Joliet Junior College is pleased to invite community members to the inauguration ceremony of the college’s ninth president, Dr. Judy Mitchell, on Wednesday, Feb. 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the U-Building on Main Campus, 1215 Houbolt Road in Joliet.
The speaking program will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by a champagne and hors d’oeuvres reception sponsored by the JJC Foundation. Scheduled speakers include JJC Board Chairman Bob Wunderlich, JJC President Emeritus J.D. Ross, JJC Alumni Board Interim President Ericka Williams, and Dr. Mitchell. Music will be provided by the JJC Fine Arts Department.
The event is free, but attendees must RSVP by Jan. 27 to email@example.com or (815) 280-2659.
Dr. Mitchell was unanimously approved as the college’s president by the JJC Board of Trustees at their September 2016 meeting. She had been serving in the role of interim president at the college since March 2016, following the departure of Dr. Debra Daniels, who served as the college president for four years.
“I am honored to serve this institution,” Dr. Mitchell said. “We have so much to be proud of, and so many opportunities for growth. I am looking forward to sharing my vision for the future of Joliet Junior College with our community at this special event. The focus of my presidency will center on four pillars, each relating to a specific pathway for success regarding financial stability, academic programming, student success, and community and philanthropic engagement.”
During her interim presidency, Mitchell undertook 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 currently is a member of Joliet Rotary, Will County Workforce Investment Board, Three Rivers Education Employment System, Three Rivers Education Partnership, and United Way/Combined Charities.
Additionally, she has led the college budgeting process through the state of Illinois’ fiscal crisis and helped the college reduce its operating costs by over $2 million over four years, in addition to encouraging the pursuit of creative revenue sources like grant dollars to offset operational costs. In FY15, the college garnered more than $5.4 million in grants to offset operational costs.
Under her leadership, the college’s financial team was awarded the Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the FY2016 budget. This marks the 11th year in a row JJC has received the award for its budget, which is only given to government bodies that meet the highest principles of governmental budgeting and achieve standards of excellence in financial reporting.
Mitchell has worked at the college for 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.