BTC names presidential finalists

Blackhawk Technical College embarked on its final stage of its President search Monday when it announced the five finalists for the position and the schedule for public forums with each of the candidates.

The finalists are, in alphabetical order:

·       Dr. Jon Mandrell, Vice President of Academics and Student Services, Sauk Valley Community College, Dixon, IL.

·       Dr. Anthony (Tony) Miksa, Vice President of Academics and Student Affairs, McHenry County College, Crystal Lake, IL.

·       Dr. Tracy Pierner, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Henry Ford College, Dearborn, Mich.

·       Dr. Greg Schmitz, most recently President of VGM Education of the VGM Group, Waterloo, Iowa.

·       Dr. Muddassir Siddiqi, Provost/Chief Operating Officer, Morton College, Cicero, IL.

The finalists were selected following a national search that drew 48 applicants, a field that then was narrowed to 11 before the announcement of the five finalists.

“All of our semifinalists were accomplished and impressive, and we were grateful to have an opportunity to interview each of them,’’ said Barbara Barrington-Tillman, the BTC District Board chairperson and head of the 14-member search committee charged with finding a successor to Dr. Tom Eckert, who is retiring.

“From that group of 11, we have selected five individuals whose credentials, personal qualities and enthusiasm for the goals of technical education and Blackhawk Technical College set them apart.’’

Each of the candidates will visit Blackhawk during the first two weeks of April to meet with members of District Board, BTC students, staff and faculty, and the general public.

In addition to BTC students, staff and faculty, district residents are invited to attend gatherings with the candidates at BTC’s Central Campus, Advanced Manufacturing Training Center in Milton, Beloit Center and Monroe Campus. The schedule:

·       Dr. Pierner – April 4: Central Campus, 2:30-3:30 p.m., Blackhawk Room (#1315). April 5: Milton, 9:30-10:15 a.m., #115; Monroe, 1:45-2:45 p.m., #413-414; Beloit, 3:30-4:30 p.m., #229. 

·       Dr. Mandrell – April 7: Central Campus, 2:30-3:30 p.m., #2602-2604; April 8: Milton, 9:30-10:15 a.m., #115; Monroe, 1:45-2:45 p.m., #413-414; Beloit, 3:30-4:30 p.m., #229.

·       Dr. Siddiqi – April 11: Central Campus, 2:30-3:30 p.m., #1315; April 12: Milton, 9:30-10:15 a.m., #115; Monroe, 1:45-2:45 p.m., #413-414; Beloit, 3:30-4:30 p.m., #229.

·       Dr. Miksa – April 14: Central Campus, 2:30-3:30 p.m., Triangle Room, #1400A; April 15: Milton, 9:30-10:15 a.m., #115; Monroe, 1:45-2:45 p.m., #413-414; Beloit, 3:30-4:30 p.m., #229.

·       Dr. Schmitz – April 18: Central Campus, 2:30-3:30 p.m., #1315; April 19: Milton, 9:30-10:15 a.m., #115; Monroe, 1:45-2:45 p.m., #413-414; Beloit, 3:30-4:30 p.m., #229.

The District Board is expected to make its final decision in late April, Barrington-Tillman said. The new president is scheduled to assume office this summer.

What follows are brief biographies of the finalists based on information provided in their applications.

·       Dr. Jon Mandrell:  He holds an EdD in Community College Leadership from Ferris State University. In addition to his administrative role at Sauk Valley, Dr. Mandrell has teaching experience as an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice.  Prior to his community college career, Dr. Mandrell served Oregon, Il., as a police officer.

·       Dr. Anthony (Tony) Miksa: Prior to his position at McHenry County College, he served in dean capacities at Elgin Community College for three years and Kishwaukee Community College for five years where he was also a Professor of Mathematics.  Dr. Miksa received his EdD from National Louis University.

·       Dr. Tracy Pierner: Prior to coming to Henry Ford College, he was the Dean of Technical Education at Aiken Technical College in Aiken, South Carolina.  Dr. Pierner received his Ph.D. from Indiana State University and has been a faculty member at a university in South Carolina and a technical college in Wisconsin.  Before joining higher education, Dr. Pierner was employed in the private sector as an engineer.

·       Dr. Greg Schmitz: Prior to his experience at VGM, he was the President of Hawkeye Community College, Waterloo, Iowa.  He was promoted to President after serving as the Vice President of Administration and Finance for the College.  Throughout his career, he has held various chief financial officer positions for private industry in the State of Iowa.  He has a Ph.D from Iowa State University.

·       Dr. Muddassir Siddiqi: He also has served as the Interim President and Dean of Career and Technical Education at Morton College.  He has been the Executive Director for Manufacturing Technology & Skills Program at City Colleges of Chicago.  Before joining higher education, he served as an engineer in the private sector.   Dr. Siddiqi has his EdD from Northern Illinois University.

The search committee was comprised of three District Board members, three BTC employees and eight public members from BTC’s district in Rock and Green counties. In addition to Barrington-Tillman, committee members were:

Kim Bliss, Director of Community Development, Hendricks Holding Company; Beth Chambers, BTC Human Resources Instructor; Kim Hesgard, BTC alumnus and Marketing Director, Mercy Health System; Michael Johnson, Executive Director, Green County Development Corporation; Dr. Gina McConoughey, BTC Dean of Business; Angela Moore, Executive Director, YWCA Rock County; Doris Mulder, Vice President, Beloit Health System; Jim Nemeth, BTC Foundation Board member, CFO of the Monroe Clinic and Hospital; Rick Richard, BTC Board of Trustees, Managing Partner, RD Worldwide, Inc.; Tammy Roehl, BTC Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Business; Malik Surani, Human Resources Manager, Tigre-ADS USA; Eric Thornton, BTC Board of Trustees, Vice President of Operations, St. Mary’s Hospital; Cecil Youngblood, Director, Office of Intercultural Affairs, Beloit College.