George Knox, who was president of Labette Community College for 12 years, has been named interim president of Independence Community College.

Knox’s appointment was approved on Thursday by ICC trustees.

Knox began as president of LCC in 2005 when former President Ron Fundis retired on Oct. 1, 2005. Knox left LCC on June 30, 2017, and Mark Watkins replaced him. During his tenure, Knox oversaw the expansion of the LCC footprint in Parsons. The college or its foundation acquired properties in the block north of the college and added the Sonny and Sophia Zetmeir Health Sciences Building in 2013. In 2016, the college purchased the former Bank of Parsons building at 13th and Main and moved the college library there. The former Factory Connection building was purchased in October 2017, after Knox left, and this building will become an events center for LCC.

“In this monumental transition period, Dr. Knox is the supreme choice for leadership,” said ICC Board Chair Valorie DeFever in a prepared statement. “With the implementation of a new strategic plan, a solid review from the Higher Learning Commission and the college’s centennial rapidly approaching, ICC requires an experienced leader who will maximize momentum. We are thrilled to have such an accomplished leader in place at ICC for this time.”

Knox serves as executive director for the Council on Accreditation for Two-Year Colleges and accepted the additional opportunity to serve as interim president of ICC while a national search is conducted for the college’s next president.

Prior to serving as executive director for CATYC, Knox was president for five years at Cloud County Community College. His previous positions include dean of academic and student development services at Tri-County Community College in North Carolina, dean of planning, learning and instruction at Moraine Park Technical College in Wisconsin and division dean of human services at Western Piedmont Community College in North Carolina.

“Knox excels in strategic planning and the execution of new initiatives that produce positive outcomes and measurable success,” DeFever said. “He has a talent for leading people into action and committing to an organizational mission that results in growth and development.”

“It’s a humbling experience to serve ICC during this transformative time,” said Knox in the prepared statement. “I am passionate about transmitting vision into reality, mission into action and philosophy into practice. ICC is embracing such opportunity and I am grateful for the trust of the board to be involved in such a pivotal moment in the college’s history.”

Although temporary, ICC expects significant success during Knox’s interim presidency, painting the landscape and setting the bar for future leadership. The board also announced it will hire a national firm to conduct the search for the next ICC president.

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