Information on the search process for the 10th president of Joliet Junior College.
The Joliet Junior College Board of Trustees has engaged with the Pauly Group, a national search firm with over 30 years in academic and executive leadership placement, to lead the search for JJC's next president. The board has also established a cross-functional committee to support these efforts, comprised of community leaders and JJC employees representative of the campus community.
On Aug. 31, 2022, JJC President Dr. Judy Mitchell will retire from the college. She has served in the role for more than five years and been a JJC employee for over 25 years.
What We're Looking for in a President
JJC is looking for a proven leader who is focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, has financial acumen, is a strong communicator, and committed to engaging with the surrounding community. Does this sound like you? Click below to view the minimum qualifications, application process, and to access the full position profile.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Focus
JJC is a recognized national leader in advancing diversity in higher education. The college’s DEI plan was launched prior to the pandemic. With a new Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Compliance to allocate specific resources and a cross-functional DEI Council, the college has made excellent strides. There is significant need for the next President to lead the college in executing the plan and ensuring that JJC continues to persevere and ensure that every student, staff, and faculty member is welcomed, included, and given every opportunity for success.
With diverse student enrollment, excellent community support and partnerships, a solid alumni base, and an exceptional Foundation, Joliet Junior College is in a strong financial position. A working knowledge of the budget, financial resources, and fundraising is critical to the success of the next President.
Interpersonal and Communication Success
Joliet Junior College enjoys a student-oriented and vibrant faculty and staff. Strong communication and visibility are key to the President’s success in sustaining college-wide morale. Morale has waned most recently due to the implementation of a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Employees feel overworked due to the balance of ERP implementation and maintaining their regular work, the COVID pandemic, and a decrease in the number of staff as the job economy evolves post-pandemic. Despite the obstacles, students remain the focus for every JJC employee. The next President must have that same mindset.
The diversity of JJC’s district includes rural and urban regions as well as socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic diversity. Farming communities, Amazon, and the manufacturing and industry corridor of 1-80 and I-55 name a few strong partnerships held by JJC. The next President must thrive in an environment where the leader is expected to be visible, approachable, and savvy in external communities. The President’s Ambassadors Group is also a strategic tool to ensure JJC is represented equitably across the district on boards, chambers, social service agencies, and more. The successful candidate will have had previous leadership roles on nonprofit or service club boards, as well as proven relationships with governmental agencies.
A strong leader with the ability to seek input from constituency groups at all levels of the organization, consider the information, make a decision, and successfully communicate the decision to the entire college community is a necessary skill. Proven success with a routinized method of communicating and answering questions from the college communities will be a strong asset of the successful candidate. The next President will have the ability to collaborate closely with an elected Board of Trustees for the purposes of growing the college, creating a college-wide culture of inclusivity, and ensuring students succeed at JJC. The college has strong academic programming for transfer and trades programs. The next President will ensure through engagement with the internal college constituencies, community service work, and effective interactions with the Board of Trustees that JJC’s academic programs continue to grow and exceed community expectations.
1. Master’s degree required, an earned Doctorate in an appropriate field from a regionally accredited institution is strongly preferred.
2. Minimum five (5) years of successful senior level leadership experience in higher education of which at least three (3) years must have been in an administrative position of major responsibility for fiscal, personnel and program management.
3. Demonstrated ability to work with people in the community, faculty, and staff. Demonstrated human relations skills, including professionally relating to and connecting with people from diverse backgrounds, such as different races and ethnicities, genders and gender identities and expressions, sexual orientations, religions, classes, intellectual and physical abilities, and citizenship statuses
4. A knowledge of and ability to articulate a commitment to the purpose, mission, vision and strategic goals of the College;
5. Dedication to the concept of community college as an educational service institution and ability to put this concept into practice.
6. Possess general characteristics of openness, honesty, flexibility, creativity and integrity, and the ability to be diplomatic yet firm.
7. Understanding and sensitivity to community educational needs of the area, the state and the nation.
Apply online at www.paulygroup.com and click on “Apply Now” for Joliet Junior College.
Attach (1) a cover letter that addresses the minimum qualifications and opportunity overview; (2) a current resumé; and (3) reference names and contact information.
Please direct all confidential inquiries and nominations to the College’s search consultant,
Dr. Angela Provart
Pauly Group Inc.
3901 Wood Duck Dr. Suite E, Springfield, IL 62711
Phone: 217-241-5400 Fax: 217-241-5401
The committee will begin review of applications immediately. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, with materials submitted by Tuesday, January 18, 2022 receiving priority consideration. All applications are confidential, and references will not be contacted without the expressed authorization of the applicant.
Joliet Junior College is an Equal Opportunity Employer, dedicated to diversity, that encourages the applications of Women, People of Color, Persons with Disabilities and Veterans.
About Joliet Junior College
Joliet Junior College is the nation’s first public community college. A comprehensive community college, JJC offers prebaccalaureate programs for students planning to transfer to a four-year university, provides occupational education leading directly to employment, adult education and literacy programs, workforce development services, and student support services.
JJC’s district, Illinois Community College District 525, is one of 39 community college districts governed by the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) under the Illinois Board of Higher Education. The college’s district spans parts of seven counties and covers 1,442 square miles of urban, suburban, and rural communities.
Notably, the district’s Hispanic population has grown over the last 10 years, shifting the college’s strategic priorities to include more support for this group. In terms of the student Latinx population at JJC, fall semester enrollments went from 19.7% in 2011 to 28% in 2020.
JJC is directly governed by a seven-member Board of Trustees, all of whom are elected from within the district for six-year terms. A student representative, nominated by staff or faculty, is a nonvoting member of the board. The officers of the board are chairman, vice chairman and secretary, all of whom are elected by their peers for a two-year term.
About the Area
The college’s Main Campus is located in Joliet, Illinois, approximately 45 miles south of Chicago, the third largest city in the United States. Today, the 1,442-square mile district serves over 700,000 residents in parts of seven counties: Will, Grundy, Kendall, LaSalle, Kankakee, Livingston, and Cook. The district footprint is diverse and includes urban, suburban, and rural communities. With easy access to cultural amenities across the broader Chicagoland area, those who wish to stay within Will County, the college’s largest county, are treated to a vibrant array of experiences. Joliet has been the county seat of Will County since 1836.
The Will County Executive’s Office website shares that “in downtown Joliet, the main attraction is the beautiful Rialto Square Theatre. Called the ‘Jewel of Joliet’, this CW and George Rapp designed building with its polished cream-colored marble walls and esplanade modeled on the fabulous Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles opened in 1926 as a vaudeville and silent film palace. The city contains two historic districts both of which have been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.”
Meet the Search Committee
We've created a cross-functional committee to support the Pauly Group in the presidential search process, with members comprised of community leaders and JJC employees representative of the campus community.
Maureen Broderick | JJC Trustee Vice-Chair
Maureen Broderick of New Lenox has served on the JJC Board of Trustees since 2015. She is currently vice-chair for the board. She also serves as a JJC representative and treasurer to the Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA); a JJC Foundation Trustee representative (2015-2019); ACCT Illinois State Coordinator; and a member of the New Lenox School District grade school board.
Currently employed at First Third Bank, Broderick has worked as a banker for 40 years, specializing in mortgage lending.
In her spare time, Broderick enjoys hobbies such as creating floral designs for the holidays, gardening, traveling, golf and spending time with her family. She is married and has three adult children and four grandchildren.
Nancy Garcia Guillen | JJC Trustee Secretary
Nancy Garcia-Guillen currently has served on the JJC Board of Trustees since 2019, and currently holds the position of secretary. She graduated from Aurora University in 2016, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Prior to attending Aurora University, Garcia-Guillen attended JJC.
She currently works with a social justice organization in Bolingbrook, where she oversees the implementation of initiatives to promote the civic engagement of her community through non-partisan voter registration and community education work.
Garcia-Guillen has been active in her community over the last 14 years in different activities ranging from providing interpretation services for families at her local food pantry to being a mentor.
Garcia-Guillen is originally from Michoacan, Mexico. She lives with her husband in Romeoville.
Rodrigo Saravia | JJC Student
Rodrigo Saravia is a current JJC student. A psychology major, Saravia is projected to graduate in 2023. He plans to transfer to Temple University and continue his studies in psychology. In addition to his studies, he participates in JJC student activities and is a member of Latinos Unidos and the JJC Student Government. Outside of school, he enjoys working on cars, going to racing events and reading.
Dr. Bob Marcink | JJC Full-Time Faculty Union President
Robert (Bob) Marcink is in his 25th year of teaching at Joliet Junior College. He has served as president of the faculty union since 2007 after serving as vice president for four years prior to that.
Marcink is a former journalist who received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, his master’s degree from Point Park University, and his doctorate in English/Criticism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He teaches both journalism and English at JJC.
Kim Crowe | TOSSC Union Co-President
Kim Crowe, of Joliet, is a natural sciences lab supervisor at JJC’s Romeoville Campus and co-president of the Technical Office Support Staff Council union. A graduate of JJC, she has worked at the college since 2005, starting out as a student worker for the Natural Science Department.
Crowe has held various union leadership roles over the last few years for the Support and Technical Staff Council and now the new Technical Office Support Staff Council, following their merger to form one bargaining unit.
Dr. Mike Hernandez | Director of Marketing and Creative Services
At JJC, Mike Hernandez is responsible for an award-winning staff that advertises and promotes JJC's brand and value proposition throughout its district and beyond.
Hernandez started his career in sales at NCR Corporation and went on to marketing roles with Tribune Media, Dow Jones and AllAdvantage.com. He has also led marketing teams at software companies Applied Systems and Insuresoft.
At DePaul, Hernandez teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in marketing. In 2015, the Driehaus College of Business awarded him the Daniel Seiden Distinguished Adjunct Teaching Award.
Hernandez holds a bachelor's degree in marketing and business administration from DePaul University, a master's in marketing from DePaul, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of St. Francis.
Brandon Campbell | JJC Chief of Police
Brandon Campbell has over 15 years experience in campus law enforcement. Prior to JJC, he served as executive lieutenant/acting chief with the Indiana University Police Department South Bend Division. Prior to that, he was with Indiana University Police Department Northwest Division. In addition, Campbell was assigned to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Violence Crimes as a federal task force officer. Campbell is certified in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS), active shooter response and instruction and crisis negotiations. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Calumet College of Saint Joseph and master’s from Auburn University.
Campbell specializes in community engagement and student outreach and works to ensure a streamlined communication process between the campus and police department. He sits on the councils for Diversity and Inclusion, Behavioral Intervention, De-Escalation Commission, Crisis Management, Recruitment, and Retention.
Campbell is the owner of Validus Solutions, LLC, a risk management and security consulting company that specializes in threat mitigation, active aggressor, and risk assessment for college campuses.
Dr. Nicole Whitehead | JJC Chief Human Resources Officer
Dr. Nicole Whitehead is a versatile senior leader and HR credible activist with over 20 years’ experience delivering leadership, operations, mediation and people excellence. She has served at JJC as the Chief Human Resources Officer for almost a year.
She received a Ed.D in Higher Education and Organizational Change from Benedictine University, BS in Business, MBA and Executive Leadership Certification from Lewis University.
Mary Sue Gurka | JJC Technical Education Professor
Mary Sue Gurka has been an Associate Professor in the Joliet Junior College Technical Department for six years. She teaches industrial computing and robotics in the Electrical and Electronic Automated Systems (EEAS) program.
Gurka earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and computer science from Marquette University and has over 30 years of industry experience as an electrical controls engineer. She is student-focused and utilizes the latest automation technology and real-world applications to teach in-demand skills that allow students to quickly add value to the workforce.
Nancy Norton | Grundy Economic Development President and CEO
Nancy Norton has served as president and CEO of the Grundy Economic Development Council (GEDC) since 2000. She’s helped develop more than 15 million square feet of industrial space, worked with community partners on the construction of a new I-80 interchange, and overseen more than $1.5 billion in new project investments since 2019.
In addition, Norton serves as executive board member of the Workforce Investment Board Region 11, board member of the Morris Downtown Development Partnership, member of the Illinois Economic Development Council, board member of the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the ComEd Business Advisory Council.
Norton holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Iowa, and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin.
Mike Clark | Joliet NAACP and Joliet African American Business Association
Michael Clark is a native of Joliet. He currently serves as the president of the Joliet Branch of the NAACP, where major branch initiatives focus on education and civic engagement. He also serves as the chairman of the African American Business Association, a sub-group of the Joliet Regional Chamber of Commerce, where they work to build a more equitable, inclusive and vibrant local economy.
Clark serves as a board member for the Joliet Area Historical Museum. He has participated in the strategic planning process, while serving on several other committees for both School Districts 86 and 204, such as the District Equity Committee and the Joliet Region Interfaith Council. His influence and contribution are greatly felt in the community.
Dr. Lane Abrell | Plainfield Superintendent of Schools
Currently the superintendent for Plainfield Community Consolidated School District #202, Dr. Lane Abrell is in his 36th year in public education and will be retiring on June 30, 2022. He began his career in education in 1986 as a teacher and coach at Lincoln-Way Central High School.
Throughout his career, Abrell has served as a teacher, athletic coach, dean of students, high school assistant principal, high school principal, and for the past 16 years a school superintendent.
A 1986 graduate of Western Illinois, Abrell holds a master’s degree from Governors State University and a doctorate in education administration from Northern Illinois University. Abrell endorses the community college system as a "hidden gem" in the educational options for any student or individual.
Jennifer Howard | Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry Executive Director
Jen Howard became president of the Joliet Chamber on April 1, 2020. She was born and raised in Joliet and was no stranger to the Chamber or the Joliet business community as the owner of the TCBY in Shorewood, Il and a member of the Chamber’s Board for the last four years, two of which she served on the executive board.
Prior to TCBY, Howard was the owner of two temporary staffing companies managing over $20 million in sales. She has proven herself to be a successful entrepreneur and executive with consistent abilities to lead organizations and achieve growth in sales, marketing, community relations and operations. Howard has a proven record of building strong relationships with client companies, community partners and teams of employees.
Howard serves on several local boards including Joliet Junior College Foundation-Past President, Rotary Club of Joliet-Past President, Rialto Square Theatre Foundation-Vice Chair, and the Greater Joliet Area YMCA. She and her husband Vic enjoy travel, fitness, golf and family time.
Denise Winfrey | Will County Board
Denise Winfrey is a longtime Joliet resident who attended Joliet Public Schools and Joliet Junior College. She went on to complete her undergraduate studies at Lewis University in Romeoville. She continued her education at American University in Washington, D.C., earning a Master of Science in organizational development.
Elected to represent District 8 of the Will County Board in 2009, Winfrey also has served as speaker of the board, and was chosen by the County Board to serve until the November 2020 election as Will County Executive following the death of Larry Walsh Sr. in June 2020.
Winfrey is first vice president of the National Association of Counties (NACo) and in July 2022 will become President and the first woman of color to do so in 40 years.
Additionally, she is a member of the Silver Cross Hospital Board of Directors, the Will-Grundy Medical Center Board of Directors, National Hook-Up of Black Women, Inc. – Joliet Chapter and the Joliet City Center Partnership.
Nicole Murray | Will County Habitat For Humanity
Nicole Murray is the Executive Director for Will County Habitat for Humanity. She has served in this position since December 2015. Under her direction, the affiliate has strengthened and amplified its reputation as a valued partner and trusted community leader. Murray's management style focuses on providing solutions that create a results oriented process. She has a proven track record of taking a vision and turning it into reality. She has spearheaded successful projects that have transitioned Will County Habitat for Humanity from building one home a year to 10.
Prior to joining Habitat for Humanity, Murray was the Marketing Director for 10 years with Clear Channel West Palm Beach, today known as iHeartMedia. In this position, she was a community leader working to collaborate with corporations, sports teams, special events, festivals, community development organizations and nonprofits to elevate their brand awareness through a grassroots approach and promotions targeting various audiences with specific messaging.
Murray's commitment to being a solution provider is not only demonstrated in her leadership as Executive Director, but extends to various boards and associations. Today, Murray serves on the Joliet Catholic Academy School Board and is the School Board President for St. Raymond School. She has also served on the boards of the American Cancer Society, Joliet Junior Women's Club and Renaissance Learning Center. She is a philanthropist at heart with more than 20 years of experience in fundraising. She understands the power of networking and connecting to create real change.
Dr. K. Brett Gould | JJC Foundation President
Brett Gould, Ph.D., retired in June 2018 after 34 ½ years in public education after serving as a classroom teacher, coach, sponsor, and building and district administrator.
Dr. Gould began his career as a junior high social studies teacher and transitioned to high school where he taught U.S. history, world history, and AP European history. He was also chairperson for the humanities division. He coached football, wrestling, tennis, rugby, and served as school student government sponsor.
Dr. Gould’s administrative history includes a multitude of experiences: serving as a high school dean of students, assistant principal for building and operations, assistant principal for leadership, curriculum and instruction, and high school principal. Dr. Gould served as the district assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction at Lockport Township High School District 205 for eight years until his retirement in 2018. Lockport High School has been recognized annually as “One of America's Best High Schools” by both U.S. News and World Report and Newsweek magazines.
During his tenure, Dr. Gould was involved in many curricular and instructional innovations. He was instrumental in the district implementation of a 1:1 initiative, differentiated instruction, implementation of daily professional learning teams, PSAT transition, increasing dual credit and CTE course opportunities, enhancing STEM programming and developing a corporate STEM partnership, incorporating Integrated Math, developing balanced assessments, and piloting a Peer/Instructional Coaching program. He was also responsible for the direct supervision and annual evaluation of two high school building principals.
His professional development experiences include providing professional opportunities for staff to improve their instructional effectiveness. These include working with notable, national presenters such as Rick Wormeli and Billie Donegan on effective and fair classroom grading practices, Tim Shanahan, Ellin Keene, and Jim Burke on literacy/reading enhancement, Cindy Strickland on differentiated instruction, and Anne Weerda on balanced assessments and using data in a Professional Learning Community. Amongst attending countless professional development workshops and conferences, he attended a summer workshop at Harvard University presented by Richard Elmore on Restructuring the American High School and a four-day certification institute on instructional coaching presented by Jim Knight at the University of Kansas.
Dr. Gould earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in history education from Western Illinois University in 1982 and a Master’s Degree in educational administration from Governors State University in 1988. In March 2010, he received a Ph.D. Degree in educational administration and foundations from Illinois State University, completing his doctoral thesis on “Effect of math interventions and teacher professional development on student achievement.”
The latest information from the Pauly Group and the cross-functional committee on the search process.
October 8, 2021
From Pauly Group President Angela Provart and JJC Chief Human Resources Officer Dr. Nicole Whitehead
Thank you to all who attended an open forum this week to share information about the characteristics and experiences needed for the success of the next JJC President. As a reminder, the survey is available to express your opinions and will be open until 9:00am on Tuesday, October 12. The information you provide will be anonymous and the survey is at: http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07eic8c3k3krnwnrdw/start.
Presidential Search Committee
The Presidential Search Committee met on October 5 for their orientation. It is a diverse group representing the vast constituency groups of the college. We are thankful to those agreeing to serve in this critical role. The list of committee members includes:
- Trustee Maureen Broderick
- Trustee Nancy Garcia Guillen
- Rodrigo Saravia, JJC Student
- Dr. Bob Marcink, Faculty Union
- Kim Crowe, TOSSC Union Leader
- Dr. Mike Hernandez, Director Marketing and Creative Services
- Brandon Campbell, Chief of Police
- Dr. Nicole Whitehead, Chief Human Resources Officer & Search Committee Chair
- Mary Sue Gurka, Professor Technical Education
- Nancy Norton, Executive Director Grundy County Economic Development
- Mike Clark, NAACP/African American Business Association
- Dr. Lane Abrell, Superintendent of Schools (Plainfield)
- Jennifer Howard, Executive Director, Joliet Chamber of Commerce
- Denise Winfrey, Will County Board
- Nicole Murray, Habitat For Humanity
Presidential Search Next Steps
In early to mid-March there will be an opportunity for everyone to meet the final candidates and provide input before the Board of Trustees makes a final selection. When those dates are identified, you will be alerted so you may add them to your calendars.
The college’s communications and marketing division is developing a presidential search website, that will include a list of committee members, as well as dates for the search process and ongoing updates on the committee's progress.
If you have any questions regarding the search, or if you have an internal or external nomination of a potential applicant, please contact me at any time (firstname.lastname@example.org). I look forward to seeing you in the open forums and/or receiving your responses and developing the profile based on the needs of JJC.
September 29, 2021
From Pauly Group President Angela Provart
The Board has contracted with me to facilitate the Presidential Search process. The Board of Trustees values your input and invites you to participate in listening sessions to express your thoughts as to the characteristics needed in the next President of JJC.
The dates/times of the listening sessions are as follows and we encourage everyone to join a session and provide your feedback.
Virtual Sessions for Faculty, Staff (All Employees)
- Monday, October 4th from 8:30-9:30 a.m.
- Monday, October 4th from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
- Monday, October 4th from 4:00-5:00 p.m.
- Thursday, October 7th from 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Virtual Sessions for Students
- October 5th from 9:30-10:30am and 6:30-7:30 p.m.
- October 7th from noon to 1:00 p.m.
Sessions for the External Community and Partners
- Thursday, October 7th from 1:00-2:00 p.m.
If you are unable to attend a forum, a survey will also be available online.
In order to maintain our schedule of launching this search late October, please submit your responses by 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12. The survey will be deactivated from our website at that point.
Comments from the surveys and forums will be used to develop a position project used for recruiting applicants.
If you have any questions regarding the search, please contact me at any time (email@example.com). I look forward to seeing you in the open forums and/or receiving your responses and developing the profile based on the needs of JJC.
About Joliet Junior College
Important resources for candidates and community members about Joliet Junior College, the nation's first public community college.