Dr. Tim Taylor was selected from a field of eight candidates Tuesday night to become the ninth president of Shawnee Community College.

The SCC board of trustees made the announcement via a Zoom meeting, following an approximately two-hour executive session on the president’s hiring and other staff issues.

Taylor most recently served as president of Oakland Community College in Michigan, with responsibilities as chief operating officer for the college’s two largest campuses in Auburn Hills and Orchard Ridge.

He also previously served as president of another Illinois two-year institution, Frontier Community College in Fairfield.

Taylor’s selection was unanimously approved by the trustees, subject to ratification of a contract, details of which were not discussed.

Taylor noted that while his doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis is from the University of Wisconsin, “As many of you are aware, I received most of my undergraduate and graduate degrees from Southern Illinois University, so returning here feels a little like coming back home.”

In remarks to the trustees and Zoom audience following the announcement, Taylor addressed several segments of the community.

“If you are an employer in the community, please know that I believe professional certificate degrees, workforce training, consulting, and technical assistance programs can be helpful to you as you develop and grow your business,” he said.

“If you’re an employee in the community, please know that I believe professional certificate degrees, transfer degrees, continuing education courses, seminars, certificates and programs designed to help you upgrade your skills or train for a new job or prepare for a new career, are critical to your quality of life.

“If you are a citizen in the community, I believe you receive value when you participate in the college’s lifelong learning opportunities designed to help you fully develop your natural abilities and gain knowledge.

“If you are a politician, community organization or economic development member of our community, I believe it is important for us to work collaboratively to promote the achievement of our collective mission. I promise the college will help you attract new businesses to the community,” Taylor said.

He pledged to help students achieve their goals whether they plan to continue their college career in a four-year institution or interested in apprenticeships or other opportunities to prepare for employment.

In his message to college employees, Taylor said he plans to meet each one individually and “ask about your family, your personal goals, your motivation, what you like about the college and what you will change about the college.”

Taylor thanked the board, Dr. Kathleen Curphy, who has served as interim president during the search, and all those involved in the transition process.

“I believe we are in an excellent position to grow and the future of Shawnee College is bright,” he said.

“I understand the college is facing some major issues relating to student enrollment, finances and managing the COVID crisis. From everything I’ve seen, this team is up for the challenge.

“I commend you all for the work you’ve done so far and I am confident that we will continue our forward progress.”

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