FREEPORT (WIFR) -- Highland Community College President Joe Kanosky, Ph.D. will retire in June of 2015 after nine years serving as Highland’s seventh president.
Kanosky came to HCC in 1981 and has held a variety of positions in the areas of student services, instructional program administration, community service and economic development. He has been a Director, an Associate Dean, and a Dean. He served as Vice President for Student and Community Services from 2000 to 2003 and Vice President for Institutional and Community Development from 2003 until November of 2005. Kanosky’s tenure began in June of 2006 after serving as acting president upon the departure of Dr. Ronald Field in late 2005.
“The Board of Trustees was made aware of Dr. Kanosky’s plans to retire three years ago when his current contract was amended,” said current Board Chair Doug Block. “I think that I can speak for the entire Board of Trustees in saying that we have been very pleased with Dr. Kanosky’s leadership throughout his time as President. The College has accomplished much and is positioned to continue to build on its strengths.”
Highland has seen several lasting accomplishments under President Kanosky’s leadership, most notably, the construction of two state-of-the-art training facilities — the Ray and Betty Stamm Health Science Nursing Wing and the Wind Turbine Technician Training Center. The nursing wing provides 13,500 square feet of much-needed high-tech lab and classroom space for the Nursing and Allied program, while the Wind Turbine Technician Training Center serves as a dedicated facility for the State of Illinois’ first two-year Wind Turbine Technician degree.
In 2012, a modern 1,500 square foot greenhouse was constructed off of the south side of the Natural Science and Health Center, replacing an outdated and cramped facility that was no longer serving the needs students in the natural sciences.
President Kanosky oversaw the College’s successful transition to the Academic Quality Improvement program (AQIP) model of accreditation and two Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) recognition evaluations, maintaining the College’s continued high recognition status. In 2012, Highland received approval from the Higher Learning Commission to offer its associate of arts degree completely through online coursework.
During Kanosky’s tenure, a number of new academic programs were initiated, such as the Medical Assistant, Emergency Medical Technician, Industrial Training and Wind Turbine Technician degrees, as well as Customer Service and Professional Tax Preparer certificates.
President Kanosky has been active in civic and professional organizations for many years. He served on the Freeport School District 145 Board of Education for nearly eight years, two years as its president. He also holds a position on two Workforce Investment Boards, which serve northwestern Illinois, and is a member of the board of the Tri-County Economic Development Alliance. He also serves on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club and State Bank of Freeport, and is a member of the Freeport Noon Rotary. His past service includes being on the board of directors of the Freeport Area Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Illinois Development Alliance.
On the State level, Kanosky is a member of the Illinois Council of Community College Presidents and currently co-chairs their Leadership and Core Values Committee, a position he has held for several years. He has also presented at the Illinois Council of Community College Administrators conference on several occasions, sharing his expertise on leadership and core values.
Highland Trustees are currently developing a detailed transitional plan with the goal of having the position filled by the end of Kanosky’s tenure.