INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Ivy Tech Community College has named Dean McCurdy, associate vice president for instruction at Kalamazoo Valley Community College in Michigan, to serve as chancellor of the Kokomo Campus, effective Monday, Dec. 18. The appointment comes as a part of the College’s new organizational structure announced earlier this year to better align with the community at the campus level and empower campuses to be responsive and nimble in meeting local needs.
“I am excited to be joining the Ivy Tech team representing the Kokomo Campus,” McCurdy said. “What impressed me most during the interview process was the high level of commitment to Ivy Tech Community College I found within the faculty, staff, and in the community. I look forward to helping our campus and region grow, and supporting the development of new facilities that match the high quality of our programs.”
McCurdy comes to Ivy Tech from Kalamazoo Valley Community College in Michigan, where he has served as the chief academic and administrative officer for the college’s Bronson Healthy Living Campus – a campus built in partnership with two regional health care systems, since 2014. Prior to assuming responsibility for this campus, he served as dean of instruction for math and sciences for all campuses of Kalamazoo Valley. He also brings to the job 18 years of additional experience from roles of increasing responsibility at four-year liberal arts colleges and universities, including Carleton University in Ontario, Bates College and Bowdoin College in Maine, and Albion College in Albion, Mich., where he served as director of a large honors program, department chair, and faculty member.
“Over my career, I’ve had opportunities to work with different types of institutions and travel all over the world as a teacher, researcher, and administrator,” he said. “The community college model is one of the greatest competitive advantages we have and I’m excited about the prospect of helping to keep that mission relevant to our communities for years to come.
“During the interview process, I spent time in Kokomo, Logansport, and Peru,” he continued. “Nearly everyone I talked with had a story about how Ivy Tech had helped make a difference in her/his life or that of a family member or friend. That says a lot about the value of Ivy Tech in our communities.”
Over the past two years, McCurdy led the development and operations of a new college campus and programs focused on nursing, respiratory therapy, emergency medical services, sustainable food systems, agriculture, culinary arts, sustainable brewing, food safety, and nutrition. He worked in direct support of efforts to design and raise funds for the innovative, “real world” campus, through a $64 million capital project involving 118,000 square feet of new specialized facilities, including health care labs, a teaching restaurant and café, a brewery, an on-site farm, and a food processing and distribution hub. The new programs on the campus are designed to channel students through coursework in the liberal arts and sciences and into workforce training options as well as bachelor degree tracks that prepare graduates for meaningful careers.
McCurdy also has led institution-wide efforts across all four of Kalamazoo Valley’s campuses related to “Guided Pathways,” where student success has been greatly expanded through the development of clear, structured programs of study and refocused instructional and student support services to improve retention and completion rates. A proponent of “experiential learning opportunities,” McCurdy has championed partnerships between the community college and area employers to provide students opportunities to make informed career decisions and employers with opportunities to contribute directly to the education of students. Recently, he led program teams to develop fast-track options that prepare non-traditional students for immediate openings in the advanced manufacturing and food service industries.
“We are very pleased to welcome Dr. McCurdy to the Ivy Tech family,” said Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann. “With his experiences at Kalamazoo Valley, he’s well-prepared to take the reins of all the exciting changes coming to the Kokomo Campus. As we’ve announced, with the approval of $40 million in state funding and the opportunity to raise an additional $3 million in community support, plans are under way for a complete transformation of Ivy Tech’s Kokomo home. Dr. McCurdy’s understanding of, and commitment to, the value of the community college to the people, businesses and industries of the community it serves will help bring exciting changes to Kokomo.”
Ellspermann also thanked Kim King for her service as acting chancellor of the Kokomo Campus since June.
“We are grateful to Kim for her work in moving the Kokomo Campus forward during this time of transition,” Ellspermann said. “She will continue as vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and her wisdom, experience and dedication will be invaluable going forward.”
McCurdy holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in biology from Acacia University in Nova Scotia and a doctoral degree in biology from Carleton University in Ontario and completed a post-doctoral fellowship with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. He has been the recipient of grants in support of educational programs, research activities, and educational partnerships from organizations including the National Science Foundation, National Institute for Teaching in Liberal Education, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Great Lakes Colleges Association, Marsden Fund, Pierce Foundation, and the Hewlett Mellon Fund.
Among his honors are the National Chapter Citation Service Award for mentoring students by the Delta Sigma Phi service fraternity, the national William Hoar Award and national Cas Lindsey Prize from the Canadian Society of Zoologists, and a variety of recognition at Albion College including the A. Merton Chickering Professorship from the board of trustees and “Teacher of the Year” and “New Researcher of the Year” from the faculty and administration.
His professional activities include serving as lead author of 20 peer-reviewed articles and delivering more than 25 presentations at national educational and scientific conferences. He has been a member of educational advisory boards at local, regional and national levels since 2001 and was consultant to a community-based maternal and infant care company for five years.