John Wood Community College has a new president.The college's Board of Trustees unanimously voted to hire Michael Elbe the sixth president of JWCC.He will be paid $150,000 a year.Elbe currently serves as chief student services administrator for student service areas including admissions, financial aid, advising, registration, records, student support services, TRIO grants, Veteran services, career services, student life and athletics.
"I feel like those relationships that I've been able to nurture and build over the last, really the last thirty years of my life have really helped me to obtain this position but also will assist me in the transition to become president," said Elbe.
An area he would like improve upon during his presidency is providing a skill-trained work force.
"We have a number of businesses that need skill-trained employers," Elbe said. "We have people that are looking for jobs. I think we as a community college need to be able to connect those two."
Of the candidates interviewed for the position, Board of Trustees Chairman Randy Sims said Elbe stood out with important qualities.
"His character, his charisma, Mike's ability to answer questions," said Sims. "Mike is just a likeable person. I think when you have a conversation with Mike Elbe, you come away and you're happy that you had that conversation. Not a lot of people have that ability to do that."
Over the course of his 26 years of professional experiences at four, four- year colleges and on two occasions at John Wood, he has served as director of student life and athletics at JWCC, assistant dean of students and director of athletics at the University of Dubuque in Iowa, academic advisor at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington and resident director at St. Andrew's Presbyterian College in Laurinburg North Carolina. Elbe also served on the faculty at each of the four-year colleges where he was employed. Elbe is currently a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership at William Woods University and earned an Educational Specialist in Administration (Ed.S.) this past fall as part of his doctoral work. He received a Master of Science in education from the University of South Alabama and a Bachelor of Science in education from Quincy University with a state of Illinois teaching certificate. Elbe attended John Wood before transferring to Quincy College to complete his bachelor's degree.Elbe will assume his new post April 1, 2014. He succeeds Dr. John Letts, who will retire March 31 following more than 25 years at JWCC, serving as president in his final two years at the college.JWCC's board also approved a one-year agreement with the JWCC Faculty Association IFT/AFT local #6086 Collective Bargaining Unit, which includes a 2.25 percent salary increase for full-time faculty.