(Council Bluffs) -- After more than a quarter-century at the helm, Iowa Western Community College's president is stepping down.
Dr. Dan Kinney recently announced to the Iowa Western Board of Trustees that he's retiring effective at the end of his current contract August 31st. Kinney, who is in his 26th year at the two-year institution, discussed his decision to retire with KMA News.
"Quite honestly, I have some other things I want to do in life," said Kinney. "I need to spend more time with family, so I felt I needed to give the board an adequate warning, so that they could begin the search for my replacement."
Kinney cites a number of accomplishments at Iowa Western during his tenure. First off, he appreciates voter generosity in making a wide range of improvements at each of the college's campuses and centers possible.
"Of course, we've had tremendous support of our voters in our college district," he said, "and have passed six bond issues over the years to either repair or renovate, or expand the facilities at all of our centers, and the main campus. So, that's been a rewarding thing to have that kind of support."
Kinney is also proud of increased support for the school's foundation.
"I think in terms of accomplishments, probably the increase in the value of the assets of the foundation is probably one of the things that I'm most proud of," said Kinney. "Primarily, that is because we have to be able to help students pay for their college education."
Before he steps down, Kinney says he'll push legislators to allow the state's community colleges to increase operational levies for the first time in more than 50 years.
"The levies for the operations of community colleges--which pays for the salaries and utilities, and that sort of thing," he said, "have been frozen since 1966. Every time I hear county commissioners or others complaining that the legislature is restricting their ability to levy property taxes, I just smile because ours are really restricted. Over the last 54 years, that's just gradually choking the community colleges.
"I don't think the state of Iowa or the community colleges are heading down a good path unless we see some change. And, I intend to really work that again this year with our legislators," Kinney added.
Kinney expects the Iowa Western board to hire a search firm to aid in securing his successor.