NIACC president announces plans to retire

MASON CITY — North Iowa Area Community College’s president has announced his plans to retire.

Steve Schulz has been NIACC’s president over the past ten years and tells KGLO News that after a long career in education and what’s going on at NIACC, it’s the right time to retire.  “For NIACC, the timing is just really in a good spot for a transition. You will have our Higher Learning Commission accreditation visit here next month, and so we will be re-accredited for another ten years. Our Strategic Plan is scheduled to sunset in 2025. A change now would allow a new president a year under his or her belt to really lead that process for the community.”

Schulz says his decade tenure at the school and the fact that he’ll be turning 63 in March led to the decision to start plans for retirement.  “It’s getting to be a time where you start to think about what you want to do with the rest of your life to be quite honest. My parents both died at a pretty young age and there’s some things that I want to do and spend time with my wife and my kids and do some things while I still can. It just all kind of came together here and I think it’s just a good time for me personally while I’m healthy and a good time for the college.”

Schulz says his four-decade career in education has been a real gift and he wants to go out with the institution being in great shape.  “This is my 40th year in public education. I started out as a public school teacher, an administrator, and then really found the community college which has just been a pleasure to work in, and then even more of a pleasure is to find NIACC. It is a unique institution, and that’s the hardest part about these decisions is you love the work, you love the people, and I’ll miss it greatly.”

The NIACC Board of Directors at their meeting last night accepted Schulz’s retirement plan and started the process of finding a new president. Schulz says the same consultant who helped the college conduct the search for a new president when Schulz and his predecessor were hired, Dr. Larry  Ebbers, will lead the process again.   “We’ve updated job descriptions. Dr. Ebbers will now begin to really develop that profile. One of the things that will happen is that we will put together a couple of survey questions that will go out to our faculty, staff and the community at-large to determine what people think those needs are moving forward for the leader of NIACC. Sometime near the first of the year, we’ll post that position officially.”

Schulz says they hope a new president will  be hired by sometime in April.