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Board Approves GCC President Dr. Irene Kovala

TEMPE, Ariz., May 31, 2011 The Governing Board of the Maricopa Community Colleges unanimously has approved the appointment of Irene H. Kovala as president of Glendale Community College, effective Aug. 8, 2011. The selection is based on a national search that netted four strong finalists who then met with students, faculty, administration, staff and in public forums with members of the West Valley community.

"Dr. Kovala comes to us with a strong record of national achievement and college leadership," said Chancellor Rufus Glasper, who recommended Dr. Kovala to the Board. "In accepting our invitation to become president of GCC, she expressed her excitement to move with her family to the Glendale area and join Maricopa Community Colleges. I am confident she brings the energy and passion to the job needed to successfully continue to advance our Student Success agenda."

She leaves her position as the vice president of Academic and Student Affairs at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, a diverse urban campus serving 15,000 students. During her leadership at MCTC she:

  • established new baccalaureate partners to offer upper division programs on the Minneapolis campus
  • advanced online course offerings with a 19 percent increase over five years
  • oversaw a continuing education/ workforce development program that moved from a deficit to a profitable endeavor
  • led the effort to write a Master Academic Plan that is the blueprint for the college's academic programs to 2015
  • developed a partnership with the University of Minnesota bringing health services to MCTC students
  • created a leadership academy bringing professional development training to faculty and staff
  • participated in friend and fundraising for the Power of You, a tuition-free initiative for Minneapolis and St. Paul high school graduates

    As a senior consultant evaluator of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, Dr. Kovala has been able to review the most innovative and effective academic practices throughout the nation. Due to her expertise, she recently has been tapped to train new evaluators to the accreditation process.

    Previously, Dr. Kovala served as vice president of Academic Affairs at Oakton Community College, located in Skokie and Des Plaines, IL., and was dean overseeing alternative learning at the College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL. She was an administrator in Minnesota at Itasca and Anoka Ramsey community colleges. She holds a bachelor's degree in speech communication; a master's degree in counseling and student personnel; and a doctorate in education.

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    Content revised 7/18/11