The Joliet Junior College Board of Trustees unanimously approved the appointment of Dr. Judy Mitchell as the college’s ninth president at their Sept. 13 meeting.
“I am extremely pleased to continue on in this role. As many know, I have been at the college for 20 years, dedicating much of my professional life to making JJC a better place for students, employees, and our community,” Dr. Mitchell said. “I am honored and humbled to be chosen to lead the college into the future and I will give my all to ensure that the college is an innovative, supportive, and quality institution to meet the needs of our campus community.”
Prior to accepting the role of interim president, Mitchell was the vice president of administrative services.
During her nearly six months in the role, Mitchell has undertaken a number of initiatives. She gave the first ever State of the College address in August, sharing important college updates and future goals with area legislators, educators, and business owners. She held a number of college-wide open meetings, in an effort to hear from employees and provide transparency in the college budgeting process. She also led her first Opening Week, the biannual event for faculty and staff to prepare for the start of the fall and spring semesters. She even had a starring role in a humorous music video set to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” song, which was shared with employees during Opening Week to bring a sense positivity and humor to the week’s activities.
“Dr. Mitchell has been here 20 years, and I’ve been here 40,” said Board Chairman Bob Wunderlich. “I’ve seen her come up through the ranks, and she has proven herself as a vice president and as the interim president. She’s an amazing individual, and she deserves the opportunity to lead the college. The morale at JJC is the highest I’ve seen it in my 40 years, and the whole college will certainly be enhanced by her leadership.”
At the Sept. 13 meeting, several college constituents addressed the board and provided public endorsements for Dr. Mitchell as the permanent president including Dr. Bob Marcink, faculty union president; Dr. Al Kennedy, adjunct faculty union president; Noreen Dollinger, Foundation board member on behalf of the JJC Foundation board; Austin Stacy, JJC student and president of student government, speaking on behalf of student government; and Cindy Phan, also a JJC student and student government member.
“I honestly believe Judy Mitchell would be the best choice for president of Joliet Junior College,” Stacy said. “I believe an outside search would be a waste of resources.”
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.
March 2016 Q and A with Dr. Mitchell