Johnson County Community College
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JCCC president Terry Calaway announces his retirement
Story by Julie Haas
JCCC president Terry Calaway announces his retirement
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Terry Calaway has announced his retirement as president of Johnson County Community College. Calaway is retiring to spend more time with his family; he plans to leave the college Aug. 1, 2013.
“When I joined JCCC, I was charged with refocusing the college around students and their success,” Calaway said. “We have been able to do that as well as improve retention, reduce unnecessary overhead, and grow our foundation endowment and scholarship funds. Recently our bond rating was reaffirmed at the highest level possible, and we have maintained or reduced our mill levy each year that I have served. It is now time, though, for the college to prepare for the next generation of leadership. I leave the college with much admiration for our team and board. I am indebted to everyone in our community for their kindness and support.”
Calaway became the fourth president of JCCC in June 2007. Over the years, he has led the college in these accomplishments:
- Enrollment has increased by 8 percent, making JCCC the largest institution of undergraduate education in the state. Under Calaway, the college has undertaken new initiatives focusing on student success and retention, including learner engagement (promoting personal connections between students and faculty) and Dream Johnson County (focusing on students who need help with reading, writing and math to be ready for college work). Other initiatives Calaway championed, such as outcomes assessment and healthcare simulation, help teachers support student success in the classroom and on the job. A new Center for Innovation fosters creative thinking about all aspects of the college.
- Calaway has been instrumental in the development of articulation agreements with the state’s four-year schools, which assure that at least 55 credit hours of general education courses will transfer to Kansas public colleges and universities. JCCC has also signed reverse transfer agreements with Kansas State University, Pittsburgh State University and Emporia State University, which allow students to finish an associate’s degree while attending one of those four-year schools.
- In a community scan sponsored by the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce Foundation released in January, JCCC received a 93 percent approval rating from both voters and businesses, who said JCCC plays a key role in economic development in Johnson County.
- Campus expansion during Calaway’s time includes the opening of the Regnier Center and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, additions to the Science Building (for dental hygiene and emergency medical science) and the Student Center (additional space for the bookstore), the construction of the Olathe Health Education Center on the grounds of Olathe Medical Center, and the construction (currently in progress) of a new Hospitality and Culinary Academy.
- In 2008, Calaway signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, making sustainability an important part of JCCC. Since then, JCCC has incorporated sustainability into the curriculum; developed new recycling initiatives; planted a campus farm as well as an edible schoolyard; built new “green” buildings, including Galileo’s Pavilion, constructed by Studio 804 of the University of Kansas; and launched energy efficiency measures that have saved the college more than $700,000.
- With Calaway’s encouragement, the college developed a new emphasis on emergency preparedness, with a new office of emergency management and an enterprise risk management initiative. More than 1,500 employees have been trained to respond during emergencies or life-threatening situations.
- Under Calaway, JCCC now allocates dollars in ways that fund the college’s priorities and has placed greater emphasis on grants with the creation of a new grants office. The college has also implemented a plan whereby $3 of the cost per credit hour goes toward technology, which has allowed JCCC to improve its infrastructure for networking and telephony. Under Calaway, the college has also maintained its AA+/AAA bond ratings.
- During Calaway’s tenure as president, contributions to the JCCC Foundation for student scholarships have grown from $500,000 a year to more than $900,000. In 2012, the Foundation’s total assets reached an all-time high of more than $26 million.
“JCCC has the best faculty and staff of any college in the nation,” Calaway said. “I deeply believe they are ready to be even better. I look forward to watching this happen as a member of the community and will be their loudest cheerleader.”
“Dr. Calaway has been a tremendous leader for JCCC,” said Melody Rayl, chair, JCCC board of trustees. “His emphasis on student support and success, his encouragement of new ideas and innovation, and his stewardship of college resources have given the college both a vision for the 21st century and a solid foundation on which we can build. We’re grateful for the time he was here, and we’ll miss him.”
“The JCCC Foundation is very grateful for Dr. Calaway’s support and guidance these past years,” said Steve Wilkinson, president and CEO of Menorah Hospital and JCCC Foundation president. “Even in these troubled economic times, we’ve been able to grow the Foundation endowment and support more students. I watched Dr. Calaway provide needed leadership during a significant transition period for JCCC. He was able to bring together key stakeholders and create a renewed sense of direction. He took the reins of a successful college and guided it to even higher levels. Dr. Calaway has been a great leader at just the right time in the college’s existence. We’ve enjoyed working with Dr. Calaway and wish him all the best in the future.”
“Dr. Calaway’s announcement came as a complete surprise,” said Bob Marcusse, president/CEO, Kansas City Area Development Council. “He has done an outstanding job at JCCC and will be deeply missed. Terry is a great friend to the Kansas City Area Development Council, to regional job creation, and to me personally. He truly understands the role that JCCC plays in regional economic development, and as a region…not just as Johnson County…we have benefited from his leadership. His influence extends far beyond the college and Johnson County, and his departure will be a loss for all of us.”
Calaway has served on a number of boards, including the Kansas City Area Development Council, for which he chairs the Higher Education Task Force; the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Board; the Olathe Chamber of Commerce Board of Advisers; KCPT Public Television; the Overland Park Economic Development Council (chair 2010-2011); UMB Bank; University of Kansas Medical Center Foundation Board; MOCSA; and the League for Innovation in the Community College.
Before coming to JCCC, Calaway served as president of Central Arizona College, Coolidge, Ariz., from January 2003 to June 2007. He also served as vice president, academic and student services, at Central Arizona from March 1999 to January 2003. At Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland, Ohio, he was the assistant vice president, workforce and economic development, 1996-1999, and dean/district director, division of continuing and professional education, 1993-1995.
The JCCC board of trustees is considering next steps for finding a new president for JCCC. The board expects to announce its plans in the next several weeks.