When Dr. Phil Linfante of Hackettstown steps down as the Chair of the Warren Community College Board of Trustees in November, he will be a tough act to follow. His legacy includes recognition from not only Warren County, but from state – and national – organizations.
Under Dr. Linfante’s leadership Warren has been a true leader in state and national trends, realized the most successful visit by the Middle States regional accreditor with zero recommendations, launched a True Pathways program that is being duplicated by schools elsewhere, and successfully met the challenges of COVID head-on, to name just a few of the accomplishments over the past few years.
Dr. Linfante, along with Dr. Will Austin, President of the College, and other WCC “team members” frequently speak at state and national events. The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), a national organization considered the leading community college association in the country, has hosted numerous workshops and seminars led by Dr. Linfante and WCC; in fact, more than any other college over the last five years.
Dr. Linfante himself is a Northeast Region ACCT Leadership Award winner and last year was named by NJBIZ Magazine as a member of its NJ Education power List. In addition, he has also served as the Chair of the New Jersey Council of Community Colleges (NJCCC), He was only the second WCC trustee to ever hold this prestigious position.
While Dr. Linfante has gained much attention nationally and in the state, he is most proud of his efforts in Warren County. He is also appreciative of his board.
“I want to emphasize that over all these years, I have visited many community colleges and attended many trustee meetings throughout the state and nation and I have never seen the overall respect and cohesiveness between board members and the great relationship between the President and Board here at Warren,” said Dr. Linfante. “This board is second to none.”
Dr. Linfante has served on the Board of Trustees since 2013 and he is now finishing up his second term as Chair after being re-elected in 2018. His last meeting on the board is scheduled for November 17.
During his tenure as Chair, Warren was recognized by the Chronicle for Higher Education as New Jersey’s #1 College for Student Success, and the United States’ 11th Best College for Student Success, with a 46% graduation rate, the highest in NJ. The nursing program is considered one of the top programs in New Jersey., being ranked #1 again in 2021. Additionally, WCC is now renowned for its expansive drone program with millions of dollars in grants realized, as well as many other unique initiatives. Finally, during his tenure the college facilities were expanded, the single largest gift in college history was received, and Warren rose even further in national prominence.
“I can’t overstate about how much Dr. Linfante has done overall for our community and how he has raised awareness about WCC on the state and national levels,” said Dr. Austin. “Without a doubt his greatest impact is right here on our campus. Everything he has done is in the best interest of our students. Many times he is right there with them, literally, such as when he helped to distribute Thanksgiving, Christmas and COVID giveaway packages to students. You won’t find many trustee chairs doing that kind of thing. He is one of a kind and we have been so lucky to have him here for the past eight years. It was an absolute honor to serve someone I admire so much.”