Saturday, July 08, 2000

Tech college leader named

By Jeff Carlton
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Flush with $10 million from the General Assembly, Northern Kentucky Technical College now has an interim chief operating officer to help decide how to spend it.

        The Kentucky Community and Technical College System named Charles Stebbins to the job Friday.

        Dr. Stebbins said he will focus on partnering with Northern Kentucky University to make it easier for the college's graduates to trans fer into the university.

        Michael McCall, president of the state's community college system, said Dr. Stebbins' broad experience as president of Elizabethtown Community College and Prestonsburg Community College make him a good fit for Northern Kentucky.

        “He knows our system and he knows our processes,” Mr. McCall said. “His first task is to figure out how we can respond to the needs of the Northern Kentucky community.”

        Covington City Commissioner J.T. Spence said he hopes Dr. Stebbins uses the $10 million to build a facility in downtown Covington. Mr. Spence said he thinks a downtown location would bridge the gap between high school and the work force, citing a lack of choices for high school graduates who don't attend four-year colleges and a lack of highly skilled employees for available jobs.

        Northern Kentucky Technical College has campuses in Edgewood, Highland Heights and a third in Covington on Amsterdam Road.

        “A community college is hands-down the best thing I thought could be brought to (downtown) to improve the quality of life,” Mr. Spence said.

        Dr. Stebbins said he intends to upgrade the col lege's curriculum, which will receive a boost after the new facility is completed. Some of the new funding is expected to go toward programs in industrial electronics, welding technology and computer literacy.

        “I'm really looking forward to laying the groundwork for the expansion of the curriculum,” he said.

        Dr. Stebbins will also supervise the development of the new facility, including site selection.

        He will remain at Prestonsburg as its interim president until August, when he starts full-time at Northern Kentucky. He will have spent about 14 months as Prestonsburg's president and said he expects to be Northern Kentucky's interim chief operating officer for about 12 months.

        After that, Dr. Stebbins is expected to stay on as a Northern Kentucky administrator and help with strategic planning and institutional research, Mr. McCall said.


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