Blinn President Steps Down, Plans Move to Chancellor

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After nearly a decade-and-a-half at the top of Blinn College, Don Voelter is making a job change.

Voelter announced at Blinn's Board of Trustees meeting that Voelter would be stepping down as president and move to the chancellor's position. His last day is scheduled to be June 1.

The lone finalist for the position is Blinn's vice president for business services, Dan Holt, who has been with the school for about a year.

Also stepping down is the school's executive vice president, John Barkman, who has spent more than four decades at the college.

Voelter has been a part of Blinn since the early 1970s. The Texas A&M and Sam Houston State graduate has served in a number of roles before assuming the presidency in 1994.

The position changes still must be approved by the board of trustees at their next meeting, which comes February 19.

The following are biographies from Blinn College on Voelter, Holt and Barkman:

Don Voelter
Donald Voelter became the 12th president of Blinn College on Sept. 1, 1994.

He came to Blinn in 1971 as a business instructor and was named director of the occupational education division in 1974. In 1977, he became the business manager for the college. He was appointed executive vice president of fiscal affairs in 1983, a position he held until becoming president.

Besides serving as the chief fiscal officer for the college, his duties in the past have included coordinating the off-campus programs in Brazos County.

A native of Marlin, Voelter received his bachelor of business administration and master of business administration degrees from Sam Houston State University. He received his Ph.D. in education administration and management from Texas A&M University in 1985.

After receiving an ROTC commission in 1967, Voelter served two years in the U.S. Army, including one year in South Korea as a general’s aide.

He has been an active member of the community through the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, Trinity Medical Center, the Boys and Girls Club of Washington County, the Brenham Country Club and the St. Joseph Services Corp. board of trustees. In addition he has been involved with the Lions Club, Boy Scouts, the Rotary Club, Brazos Valley Community Action Committee and Grace Lutheran Church.

On the state level, he has served the Texas Association of Public Junior College Business Officers, the Higher Education Insurance Program Advisory Committee, the board of regents at Concordia Lutheran College, the board of directors for the Association of Texas Colleges and Universities, the Texas Association of Community Colleges and the Sam Houston State University Alumni Board.

He and his wife Karen have two sons, Dathan and Devin, and two grandchildren.

The Ex-Students Association presented the first awards during Homecoming 2003. Outstanding Alumni awards were presented to Teddy Boehm, Rosa Lee Fuchs, Waldo and Edna Moeller, and the late Walter C. Schwartz. Dr. W.W. and Regina O’Donnell were named Persons of the Year.

Dan Holt
Dr. Daniel Holt, director of business and auxiliary operations at Tomball College, has been named the new vice president for business services for Blinn College.

The Blinn College Board of Trustees approved his employment on Feb. 13.

Dr. Holt replaces John Robertson who left the post in November to accept a similar position at Newberry College in Newberry, S.C.

Dr. Holt has held the position at Tomball College, a part of the North Harris Montgomery Community College District, since 2000. Prior to that he was a business analyst and consultant with the Small Business Development Center at the district’s Kingwood College campus. He also has six years of prior experience as president and owner of an international company that engaged in engineering, manufacturing, equipment exporting and consulting services; was a regional vice president for a West Coast environmental services firm; and was the chief executive officer and founder of Continental Engineering Corp. of Houston, an environmental engineering and construction firm.

He received a bachelor of arts degree in applied design and master of science degree in environmental management and public administration from the University of Houston - Clear Lake. He also has a master of business administration degree from Texas A&M University - Commerce and a doctorate degree in higher educational administration from Texas A&M University.

He is a member of the National Association of College & University Officers, the Southern Association of Colleges & University Business Officers, the Texas Association of Community College Business Officers, the National Association of College Auxiliary Services and the Council of Higher Education Management.

Dr. Holt will begin his duties March 1.

John Barkman
Barkman, a native of Texarkana, Texas, attended Texarkana College, received bachelor of science in education and master of arts degrees from the University of Arkansas and completed a year of post-graduate study at the University of North Texas.

After college, he worked in the Texarkana public schools before beginning a 41-year career at Blinn in 1967 as director of library services. He was promoted to vice president of administration in 1984 and executive vice president in 1994.

He has been active in college accreditation matters, chairing two Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation efforts for the college and serving as a member of 23-college accreditation teams in eight states in the southeastern U.S.

Barkman was appointed by the commissioner of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to two terms as a member of the state’s rule making and enforcement body for higher education insurance and optional retirement programs. He was elected chairman of that body and testified before committees of the Texas Legislature.

He has chaired several special task forces for Blinn, created the current board and administrative policy manuals, and oversaw the initial automation of the college’s library, making it one of the first community colleges in the state to have an automated library system.

Barkman has been involved in numerous civic activities in Brenham including the Brenham Community Development Board, Hospice Brazos Valley, the Economic Development Foundation, Brenham Maifest Association and the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park Association.

He served as president of the Brenham Rotary Club and the Brenham Gun and Rod Club; chaired the Brenham Mayor’s Task Force on police, library, fire department and community hall facilities; and serves on the Brenham Public Safety Facilities Committee. He also served on the Brenham Public Library Building Committee, the City of Brenham Long Range Planning Committee and the Washington County Historical Survey Committee.

Barkman and his wife Sherry are members of Brenham’s First United Methodist Church where he has served as president of the official board, Methodist Men, pastor-parish relations and long range planning committees.

His hobbies include photography and golf. The Barkmans have two daughters, Kathy and Jennifer, a son-in-law Phil and one grandchild, Courtney, all living in the Dallas area. Both daughters attended Blinn.