SOUTH BEND — Thomas G. Coley, a longtime community college administrator in the Midwest, was named Thursday as the next chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College’s north-central region.
He will begin the job June 1.
Coley has served as president of Scott Community College in Bettendorf, Iowa, since 2005. Since 2008, he’s also served as vice chancellor for instruction for the Eastern Iowa Community College District.
During a visit to South Bend in February, Coley said he believes in hands-on involvement in the community. In Iowa, he’s been an active member of the United Way, the Chamber of Commerce and other organizations, and he said he plans to take the same approach in the South Bend area.
Coley also said he’s intrigued by the fact that Ivy Tech is a statewide system with a central office and statewide accreditation, saying economies of scale can be achieved by that structure.
Coley has experience crafting articulation agreements that allow students to transfer credits and two-year degrees to private four-year colleges and larger state universities. "Every time we start a new course (in Iowa), we have to make sure a university nearby accepts it," he said.
The East Iowa Community College District enrolls more than 9,000 students each fall and more than 30,000 students each year.
In comparison, Ivy Tech’s north-central region serves about 15,000 students annually.
During Coley’s time in Iowa, construction was completed on a new $2.5 million culinary arts and hospitality building, new physical science laboratories and applied technologies classrooms.
Coley, who grew up in Florida, earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Moorhead State University in Minnesota, a master’s degree in political science at the University of Wisconsin and a doctoral degree in education administration, also at Wisconsin.
He’s held faculty and administrative positions in higher education for more than 30 years.
Coley previously worked as vice president of instruction and student services at Black Hawk College, in Moline, Ill.; assistant vice president for academic and student affairs at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland; assistant vice chancellor of academic affairs for the Oregon State higher education system; executive assistant to the president at California State University-Fullerton; and an assistant provost at the University of Maryland.
"We were very pleased with the deep experience Dr. Coley brings to Ivy Tech, but more importantly his track record of academic excellence and colleague engagement confirmed he was the best person for this important position," search committee chair Chris Murphy said in a written statement. Murphy is chairman and chief executive officer of First Source Bank.
Ivy Tech’s north-central region serves Elkhart, Kosciusko, Marshall and St. Joseph counties, with campuses in South Bend, Goshen and Warsaw.
Coley succeeds former chancellor Virginia Calvin, who retired Dec. 31.
Staff writer Margaret Fosmoe: