Professor selected as new dean of health occupations

Jerry Findley is making it his goal to help students succeed in order to get closer to their career paths.

Findley, who recently was selected as the new Dean of Health Occupations, first came to South Plains College in January of 2010 to serve as the director of the Emergency Medical Service program at the Reese Center campus. He held that position for about seven years, before being appointed the chairperson of Allied Health.

He explained that becoming the Dean of Health Occupations was one of his long termplans.

“It was a little bit of a surprise,” Finley said of when the last Dean retired. “I don’t think a lot of people saw that coming.”

Findley grew up in Jacksonville, Texas, which is just south of Tyler, Texas. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Health Administration at Wayland Baptist University and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University.

Findley said he is a paramedic by trade. But when he got involved with teaching some EMS courses, he really started liking that field.

“I really loved that,” he explained. “So I kind of geared my degree towards the management and administration aspect.”

He explained why he wanted to get into the health care field, saying, “I had some family who had some medical problems, and seeing how everybody worked together. I love helping people. I love students, and this was just a natural progression for me.” 

Findley said that he has been in the health care field since 1991. Prior to working for SPC, he worked for a couple of hospitals, Saint Mary’s and Covenant in Lubbock. He also worked in the Education Department at the Health Sciences Center at Texas Tech for 10 years before coming to SPC.

“It’s a great atmosphere out here,” Findley said, explaining why he wanted to come to SPC. “It’s really family oriented and a fun place to be.”

When asked about his goals for the new position, Findley replied, “I’m just all about the students succeeding. That is why they are here, for us to educate them to be successful.”

Findley explained that all the decisions he makes revolve around the students in order to ensure that students are going to be successful in whatever they do.

“We help them along, we guide them, we mentor them, and, of course, we educate them to get them to where they want to be when they leave South Plains College,” said Findley.

He adds that the objective is to get the students from when they walk in the door to be successful for when they walk out.

With the new position, Findley decided he can no longer teach classes.

Among his job duties are to oversee the day-to-day operations of health occupations programs, the physical therapy assistant program, the Licensed vocational nursing programs, and the EMS programs at Reese Center.

“My job is more of an umbrella over all of those, and making sure that we’re all staying really studentfocused,” Findley said.

In his spare time, Findley likes to spend time with his wife and three kids and traveling.