November 11, 2015

David Matlock Named Executive Director of the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center

Media Contact:

Kathy Hietala, Assistant to the Executive Director

(276) 619-4346


November 10, 2015



David Matlock Named Executive Director of the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center



ABINGDON, Va.  The Board of Trustees of the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center announced that David Matlock has been appointed Executive Director of the Center. Matlock began work at the Center November 2nd.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to congratulate and welcome David Matlock into his new role as Executive Director of the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center,” said Senator and Chairman of the Board Bill Carrico.  “David is well-known to many in the region; his dedication, commitment to serve others and his leadership qualities make him an outstanding fit for the Higher Ed Center. I have the utmost confidence in David’s ability to inspire those around him, provide steady guidance and foster critical relationships while forging a new path. I look forward to working with David as we continue to improve access to higher education in Southwest Virginia.”

Matlock had a distinguished 24-year career with Virginia Highlands Community College, serving as Vice President of Institutional Advancement since 2007 and as Director of Admissions, Records and Financial Aid before that.  “I am very excited and honored at being named the Executive Director of the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center. I firmly believe in the ability of education to transform lives.”

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in management from Southern Illinois University and a Master of Education degree in counseling from East Tennessee State University. Matlock was also an honor graduate of the United States Marine Corps, Non-Commissioned Officer Academy at Camp Lejeune, NC, as well as the United States Naval Air Traffic Control Academy at Milligan, TN. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education degree.

He and his wife, Mary, live in the Damascus community and have two children. Jason is the Assistant Principal at Virginia Middle School and Beth teaches and coaches at Patrick Henry High School.

Senator Phillip Puckett, a former chairman and member of the Higher Education Center’s Board of Trustees who chaired the Executive Director Search Committee, said, “David Matlock is a man of character and integrity, and a man with a proven track record in higher education in southwest Virginia. David knows our region, and will work hard to continue to lead the Higher Education Center in meeting the educational needs of our citizens.”

Matlock becomes only the second Executive Director since the Center’s inception in 1991. Dr. Rachel Fowlkes, founding Executive Director, retired on June 30 after nearly 25 years of service. In offering her congratulations to Matlock, Fowlkes said: “David Matlock has exceptional professional relationships with businesses and industries, colleges and universities, and legislators.  I am pleased that the Search Committee and Board of Trustees selected someone who can “hit the ground running” to expand degree opportunities for adult students.”

David Matlock Press Release



MISSION STATEMENT:  The mission of the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center is to strengthen the regional economy of southwest Virginia by providing higher education and professional development training of the current and future workforce