Hawkeye's new president settling into position

posted on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 in  College News

WATERLOO – Todd Holcomb has been meeting Hawkeye Community College staff and getting a handle on the computer system as he settles into the role of president.

His first board of trustees meeting was Tuesday after starting in the position July 1.

“I met all of the academic deans,” Holcomb told trustees during his president’s report. He’s had “good meetings with cabinet,” which includes the college’s top administrators, and met with the board’s chairman and vice chairman. And he has been working closely with his assistant on learning how to use the college’s computer system.

“I’m happy to be here and look forward to serving here for years to come,” he added.

Holcomb came to Hawkeye from Western Nebraska Community College, where he was president for more than nine years. He said the transition process has gone well during the first month.

“I think it’s been helpful being a sitting president and coming in and having conversations with the cabinet,” he said. After initially living out of a hotel, Holcomb recently moved into a house. He’s encountered “really helpful, very friendly people here at Hawkeye.”

Holcomb also had the chance to continue a decade-long tradition of biking across Iowa on RAGBRAI last week, completing all 517 miles. He rides with an American Cancer Society team, something that grew out of his 15 years as an administrator at Iowa State University before leaving for Western Nebraska in 2009.

When Holcomb accepted the job with Hawkeye in April, he had already made plans to participate in the ride with his wife. He told that to board chairman Jay Nardini when negotiating a start date.

“I wanted to start in August and chair Nardini wanted me to start July 1st,” said Holcomb. They settled on the July start with the caveat that the new president could participate in planned ride.

It did cause him to miss the three-day Iowa Association of Community College Trustees convention. But Holcomb was part of the association’s retreat in May at the invitation of his predecessor, Linda Allen, and was introduced to that state’s other community college presidents.

Trustees also approved a five-year Accelerated Career Education program agreement with UnityPoint Clinic. The clinic will sponsor two of its employees annually to be trained through Hawkeye’s medical assistant certificate program.

The employer and employees will each cover 20% of the program’s tuition. The clinic will also pay 10% of a medical assistant’s average annual wage to the college in each of the five years, currently $6,580. Employees trained through the program must be paid a salary of at least 200% of the federal poverty guidelines for a family of two, which is $32,900 currently.

By Andrew Wind, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier


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