EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Ivy Tech Community College – Southwest Chancellor Daniel L. Schenk, Ph.D. has announced his retirement. Dr. Schenk has worked his entire 37 year professional career at Ivy Tech. He has held the positions of Assistant Director of Student Affairs, Director of Regional Business Affairs, and Chancellor. His retirement will be effective February 28, 2014.
Schenk has led the Southwest Region since 1990, which includes the ten-county service area of Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Knox, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, and Warrick counties. Under his leadership, enrollment at the Southwest Region has grown by almost 300% from 2,202 students to a record level of over 8,400 students. During his tenure as Chancellor, the annual number of degrees and certificates awarded at the Southwest Region increased almost 400% from 277 to 1,345.
“Today, it is very uncommon for an employee to work their entire professional career at a single organization,” Schenk said. “My family and I have been blessed with my great career at Ivy Tech. I am thankful for the many opportunities to make substantial contributions to the growth and success of our students and graduates.”
In 2005, Schenk was instrumental in securing state funding from the Indiana General Assembly for a $38,000,000 campus expansion and renovation project. The main campus in Evansville, with nearly 300,000 gross square feet, is now one of the largest facilities in the Ivy Tech system. During this period of construction, Schenk also conducted one of the most successful fund-raising campaigns in the history of the College, having secured $8,800,000 in local gifts and grants to augment the funds received from the State of Indiana. Schenk will be retiring from the role of Chancellor having managed the regional budget reserve to a record level of nearly 17% of the annual regional operating budget.
During Schenk’s time as Chancellor, the Southwest Region has celebrated a number of “firsts” including the development of the first statewide transfer programs with a local university, the first wellness center (The Welborn Foundation Wellness & Fitness Center), 15 new degree programs and more.
“In my 24 years as Chancellor I have been blessed with leadership opportunities supporting the development of partnerships among our regional secondary- and post-secondary partners,” said Schenk. “Our efforts have resulted in the development of successful initiatives such as the creation of our International Studies Program.”
Due to Schenk’s support of local partnerships, the Region is now the first in the Ivy Tech system to be the host site for an early college program through the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation. In addition, he has been a key member of the efforts which led to the signing of a Letter of Intent among the educational partners for the new IU Medical School – IU, UE, USI and Ivy Tech.
Schenk noted that he is most thankful for the strong community support provided to the College to help fund new student success programs focused on enhancing student retention, persistence, and completion. The newest two-year degree program offered by Ivy Tech Southwest is being funded by Old National Bank and Vectren Corporation. This new program is an Accelerated Associate’s Degree Program (ASAP) that will allow recent high school graduates to complete a two year associates degree in 12 months.
Schenk currently serves on a number of community organizations and boards including ALCOA – Community Advisory Board; St. Mary’s Health System – Board of Directors; USI Romain School of Business – Board of Advisors; First Federal Savings Bank – Board of Directors; Welborn Baptist Foundation – Chair, Board of Directors; and the IU Medical School – Feasibility and Funding Committees. He also chaired the 2010 United Way of Southwestern Indiana Campaign.
In 2013, recognitions of Schenk’s contributions to the community and to the College included the Leadership Evansville-Individual Achievement Award, Rotary Club of Evansville-Paul Harris Award, and the State of Indiana Sagamore of the Wabash Award.
“Dan’s leadership will be missed within multiple levels of the organization including his leadership of the President’s Executive Council and the statewide Facilities and Design Council and for his strong engagement in regional initiatives within the College and within the community,” said Ivy Tech President Tom Snyder. “He will be remembered for his numerous contributions to the growth and success of the College and for his commitment to making students first.”
Dan and his wife Kathy have two grown children, Chad (Julia) of Cincinnati, Ohio and Ryan (Kerri) of Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as one granddaughter, Aspen. Schenk said that he plans to spend time with his family as well as continue many of his community volunteer activities.
Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Dr. Mary Ann Sellars, will serve as the interim Chancellor for the region effective March 1, 2014. “Dan is highly respected by Ivy Tech faculty, staff and students, as well as in our community,” said Sellars. “His unwavering commitment to seeing our students succeed is the legacy we will strive to emulate.”