Veteran Kokomo Region administrator to serve as campus lead, community liaison
KOKOMO — Ivy Tech Community College has selected Michelle Simmons to serve as president of the College’s Kokomo Campus. Simmons most recently served as vice chancellor of Student Affairs for Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Region.
Simmons will report to David Bathe, regional chancellor for the Kokomo and Lafayette regions. The focus of the campus president is outreach to the local community. In addition, campus presidents manage the day-to-day operations of the campus while fostering a campus climate that is consistent with the College’s core values. The campus president consults with regional administrators to achieve policy objectives and goals for building new and varied community outreach and partnerships, as well as expanding the availability of the College’s instructional and student support services to the community.
“I am truly honored by the opportunity to serve in this new role,” Simmons said. “I am blessed to be surrounded by outstanding faculty and staff who are committed to excellence, both in and outside of the classroom.
“I extend my gratitude to Chancellor Steve Daily for his commitment to improving the quality of life of our students and our community throughout the Kokomo region over the past 20 years,” she continued. “I eagerly anticipate working with Chancellor Bathe, community and industry leaders, service providers, and educators to continue realizing the college’s vision – changing lives, making Kokomo and its surrounding communities great!”
Simmons joined Ivy Tech in August 1993 as business office supervisor responsible for the operations and personnel of the College’s Kokomo Region business office. From 1999 to 2006, she served as executive director of Ivy Tech’s Workforce & Economic Development initiatives for Kokomo Region. As executive director of Finance from 2006 to 2010, Simmons assisted in the long-range planning of the region, provided direction and support for the business office and bookstore operations and personnel, and prepared, implemented and monitored the region’s then $16 million annual operating budget.
Since July 2010, Simmons has served as vice chancellor of Student Affairs, providing vision, leadership, and motivation to all Student Affairs employees for the delivery of quality student service to the8,000 students in the region. This includes admissions and student recruitment, financial aid, student records and registration, career services, disability support services, veterans’ affairs, judicial affairs, retention, student life, and academic advising.
Chancellor Daily, who is retiring in January 2015, said, “I’ve worked with Michelle for almost 20 years. She is a proven leader with a broad understanding of higher education and Ivy Tech who is committed to workforce and community development. The Kokomo Region will be well served by Michelle Simmons in this role.”
Chancellor Bathe echoed those comments. “It been my pleasure to know Michelle for several years,” he said. “Her reputation, leadership qualities, integrity, abilities, and knowledge of the greater Kokomo area make her the perfect choice for the significant role. I look forward to working with her in this new capacity.”
Active in Ivy Tech activities and committees regionally and statewide, Simmons has been honored with the Kokomo Region Leadership Award, the Kokomo Region Outstanding Administrator Award and the Kokomo Region Excellent Employee Award.
Prior to joining Ivy Tech, Simmons served in accounting positions at Lox Equipment Company, Delphi, Ind.; Taylor-Wharton in Indianapolis; Continental Steel Corporation in Kokomo; and Briggs Industries in Flora, Ind.
Simmons earned a bachelor’s degree in business with an accounting major from Indiana University and will complete a master’s degree in student affairs and higher education next spring. She has completed training through Leadership Kokomo, the Ivy Tech Leadership Academy, and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators’ Institute for New Senior Student Affairs Officers.
Simmons resides near Bringhurst in Carroll County, Ind., with her husband, Jeff. They are the parents of Jarvis Simmons and Desiray Tuinstra (husband Jared). She has served as a member and secretary of the Carroll Consolidated School Corporation’s board and as a member of the Carroll Education Foundation Board. Other memberships and volunteer service has involved the Carroll Cougaretz Dance Team as coach, United Way of Howard County, Leadership Kokomo Advisory Council, Howard County College and Career Success Coalition, Kokomo Rescue Mission, Faith Church of Christ and Cooperative Extension Services.