Ivy Tech Community College President Thomas J. Snyder Announces His Retirement

State Board of Trustees beginning process to look for successor; Details including timing to be announced in the near future

INDIANAPOLIS – Ivy Tech Community College President Thomas J. Snyder sent a personal e-mail to all of the nearly 9,000 full-time and part-time Ivy Tech staff and faculty last week informing them of his intentions to move onto the next phase of his career.  The Ivy Tech State Board of Trustees has announced that it is starting to begin the process to look for his successor.

“When I joined Ivy Tech Community College in 2007, I did not expect to be here for the better part of a decade, but the team made some huge and impactful changes that have taken time to implement.  They have put the school in a position for success into the future,” Snyder said.  “With that being said, I recently announced that I plan to move onto the next phase of my career, prior to the conclusion of the extension I received in 2012 which took my tenure into 2017.  This gives our State Board of Trustees ample time for a presidential search to select the leader of Ivy Tech for the next decade and ensure a smooth transition when that time comes.”

Snyder was selected to replace Gerald I. Lamkin on March 22, 2007 and assumed the role of President for the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college on July 1, 2007.

“We knew this day was coming where we would need to start to think about finding a worthy successor to lead Ivy Tech.  The State Board of Trustees is so appreciative of President Snyder’s service to the students, faculty, staff and state of Indiana.  We look forward to a collaborative effort with him during the process,” State Board of Trustees Chair Paula Hughes said.  “The Board of Trustees is working out the details around the process and the timing of the search and will have further announcements in the coming weeks.”

Snyder has helped shape the higher education landscape on a national scale and continues to do so.  Yesterday President Barack Obama announced that Snyder had been selected to serve on the national College Promise Advisory Board, which will bring together luminaries and leaders to share best practices and ideas for models to make community college free and to serve as a way for those leaders to recruit more of their peers to join the cause.

President Obama announced the creation of the board while delivering remarks at Macomb Community College in Warren, Mich., where he spoke about America’s College Promise and the campaign throughout the country to deliver two years of free community college to hard working students.

Snyder has reengineered Ivy Tech into one of the most recognized and successful community colleges in the country.  Since 2007 Ivy Tech has seen an estimated 110,000 students walk across the commencement stage earning a degree or certificate.  The number of annual graduates has increased by almost 200 percent since 2007 with Ivy Tech awarding more than 21,000 credentials this past May.  The Community College has its sights set on 50,000 credentials by 2025.

Total enrollment has increased by 56 percent since 2007 from 111,000 students annually to more than 173,000 this past school year.  That increase includes a record number of dual credit students as Ivy Tech’s dual credit presence in high schools and career centers has exploded.  As a result, dual credit enrollment has grown from 8,000 in 2007 to close to 50,000 today.  Ivy Tech dual credit allows high school students to receive college credit while still enrolled in high school at no charge, thus saving Hoosier families millions in tuition as those credits transfer with students to the Community College or four-year colleges and universities.

Transfer of credits between Ivy Tech and four-year institutions fully developed under Snyder’s leadership.  Ivy Tech now has partnerships with more than 50 four-year institutions both in state and out of state.  The number of students transferring from Ivy Tech to Indiana public institutions has increased by 165 percent to more than 13,000 Ivy Tech students a year transferring to such institutions based on the most recent reports.  Another way Hoosier families have saved millions in higher education tuition costs.

These and many other accomplishment were recognized by President Barack Obama when he visited Ivy Tech earlier this year and stated that Ivy Tech is “one of the best (schools) in the country, not just in the state of Indiana.”

Bond rating agencies have also taken notice.  Ivy Tech is one of the few community colleges in the country that recently received AA bond ratings from both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch.

“As Tom himself has stated, a lot of big changes have been made at Ivy Tech since 2007 and his efforts to lead the team have put Ivy Tech in a position for success into the future,” Hughes said.

The list of changes made at Ivy Tech over the last eight-plus years is long as the school has emerged into a national leader with a variety of new retention and completion initiatives.  A handful of those recent changes included:

  • Developing and launching the co-req remediation model
  • Creating program specific pathways to completion
  • Redesigning math to ensure the course is aligned with the needs of the program
    • Eliminating the college Algebra roadblock
  • Establishing meta-majors
  • Focusing on advising and the role of academic advisors and faculty mentors

These efforts are expected to result in dramatic improvements in Ivy Tech’s six-year completion rates in the coming years.

Snyder, who was featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of seven community college presidents making a difference early in his tenure, was selected by President Obama as the lone community college president to serve on a Roundtable on Affordability and Productivity in Higher Education at the White House in December 2011.

In October 2010, Snyder and Ivy Tech student Michael Rice were invited by Dr. Jill Biden to participate in the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges. Ivy Tech subsequently hosted the largest regional U.S. Department of Education summit on community colleges in March 2011 as a follow up to the White House Summit on Community Colleges. More than 200 participants from 13 states joined in the historic sessions which focused on “Partnerships between Community Colleges and Employers” and engaged business leaders throughout the Midwest in addition to participants from higher education and government.

Snyder has introduced comprehensive student value-improvement initiatives to develop, track and achieve performance and service goals, as well as optimize resources and ensure that students achieve their educational goals.  These initiatives have generated new and creative ways for Hoosiers to access value-based education and workforce training throughout the state.

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system.  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.

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