Dr. Judy Mitchell, JJC vice president of administrative services, has been named interim president of Joliet Junior College as of Monday, March 21, 2016. Dr. Mitchell assumed the role following the resignation of Dr. Debra Daniels on March 18. The JJC Board of Trustees is slated to formally accept Dr. Daniels’ resignation and approve Dr. Mitchell’s appointment at future meeting dates.
“The continuity of Joliet Junior College’s services and programs is absolutely our priority,” said Mitchell. “I’m honored and humbled to take on this role, and it is my goal to ensure that the college remains committed to its mission, serving students and our community to the best of our ability.”
Dr. Daniels issued a public statement on Monday in which she thanked the campus community for their commitment to the college:
“I have enjoyed the past four years at Joliet Junior College and I want to thank the faculty and staff for their dedication to teaching and learning and to our students. During the time I have served at the college, together we have been able to establish leadership programs, develop strategic planning processes that are used across campus and are integrated with our budget, institute a shared governance model, establish new programs of study, build partnerships with the business and legislative communities and many more too numerous to mention. I thank the college community and the board of trustees for their support of these endeavors.
I have brought the college as far as I can and I want to step aside so I can do other things. The board has been tumultuous this past year with the resignation of three board members and I hope that this will allow them to come together for the college.”
Bob Wunderlich, chairman of the JJC Board of Trustees, issued the following statement on Monday regarding the resignation of President Daniels:
“The Joliet Junior College Board of Trustees received a resignation notice from our college president Dr. Debra Daniels on Friday, March 18, effective immediately. Because this is a personnel issue we cannot comment specifically on other details related to this event, except that she cited personal reasons for her departure.
What is at the forefront of our minds right now is the continued success of Joliet Junior College and its daily operations. We have appointed Dr. Judy Mitchell, currently JJC vice president of administrative services, as interim president while we work out details for a presidential search. Dr. Mitchell is a 19-year college employee and has strong knowledge of our operations, finances, and strategic plan to continue moving the college forward in the right direction.
As you know, Dr. Daniels served as the college’s president for four years and during her tenure, the college completed some significant initiatives, including the development of an international students program, the 2016-2019 Strategic Plan, a Master Plan Update that sparked the construction of the Romeoville Campus expansion and the JJC Events Center, and the grand opening of a new Tutoring and Learning Center and Veterans Resource Center. Dr. Daniels also established the JJC Commitment Scholarship fund to provide financial assistance to economically disadvantaged students and help them pay for college. We thank her for her service to the college.
We will continue to share updates as we finalize plans for a presidential search. Joliet Junior College has been a vital educational resource in our community for 115 years and I have every confidence it will continue to do so well into the future.”
Mitchell has worked at the college for nearly 20 years, having started as an administrative assistant in the CIOS department in 1996. In 2001, she served as the program management specialist in Adult and Family Services, followed by the assistant to the director of administrative services in 2002. In 2004 she became interim director of administrative services, and then the director of business and auxiliary services in 2005. In September 2012, she was appointed to the role of VP of administrative services.
Mitchell received her doctorate in community college leadership from National-Louis University in June 2012. She holds a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in business and technology from Governors State University. She earned an associate degree in microcomputers for business and computer programming from JJC in 1998.