JJC Welcomes New VPAA Dr. Donna Stewart

As of July 14, Dr. Donna Stewart is the new vice president of academic affairs at Joliet Junior College. Her appointment was approved by the Board of Trustees at their June 10 meeting.

Dr. Donna Stewart

Stewart comes to JJC from the College of DuPage, where she served as the dean of Business and Technology Division. She was involved in the opening of new facilities, the development of new programs and had active involvement with the local business community.  She oversaw a team of approximately 100 faculty and staff offering a wide variety of associate degrees and nearly 100 certificate programs, as well as the Waterleaf Restaurant and the Inn at Water’s Edge.

“I am extremely excited to be part of the team that will continue to build on the long and rich heritage of Joliet Junior College,” said Stewart. “I believe that the role of community colleges  in meeting post-secondary training and education needs will continue to grow as the cost of education increases, the economy continues to recover and shifting worker demographics increase the needs for a new generation of skilled workers.”

A Janesville, Wisconsin native, Stewart earned her BBA and MBA degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.  She later completed her Ph.D. in vocational education at the University of Minnesota while serving as faculty member and administrator at UW-Stout.

Regarding her goals for her first 30 days, Stewart said that her first order of business would be to spend time listening and learning. 

“While I have enjoyed a long career in academic leadership, each campus community is unique,” she said. “I am looking forward to meeting with faculty and staff across campus to learn more about their role in Joliet Junior College’s past successes and vision for the future.  It will be time well spent to develop a deeper understanding of the culture, the values and application of the mission and vision throughout the work of the college.”

Stewart began her career in Milwaukee with Johnson Controls, Inc., serving in a variety of supply chain management and logistics positions after completing her MBA in operations management.  Her next career stop was as the owner/operator of the Clearwater Lake General Store.  Through this time she also taught business and computer-related courses at the area community campus, Nicolet Area Technical College.

She has also served as a faculty member in the Industrial Management Department at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University. During her 23 years at UW-Stout she served as the Industrial Management department chair for 10 years, and then as the College of Technology, Engineering and Management associate dean and the College of Management interim dean. 


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