GARY – Ivy Tech Community College Chancellor J. Guadalupe Valtierra has announced his retirement effective December 31, after 17 years of service with the college.
Valtierra, a member of the Indiana State Bar, has led the college’s Northwest region, which includes the campuses of Gary, East Chicago, Valparaiso and Michigan City, since 2002. During his tenure, enrollment at Ivy Tech’s Northwest Region has grown by more than 70 percent, from just 9,434 students in 2002-03 to more than 16,000 students today. In addition, the region serves more than 2,500 students participating in dual credit programs within local high schools.
“Working collaboratively over the years with the outstanding Ivy Tech faculty and staff in the Northwest region has provided me the opportunity to continually grow personally and professionally. We have dared to dream, and as a result, many great things, both with Ivy Tech and with our business and community partners, have taken hold in this region,” Valtierra said. “I am proud to have had a role in advancing quality educational access and growth opportunities within our communities.”
Valtierra oversaw the completion of the college’s new Valparaiso campus which opened in 2006 and included a very successful capital campaign which raised $3.9 million, far exceeding the original goal of $2 million. The region’s current capital campaign has already raised $3.9 million of the $4.5 million goal, which includes the acquisition of the Michigan City – Pejic Campus and a $2 million gift from the Foundations of East Chicago for the college’s East Chicago – De La Garza campus.
In addition, he launched the Gerald I. Lamkin Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center in the region, which manages the college’s Society of Innovators and the Dare to Dream initiative, as well as focuses on student, staff and faculty development. He also authored the first regional TRiO Educational Talent Search grant in 1999, and was instrumental in the Northwest Region receiving its first TRiO Student Support Services grant in 2010. The TRiO programs were funded at over $1 million over a five-year cycle to provide additional support services to first-generation, low-income, and/or students with a disability during their time enrolled in college.
While Chancellor, Valtierra also established the Chancellor’s Scholarship Dinner which has created an endowment of more than $500,000 after eleven years.
“We thank Lupe for his 17 years of service and his focus on students,” Ivy Tech President Thomas J. Snyder said. “Ivy Tech has a much different presence in the Northwest part of state today with over 16,000 students choosing the community college each year. In addition, we have seen our partnerships with business and industry expand over the last decade and we are positioning ourselves to be the workforce training partner for various companies in a number of different communities.”
Prior to his role as Chancellor, Valtierra served as Director of Student Services for the region. He is also very active in the local community, serving on the Northwest Indiana Workforce Board, the Northwest Indiana Boys and Girls Club board, the Salvation Army, and Catholic Charities. In 1996, Valtierra served as Chair of the Council for Opportunities in Education in Washington, DC. He also served as Chair of the Northwest Indiana Quality of Life Council where he earned the Social Equity Award in 2002 and led a transition that consolidated the Northwest Indiana Quality of Life and One Region – One Vision into one organization in 2012.
Born in Gary, Indiana, Valtierra was the Indiana University Alumni Association’s Distinguished Latino Alumni Award Inaugural Recipient in 2003 and was a Gary Steel City Hall of Fame Inductee in 2009. He also serves as a trustee for the Higher Learning Commission.
Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.