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Moraine President To Retire

Crawley Informs Faculty, Staff That He Will Bow Out on June 30

Dr. Vernon Crawley, president of Moraine Valley and the longest-serving college/university chief executive officer in Illinois, announced to faculty and staff Sept. 26 that he will retire on June 30.{{more}}

ÒMoraine Valley is an excellent institution, which is well respected on the local, state and national levels. I am proud of the accomplishments over the past 21 years that were due in large measure to your dedication and support,” he said in his announcement. ÒMy 21-year journey has been exciting, challenging and rewarding.

ÒThank you for making my time at Moraine Valley a memorable experience.”

Since coming to Moraine Valley, his emphasis has been on student success.

Moraine Valley was selected as a Vanguard College of Learning, one of 12 community colleges in the U.S. and Canada to receive this designation.

To stay on the cutting-edge of innovative and effective instruction and curriculum, the college also opened the Center for Teaching and Learning that provides continuing education for faculty.

ÒOur promise to students is that we will provide a student-centered environment and to focus all college staff and resources on student learning, student development, and student success,” Crawley said.

During his tenure, the college has received state, federal and private grants to help prepare students to be successful at the college level and to help retrain workers who have lost their jobs.

ÒI also have been pleased that we have been able through partnerships to reach out to help our 26 communities with their educational and training needs,” Crawley said.

Crawley also has led the college through growth in programs.

During his tenure, Moraine Valley’s Virtual College was established and two associate’s degrees were added Ñ Associate of Fine Arts and Associate of Arts in Teaching.

The college ranks in the top 7 percent of the nation’s community colleges in associate degrees conferred and third in the nation in multi-disciplinary studies (associate in science degrees) conferred.

Moraine Valley is one of five Midwest colleges and universities that in 2003 established the Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance, which is housed at Moraine Valley.

The community approved an $89 million bond referendum in 2006 that resulted in an unprecedented campus expansion that has never been seen even when the campus first opened its first four permanent buildings in the early 1970s.

The college opened the Dr. Vernon O. Crawley Science Hall and the Moraine Business and Conference Center in fall 2009.

Additionally, a Student Union opened in March 2009 and the Student Services Center opened after extensive renovation in January 2010.

The original buildings Ñ A, B and L Ñ also were renovated. The college also built the two-story Ògreen” Southwest Education Center, which opened in October 2010 in Tinley Park.

Other capital projects in which Crawley has been instrumental in developing include the education center in Blue Island that opened in 2004 and will be dedicated Oct. 5 after the college purchased the building earlier this year and renovated the second floor to add classroom space; Building P, which houses the police department and physical plant operations, opened in 2008; and Building D, which includes classrooms, the bookstore, and administrative offices, opened in 2001.

The Fine and Performing Arts Center, the Moraine communities’ cultural jewel, opened in 1994.

Since Crawley’s arrival in 1991, college enrollment has risen 30 percent. The college credit enrollment reached an all-time high this fall with 18,169 students. The college ranks second in enrollment among the 48 community colleges in Illinois.

Crawley has served on many local, regional and national boards and has been a mentor and advisor to many community college leaders.

He has also been called upon to represent community colleges before congressional and legislative bodies.

His leadership and counsel have been recognized by the many awards he has received.

Among them are the Marie Y. Martin Chief Executive Officer of the Year by the Association of Community College Trustees in 2009 as well as the Central Region CEO of the Year in 2009 and the 2005 national and regional Communicator of the Year awards from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations.

He has served as a board member on several national organizations, including the League for Innovation in the Community Colleges.

He has been a consultant/evaluator for the North Central Association (NCA), a regional accrediting agency, for the past 25 years, and the NCA Review Committee as well as the Institutional Actions Council.

He served on the American Council on Education’s Commission on Minorities in Higher Education and was a member of the National Advisory Group.

He also served a three-year term on the board of the American Association of Community Colleges and the American Council on Education.

ÒWe tried and were successful in delaying his retirement for several years, and we were fortunate to get a few more years from him,” said Joseph Murphy, chairman of the Board of Trustees. ÒHe will be very hard to replace. How do you find another Vernon O. Crawley?

ÒThe institution will have to go on and go on at the highest quality he established Ñ the highest quality in education and in operations.

ÒPresident Crawley was not only smart with academic initiatives and programs but also smart with financial matters.

ÒHe finds ways to get the most out of everything the college does without always having the necessary resources to do so.

ÒI am extremely happy for him and his family. I’m a little apprehensive of the challenging task ahead of us to find someone with the same high standards, high expectations and high ethical and moral standards as Vernon Crawley.”

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