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Duree to retire, IVCCD sets replacement search in motion

Dr. Chris Duree

Dr. Chris Duree, IVCCD Chancellor

The Iowa Valley Community College District Board of Directors approved a voluntary early retirement plan application for IVCCD Chancellor Dr. Chris Duree when it met this week in Iowa Falls. The retirement will be effective June 30, 2019.

Dr. Duree was hired by IVCCD in 2008 as Provost for Marshalltown Community College; he was named Chancellor in November 2009. In an email to all Iowa Valley employees, he wrote, “After 38 years in public education, 30 of which have been in public education administration, I have made a very difficult decision to step away from education administration to have more time to spend with my wife and family, and in particular, our eight grandchildren. My heart and my brain are finally ‘on the same page,’ and Brenda and I both feel like the time is right in our lives to enjoy what is most important to us.

“I have been blessed to have the privilege of working with a talented team, an incredibly supportive Board of Directors, and all of you as a member of our Iowa Valley family. There have been many accomplishments over the last several years for which all of us can be very proud because we have worked together for the betterment of our students and campuses. Thank you so very much for the opportunity to serve in this position, all of the support you have provided, and the trust you have had in my leadership. My goal has been, is, and will continue to be, leaving my successor with IVCCD in a much better place than when I arrived in this office. I fully intend to finish out the remainder of the year the same way I started – with my foot on the gas pedal, not the brake.”

Related to Dr. Duree’s retirement, the Board approved a proposal to employ Dr. Larry Ebbers to conduct the search for a new chancellor. Dr. Ebbers retired from the Iowa State University College of Education in 2016 and has been involved in countless community college presidential searches during the past 40 years due to his expertise in community college leadership. The process will begin in December with a survey seeking input into the skills and abilities most desired in a new chancellor and open forums giving faculty, staff, students and community members an opportunity to communicate directly with Dr. Ebbers. The position will be advertised in January with the intent of reviewing applications in March.

Also related to Dr. Duree’s impending retirement, the Board voted to extend IVCCD’s 2014-2018 Strategic Agenda to 2019. Dr. Duree told the Board that the Strategic Agenda is required by the Iowa Department of Education and the Higher Learning Commission. He said some action items still need closure, and that extending the document for an additional year will give the new chancellor an opportunity for involvement in the process of orchestrating the next strategic planning document.

In other matters, the Board approved the following:

  • A $310,000 Industrial New Jobs Training Agreement with Stover Controls to provide training for the addition of 19 new jobs. Stover Controls is the only company in the central Midwest region certified to sell and install Emerson products.
  • A $24,796 one-year contract with FRSecure FACT System for information security services and consulting that will result in a plan to address identified IVCCD technological deficiencies.
  • A 90-day extension of the lease agreement with Iowa Workforce Development for its use of space at the R.M. Wolfe Education Center in Marshalltown.
  • Snow removal contracts for the campuses in Iowa Falls, Marshalltown and Grinnell.
  • MCC Dental Clinic fees for January through March 2019. Each year the Clinic is open two half-days per week and MCC Dental Assisting students assist local dentists to meet the Commission on Dental Accreditation standards. The Clinic is open to the public; additional information is online at https://mcc.iavalley.edu/about-mcc/campusfacilities/dental-clinic/.
  • An agreement between Ellsworth Community College and the National Student Clearinghouse for a web-based application that allows students to access enrollment and degree information electronically.
  • Revisions to 36 board policies and board policy guidelines.

The Board also accepted the gift of 39 individual donations totaling $1,800 to the Wellborn Scholarship at Iowa Valley Grinnell and Puppi fiberglass cross arms from Kriz-Davis to the MCC Powerline Technician program.

ECC science and mathematics department faculty and students gave a presentation showcasing the College’s STEM programs and equipment. Dr. Jim Cheaney, Dr. Jessica Mahoney, Dr. Kanishka Epa, Brent Ries and Dr. Haitham Abdel Majid talked about the Math-Science building remodeling that occurred earlier this year, their academic programs and classes, and the STEM-related clubs and summer camps they oversee. Conservation Technology students Jovis Shoemaker and George Haefner talked about the Conservation Technology Club and demonstrated an electro-shocker used to survey fish in rivers and streams. Pre-engineering student Michael Chapman talked about his work on a prototype model of an electronically controlled skateboard as a part of his PHY212-PHY222 classes, and Physics & Astronomy Club President Delio Fuertes talked about club activities on campus and at the Calkins Nature Area & Interpretive Center.

The Board went into closed session to discuss the sale of the R.M. Wolfe Education Center, but took no action upon returning to open session.

The next regular meeting of the IVCCD Board will be on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 4 pm in the District Administration building on the Iowa Valley/MCC campus in Marshalltown.

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