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JCCC trustees select new college president

05/09/13

JCCC trustees select new college president

Dr. Joe Sopcich

OVERLAND PARK, Kansas – Joseph M. Sopcich, Overland Park, will succeed Terry Calaway as the president of Johnson County Community College. Calaway, who announced his retirement in October 2012, will leave the college on July 31.

“I speak for the entire board of trustees in congratulating Dr. Sopcich on being selected as the next president of JCCC,” said Melody Rayl, chair of the board of trustees. “His proven leadership ability, together with his long history with the college and the enduring relationships he has established in our community and across the country, leaves absolutely no doubt among the trustees that he is the person to lead our college into the next decade. We are excited to have Dr. Sopcich at the helm as we begin the next chapter in JCCC’s legacy as one of the finest community colleges in the country.”

“The JCCC board of trustees has made an outstanding selection,” said Calaway. “Dr. Sopcich is a man of heart and integrity and will be a true superstar as the next president/CEO of Johnson County Community College. Joe’s experience inside and outside the classroom has prepared him well for this role; he certainly will extend and expand our tradition of excellence. As a Kansas City native, Joe has an intimate knowledge of our community, and he will put that knowledge to work every day in his new role. I congratulate the board, our college and the entire JCCC community on the selection.”

Sopcich, 58, has been with JCCC since 1992, serving over the years as executive director of institutional advancement, vice president of institutional advancement and government affairs, executive vice president of administrative services and executive vice president/chief financial officer. Activities over the years include the implementation of a new approach to building the college’s $140 million operating budget, resulting in a reduction in expenses and reallocation behind strategic priorities, and the completion of a successful fundraising campaign for the college’s new Hospitality and Culinary Academy.

Sopcich’s honors include a Fulbright Award in 2011, traveling to Russia to present seminars on the merits of American community colleges; the Colleague of the Year award from the JCCC Foundation in 2010 in recognition of his dedication to JCCC students and programming; and the Faculty Leadership award in 2008 given by the JCCC Faculty Association in recognition of his leadership and support of JCCC’s faculty. He has taught as an adjunct in the college’s business division since 2006. Sopcich earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Notre Dame and a PhD from the University of Kansas.

The selection of Sopcich as JCCC’s new president completes a search that began in December 2012, when the college hired a consultant, Goldhill Associates, Asheville, N.C., to help with the process. A 12-member screening committee composed of representatives from the trustees, faculty, staff, students and the community reviewed applications from dozens of candidates, including community college presidents and senior administrators from across the country, and made recommendations to the board. The board then brought three candidates to campus for interviews in April.

During his visit to JCCC, each candidate met with students, faculty, staff and members of the community. The board conducted a public interview with each candidate and met with each for dinner.

The other candidates for the president’s position were Edward E. “Ted” Raspiller, president, Blinn College’s Brazos County Campuses, Bryan, Texas, and Richard G. Shrubb, president, Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Worthington, Minn.

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