ICC announces interim president during "monumental transition period"

INDEPENDENCE, Kan. - In a time when change is inevitable, Independence Community College (ICC) is embracing opportunity as never before. To that beginning, at their regularly scheduled board meeting on Thursday, the ICC Board of Trustees named George C. Knox as interim college president.

"In this monumental transition period, Dr. Knox is the supreme choice for leadership," says ICC Board Chair Valorie DeFever. "With the implementation of a new strategic plan, a solid review from the Higher Learning Commission and the college's centennial rapidly approaching, ICC requires an experienced leader who will maximize momentum. We are thrilled to have such an accomplished leader in place at ICC for this time."

Knox currently serves as the executive director for the Council on Accreditation for Two-Year Colleges (CATYC) and accepted the additional opportunity to serve as interim president of ICC while a national search is conducted for the college's next president.

Prior to serving as executive director for CATYC, Knox was president at Labette Community College for 12 years following a five-year presidency at Cloud County Community College. His previous positions include dean of academic and student development services at Tri-County Community College in North Carolina, dean of planning, learning and instruction at Moraine Park Technical College in Wisconsin and division dean of human services at Western Piedmont Community College in North Carolina.

"Knox excels in strategic planning and the execution of new initiatives that produce positive outcomes and measurable success," DeFever said. "He has a talent for leading people into action and committing to an organizational mission that results in growth and development."

"It's a humbling experience to serve ICC during this transformative time," says Knox. "I am passionate about transmitting vision into reality, mission into action and philosophy into practice. ICC is embracing such opportunity and I am grateful for the trust of the Board to be involved in such a pivotal moment in the college's history."

Although temporary, ICC expects significant success during Knox's interim presidency, painting the landscape and setting the bar for future leadership. The Board also announced they will be hiring a national firm to conduct the search for the next ICC president.

Board members commented that a nationwide search for candidates is required to ensure the best person is found to lead while building on the positives ICC already has to offer. ICC not only has the lowest tuition costs in the state, it also has the highest success rate of transfer students, premier fine arts faculty and facilities, expanded online courses and programs, exceptional entrepreneurial programs through the ICC Fab Lab and an extensive grant-funded Trio student support services department. ICC is also slated to excel in the realm of athletics with the arrival of new football, basketball and volleyball coaches.

"ICC has extraordinary opportunities on the horizon," says Vice Chair Terry Clark. "We anticipate great growth and are excited to see where the future leads ICC under such skillful leadership. We aim to lay a strong foundation for ICC's next president, anticipating only greater development from this point forward."

ICC recently hired three other significant leadership roles – the human resources and marketing directors as well as the chief financial officer (CFO). With the addition of Knox's appointment as interim president and the nationwide search for a presidential candidate, ICC is strategically positioning capable leadership to implement and begin the execution of the new, five-year strategic plan. 

Independence Community College (ICC) is a two-year educational institution accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. First established in 1925 as grades 13 and 14 of the Independence public school system, Independence Community College legally separated from the school district as its own entity which began offering college courses in the fall of 1970. Currently, ICC's educational and support programming includes 35 programs of study for Associate of Arts and/or Science degrees, 11 programs of study for Certificate completion,  Student Support Services, Upward Bound, men's and women's athletic programs and a variety of campus organizations and activities.


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