Friday, October 19, 2001

NKTC looks for first president

By Ray Schaefer
Enquirer Contributor

        EDGEWOOD — The three men and one woman who want to be president of Northern Kentucky's first community college come from four points on the compass.

        Interviews with local educators, lawmakers and business people begin today at the Northern Kentucky Technical College (NKTC) campus at 790 Thomas More Parkway.

        The finalists are:

        • G. Edward Hughes, president of Hazard Community College. He visits Northern Kentucky today.

        • Robert Carlson, executive director of the University of New Mexico campus at Gallup. His interview is scheduled for Monday.

        • Vicky R. Smith, vice president for academic services at Monroe Community College in Rochester, N.Y. She will come to Northern Kentucky on Tuesday

        • Guy Altieri, executive vice president of instruction at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Mich. His interview has yet to be scheduled.

        Michael McCall, president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, hopes to choose the new president in time for the start of spring semester in January.

        Northern Kentucky Technical College — which operates campuses in Covington, Highland Heights and Edgewood — is using $10 million of state money to expand into a comprehensive community and technical college.

        Ms. Smith has been involved in community-college education for about 30 years. She said becoming the founding president is what attracted her.

        “I have built buildings, I have hired staff,” Ms. Smith said. “Those sorts of things are things the president and (chief executive officer) are going to have to be involved in.”

        Mr. Altieri's job at Washtenaw involves working with nearly 17,500 students on a campus located between two much larger schools — the roughly 40,000-student University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and the over-25,000 Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti.

        But how does a community college fit in with two four-year schools — Northern Kentucky University and Thomas More College?

        Just fine, Mr. Altieri said.

        “I think a community college works better with business and industry to customize programs to meet needs in workforce development,” Mr. Altieri said. “I don't see this as competition with Northern Kentucky University or Thomas More College. It will be a net gain. It won't be a shift of students.”

        Mr. Hughes is also CEO of the Kentucky River Community and Technical College District. In biographical data provided by NKTC, he lists among his accomplishments creation of a cultural diversity advisory committee and expansion of facilities from a single-campus institution with 600 students to a multi-campus system that serves some 28,000.

        “I'm certainly familiar with what's being attempted up here,” said Mr. Hughes, president of Hazard Community College since 1985. “That's what piqued my interest.”

        In his NKTC data, Mr. Carlson pointed to several successes. They included raising $500,000 in grants in one year among the $5 million he has written altogether; and initiating a campus computer network of 800 units and some 20 miles of fiber to hook up every classroom on campus.

        Mr. Carlson was unavailable for comment.


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