FAIRFIELD, Maine — Kennebec Valley Community College has announced that Jon H. Connolly of Sheridan, Wyo., will be the next vice president and dean of academic affairs for the college.
Connolly will replace Karen White, who is retiring in October after 32 years working for KVCC, serving the past nine years as academic dean.
Connolly will begin his new duties on Sept. 18. He has more than a decade of leadership experience at colleges in Wyoming, Texas, and Maine. He comes to KVCC from his most recent position as Vice President of Academic Affairs at Sheridan College and Gillette College of the Northern Wyoming Community College District where he has held this post since 2009.
From January to June 2010, Connolly acted as Interim President at Sheridan and Gillette Colleges.
“We are thrilled that Dr. Connolly will be joining KVCC,” Richard Hopper, KVCC president, said in a prepared statement. “He combines a proven record as a scholar with a clear understanding of the challenges facing community colleges today. Kennebec Valley Community College is undergoing tremendous change and expansion. Dr. Connolly’s record of academic leadership and his devotion to Maine will help move KVCC forward at a critical time in the institution’s development. ”
Connolly’s New England ties are strong, with a deep connection to Maine. He is a 1987 graduate of Colby College where he earned an A.B. in Biology and Geology-Biology; He was awarded an M.F.S. with a focus on Tree Biology from Yale University in 1992, and completed his Ph.D.in Biology from the University of Maine in 1996. He owns a camp in Rangeley, Maine.
Connolly taught at Husson University in Bangor, for a decade — from 1997-2007. While there he held positions of increasing responsibility, growing from his role as Associate Professor to become Associate Dean of the School of Science and Humanities, and ultimately becoming Assistant Chief Academic Officer.
Connolly subsequently served as Dean of Instruction for the Division of Math, Science, and Healthcare at Lone-Star College-Kingwood in Kingwood Texas from 2007-2009.
Connolly and his wife, Joan, are thrilled to be returning to Maine. Dr. Connolly is a runner, nonfiction reader, and avid movie watcher.
The Northern Wyoming Community College District encompasses three separate counties in northern Wyoming, and serves an estimated 4,000 students annually at Sheridan College, Gillette College and outreach centers in Buffalo, Kaycee and Wright.
Connolly is joining KVCC as the College prepares to open a second campus – The Harold Alfond Campus in Hinckley – in September 2014.
The Alfond Campus will provide an ideal environment for dynamic learning in sustainable agriculture, food processing, food security, place-based culinary arts production, renewable energy applications, business entrepreneurship, and early childhood education related to wellness and healthy living. It will include an innovative farm-to-table education hub that combines sustainable agriculture, food processing, and culinary arts and certificate programs.
Classes began this fall for the first of these programs, a two-year Associate in Applied Science degree program in sustainable agriculture.
KVCC will also continue to offer a wide array of degree programs in liberal arts, trades and technology, business, computer science, and health professions.
KVCC is one of seven community colleges in Maine and prepares full-time and part-time students to enter the job market, to transfer to colleges and universities, and to achieve their professional and personal goals. Programs and services support the economic growth of the community in response to changing needs.
In 2011 and again in 2012, KVCC was named one of the top community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute, placing in the top 10 percent of two-year colleges based on student success rates.