UPDATE: Kirkwood Community College president announces plan to retire
Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids is now looking for a new campus leader. That's something that's happened only rarely in the school's 51-year history.
Kirkwood President Mick Starcevich made the retirement announcement during a college-wide meeting for faculty and staff. He is the school's 4th president.
Starcevich says he is retiring but not right away. He announced plans to stay until June of 2018. That will give the Kirkwood Board of Trustees almost a year and a half for what's being described as a nationwide search.
The retiring president says whoever follows him may well confront some of the same issues he saw when he came to Kirkwood in 2003.
"The biggest issue is always buttonholed around enrollment because that's what drives our funding. Sixty five percent of our budget is funded by students which is way, way too much. It's 8th worst in the nation," Starcevich said.
Starcevich pointed to a couple of innovations during his time in office aimed at taking some of the financial burdens off students.
One is the installation of a wind turbine to use as a teaching tool and also as a way to cut utility costs. He says the Hotel at Kirkwood complex is also bringing in revenue to the school.
Trustees predict the opening at the state's second largest community college should product applications nationwide.
They expect candidates on campus this fall.