NORFOLK, NE – Northeast Community College welcomed the first of three presidential finalists to campus on Wednesday. Dr. Lenny Klaver, president of North Central Missouri College (NCMC), spent the day touring the Norfolk campus and then participated in meetings, an interview with the Board of Governors and two open forum sessions.
At the first forum, Klaver said his background, from a sitting president to a tenured faculty member, has prepared him well to be Northeast’s next president.
“My background is quite broad and fairly extensive. … I really think that what I bring is also the ability to take a college to the next step – in a new direction. I think I have a method that works pretty well that is very comprehensive and inclusive.”
Klaver began serving as president of NCMC in May 2016. Prior to that, he held the position of vice president for institutional advancement and enrollment at Finlandia University (MI) for three years. He served as a tenured faculty member, chair and director of athletics in the Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Sport Management for five years at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and was promoted to vice chancellor for university relations and advancement at the UW-P, where he served for 10 years in that capacity.
Klaver spoke of his abilities in building teams, creating a positive campus culture and his involvement in community activities and organizations through his present position. He cited three tenets that create a strong academic institution – access, excellence and impact.
“I would bring an approach here that would be based on that theory, basically, that your accessible, you do things in an excellent manner and you have an impact, not only on your graduates, but your faculty, your staff, and your students. I like to build positive atmospheres and I like to relish in our successes as well, but I also know it takes hard work to do that.”
Klaver complemented Northeast’s campus, its facilities and its array of programs.
“This is a very comprehensive community college. Because of the structure of this college and the people here - you have an excellent faculty and staff that is very well credentialed - that this cannot become just another community college, this can be a preeminent, exemplary model of a community college in a rural area.”
The other two finalists for the job will be in Norfolk next week.
Dr. Charles Nwankwo, vice president of technology and business partnerships at Chandler Gilbert Community College in Arizona, will be at Northeast on Monday, October 7, while Dr. Leah Barrett, vice president for student affairs for the Northern Wyoming Community College will visit campus on Tuesday, October 8.
As with Klaver, Nwankwo and Barrett will take part in individual interviews with the Northeast Board of Governors, in addition to opportunities to meet with Northeast employees, students and the general public during open forums.
Two public forums will be held each day from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. and 3:15-4:15 p.m., in the Cox Activities Center Theatre on the Northeast campus, 801 E. Benjamin Ave. in Norfolk.
In addition to Norfolk, the public may participate in the forums from all Northeast extended campus locations, at O’Neill, 505 E. Highway 20, Room 104; South Sioux City in the College Center, 1001 College Way, Room 138, and West Point in the Nielsen Community Center, 202 Anna Stalp Ave., Room 206.
Following the finalists’ visits to campus, the board wishes to select a new president this fall with the successful candidate starting in January 2020. The new president will succeed Dr. Michael Chipps, who retired in May. Co-interim presidents Mary Honke and Steve Schram, former Northeast administrators, will continue to serve in their roles until to the new president assumes office.
Dr. Lenny Klaver, a finalist for the presidency of Northeast Community College, speaks during an open forum Wednesday at the College in Norfolk. Klaver, president of North Central Missouri College, was the first of three finalists to visit campus. The other two candidates, Dr. Charles Nwankwo, vice president of technology and business partnerships at Chandler Gilbert Community College in Arizona, will be at Northeast on Monday, October 7, while Dr. Leah Barrett, vice president for student affairs for the Northern Wyoming Community College will be on campus Tuesday, October 8.