Dr. Mick Starcevich announced retirement as Kirkwood Community College president in June. It’s the culmination of an amazing career in education. His combination of education and community leadership have served the Cedar Rapids and surrounding areas well.
Originally a mathematics teacher, Mick served as assistant principal, principal and superintendent in various Iowa schools for more than 30 years. Before coming to Kirkwood, he was superintendent at College Community School District in Cedar Rapids. He worked as executive vice president for academic affairs at Kirkwood before becoming president of the college in 2005.
In addition to his legacy in education, Mick’s community efforts and ability to forge partnerships have had a positive impact on the business corridor. An editorial from the Corridor Business Journal states: “He and his leadership team have been involved in almost every critical regional and economic development discussion during his tenure. They have provided reasoned and deliberate leadership, particularly on regional issues when organizations or personalities have found themselves at an impasse.”
Mick has always been a champion for access to education. Making a Kirkwood education affordable for everyone has been a major point of emphasis during his tenure. Eliminating financial barriers through scholarship has been one of his many successes.
According to the Council for Aid to Education, a group that gathers data on college donations and financial aid, Kirkwood is the No. 2 college in the nation when it comes to percentage of charitable contributions spent on financial aid. During Mick’s presidency, the total number of scholarship dollars available to students jumped from $740,000 per year to more than $3 million.
During Mick’s tenure, Kirkwood completed multiple major construction projects, including the regional center on the University of Iowa Oakdale campus in Coralville. Regional centers offer a new innovative learning method built on collaboration. By forging partnerships with area high schools and other institutions, and partnering with local industry, Kirkwood’s regional centers create new learning opportunities designed to match employer demand.
Dr. Starcevich currently serves on a wide variety of community, state and national boards,
including: Junior Achievement Executive Board, United Way Executive Board, US Bank Board, Horizon’s Family Services Executive Board, The Arc of Eastern Iowa Endowment Committee, Iowa Community College Presidents, Community College Humanities Association Board, League for Innovation board, and the College Community School District Foundation Board