Kilgore College is pleased to welcome to its team Fred Gore, the college’s new vice president of administrative services and chief financial officer.
Gore officially began his duties Oct. 16 at KC and said he’s learned a great deal in the first week of work and is excited as a University of Texas graduate to move back to Texas.
“I was thrilled for the opportunity to come back to Texas, but I was especially excited to work in a job such as this one to help support a college such as Kilgore College which obviously has a lot of pride in its history – and rightfully so,” Gore said.
He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin’s Honors Business Program with a bachelor’s of business administration, earned a master of business administration in finance and accounting from Missouri State University and is currently pursuing a doctorate of business administration in higher education finance from the University of South Florida Muma College Of Business.
Gore has worked 31 years as a CPA and 25 years in the non-profit business world which he says will really help with the technical part of accounting at KC.
“There are a lot of different scenarios and responsibilities I’ve found myself in that have helped me gain a very rounded business experience,” Gore said.
He comes to KC from Southeastern University in Lakeland (Fla.) where he served as associate vice president of finance.
“We actually used the same financial software at Southeastern that Kilgore College uses (Jenzabar EX),” Gore said. “Coming from a Jenzabar EX school and with my experience working with the software, this will only help me get acclimated quicker here at the college to help move KC forward.”
Although his first week on the job was a whirlwind of introductions and unpacking, he said the employees at the college made him feel right at home.
“The folks I’ve come in contact with here at the college have been so nice and first-class. It really makes you want to come to work in the morning. I’ve been very impressed with the employees at the college, not only with the number of years they have served the college, but to the commitment they have to making sure students succeed,” Gore said. “It’s been really impressive.”
Gore said there are a number of opportunities in the CFO role that he feels are critical.
“First is that the finances of the college follow the strategic plan of the college. We go to great lengths to create strong strategic plans in great detail of where we want KC to be in five or ten years,” Gore said.
He said he also looks forward to working with Dr. Brenda Kays, KC president, to lead the charge in making sure the finances of the college fund critical needs of the institution.
“It would be a great shame if we were to forget about all of those great things that we said were so important for the future and just continue to do whatever we’ve done for the past years because it’s easy to do,” Gore said.
Gore said he will also be very deliberate an analytical when looking at KC’s programs and ways to fine-tune them.
“Maybe it’s doing an analysis on a program to see how the costs compare to other community colleges to improve efficiencies,” Gore said. “It’s my goal to be very careful and very creative with the way we use our finances. Every dollar we save is a dollar we can use in some other area.”
Gore also stresses transparency and ways to improve reporting methods to make communications with KC employees, the board and the community easier to understand.
“Part of what I’m doing, even in my first two weeks, is working with the financial reporting that we put out to make it more understandable so you don’t have to be a CPA to understand every report that’s generated,” Gore said.
“I want to make them very transparent and very understandable so not only does our administration and our faculty understand, but also our community clearly understands more about what the resources of the college are.”
He said generating confidence in the way the college reports data is a high priority, lending a high degree of confidence, integrity and accountability to the finances of the college.
“It’s important that we generate confidence in the way we report things and are very transparent in our finances, not only within the institution, but also with our board and our community,” Gore said.
“It’s important when you have taxpayers, when you have a community of students who are paying tuition to you, that you are extremely accountable and extremely transparent with them. That only helps the college build confidence within its constituents which I think is very important. This will be a great priority for us.”
He said he’s most looking forward to seeing what’s ahead for the college and being a part of the team to shape the college’s future.
“Like any educational institution, you absolutely cannot stand still, especially in education. There is so much competition in our market that any institution that thinks it can stand pat and stay with the status quo and survive is fooling itself,” Gore said.
“The market out there for our students is changing so rapidly that we have to be just as progressive as to the way we prepare our students. Colleges are constantly changing and I’m greatly looking forward to helping the college progress into the future.”
Gore and his wife, Lois, have been married 33 years and they have three grown sons.