ULLIN — The Shawnee Community College Board of Trustees selected Tim Taylor as the college’s next president during its meeting Tuesday night.
Taylor starts on Wednesday.
The board approved the selection of Taylor with no dissenting votes after a lengthy executive session. Board Chairman Randy Rushing said Taylor’s contract would be approved at the board’s next meeting, and no details about the terms of his hiring were released.
Taylor succeeds former SCC President Peggy Bradford, who stepped down in June 2019 prior to the end of her contract after months of friction with faculty members and their union. Bradford then spent a year on sabbatical writing a paper on how to improve rural community colleges. Kathleen Curphy, a longtime SCC administrator, was named interim president when Bradford stepped down. Curphy was also one of eight finalists for the position.
Taylor most recently served as an administrator with Oakland Community College in Michigan. He served as a campus president and chief operating officer for two of the system’s largest campuses: Auburn Hills and Orchard Ridge. He has also served as an associate vice chancellor of Academic Affairs at Oakland, where he provided leadership and support to one of the largest technical and career programs in the Midwest, according to a biography provided by SCC during candidate finalist interviews.
Taylor also has ties to Illinois. Prior to transitioning to Oakland, he served as president of Frontier Community College, one of four community colleges in the Illinois Eastern Community College District. Further, he is a Saluki, having earned a master’s degree in science and vocational education from Southern Illinois University. He holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin.
Taylor addressed the board and those attending the meeting virtually via Zoom in a brief speech following the vote on his selection.
He asked that the board accept his “sincere appreciation for bringing me into the Saints family.”
“It is clear your passion and commitment to the community sets a positive tone that I promise will be reflected in all my actions as your partner representative,” he said.
Taylor said he looked forward to working with the business community, high school administrators and other community and civic groups. He said it is the college’s responsibility to meet students where they are when they enter SCC and prepare them to meet the standards of a college student. He pledged to improve the quality of the college’s academic programs and services and ensure programs and core services are flexible, accessible, affordable and responsive to students’ needs and wants.
Addressing employees, Taylor said, “Please know I believe you are the college’s most important resource,” and made a commitment to meet with each of them individually. “The goal is simply to get to know each other and strengthen our Saints family,” he said.
On Twitter: @MollyParkerSI
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