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GRCC Provost Brian Knetl announced as finalist in presidential search at Waubonsee Community College in Illinois

Photo Courtesy of GRCC

By Selena Reyes

Grand Rapids Community College’s own Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, Brian Knetl has been named one of three finalists in the presidential search at Waubonsee Community College.

The Illinois college is conducting a search for its fifth president and administrators have narrowed the finalists list down to Knetl, Mark Curtis-Chavez, provost of College of DuPage, and Jamal Scott, vice president of strategy and community at Waubonsee Community College. The finalist list was posted on the Waubonsee website Oct. 20.

Knetl, who could not be reached for comment, has been with GRCC since September 2019. 

In a story published Sept. 1 in The Collegiate, Knetl expressed his presidential aspirations. 

“I am of an age and an energy right now where I do think that someday I would consider being a community college president…,” Knetl said. “I love GRCC and I love what I am doing as provost. I have had a great opportunity with this reorganization and this new president coming in.”

The following candidate bio is published on the Waubonsee website: “Knetl recently led a college-wide transformation through the strategic alignment of resources in Academic and Student Affairs to increase the capacity of leaders and enhance the coordination of student services. In 2020, Knetl served on the Governor of Michigan’s Task Force to develop recommendations to meet the needs of recent high school graduates which contributed to a $10 million state allocation to develop programs in Michigan Community Colleges. Knetl also played a key role in initiatives to support equitable access, success, and completion, including the Grand Rapids Promise Program, opening a new satellite campus, stabilizing resources to address the holistic needs of students, adding soccer as an NJCAA sport, and expanding early college credit programs.” 

Waubonsee’s former president, Christine Sobek, served as a leader for 21 years and has been employed with the school for 33 years. Her successor will be the college’s fifth president since the school opened in 1966.  

The final steps in the search process in selecting a new president will be on-campus interviews. A timeline was not published on the Waubonsee site and school administrators there could not be reached for comment.

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