Senior Leadership Bio - Garrett College

Garrett College McHenry campus offices are open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Effective Saturday, March 5, 2022, masking will be optional on campus, with the following exceptions:

• In classrooms as required by certain faculty.
• In private office settings as required by individual faculty or staff.
• As required to comply with NJCAA Region XX guidance.
• As required for isolation or quarantine cases.

Employees and students are not required to be vaccinated at this time but are strongly encouraged to do so.

The most up-to-date information on Garrett College's response to COVID-19, can be found online at novel coronavirus/COVID-19 resource page.

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Robert "JR" Kerns, J.D.

Dean of Student Affairs


JR Kerns

Robert "JR" Kerns, Esq.

Dean Kerns, who became the permanent dean of student affairs in 2018, is committed to a continued expansion of support services for Garrett College students.

"Our Students in Need Group (SING) does an excellent job," said Dean Kerns, pointing to the student food pantry as an example of the volunteer group's positive impact. "I'd like to expand the work this group performs in order to provide more services to those students in need of additional resources."

Dean Kerns earned a bachelor's degree in economics from University of Louisville, where he attended on a full athletic scholarship to play soccer for the NCAA Division I Cardinals. He is currently working with the GC Athletic Department, which resides in the Student Affairs Division, to expand intercollegiate athletic offerings.

"Garrett College has a rich tradition in intercollegiate athletics," observed Dean Kerns. "We're perfectly positioned to attract student athletes with an excellent faculty and staff, as well as being one of only two community colleges in Maryland with on-campus residence facilities."

Dean Kerns is helping to spearhead a GC effort to acquire funding for a baseball/softball/soccer turf field, which he believes "would be a game-changer" for athletics.

"A turf field would allow us to offer women's and men's soccer, upgrade baseball and softball facilities, and host a wide variety of youth sports," said Dean Kerns.

Dean Kerns holds five advanced degrees in addition to the juris doctorate, with master’s degrees in business administration, psychology, law, and library and information science.

Dean Kerns and his wife, Whitney, who practices law in Morgantown, reside in Morgantown with daughter Elle, 8, and son Kellan, 2. In his spare time, Dean Kerns said he enjoys "playing tennis with my daughter and watching cartoons with my son."