Richey earned a Bachelor’s Degree in accounting from Michigan State University in 1985 and a Juris Doctorate Degree from Ohio State University in 1988.
He is also admitted to practice law in Massachusetts, is a member of the United States Tax Court, Florida Bar Association and Judicial Nominating Commission for the Fifth District Court of Appeal, and former chair of the Grievance Committee of the 18th Circuit Judicial Court.
In addition, Richey is master of the Vassar B. Carlton American-Inn of Court and former trustee of the Holy Name of Jesus Church Educational Endowment Fund.
Richey and his wife, Suzanne, are the parents of three children — Bradley, Allison and Bethany. He lives in Melbourne Beach, Fla.