Boyd named KCC president

January 18, 2019

KANKAKEE — When Michael Boyd arrived at Kankakee Community College a little more than four years ago, the last thing on his mind was one day becoming the school’s president.

However, that’s exactly where the 44-year-old Boyd now finds himself.

The Manteno resident and father of four was unanimously selected at a special board meeting Wednesday as the school’s seventh president.

The board signed Boyd to a three-year contract, which concludes June 30, 2022. His first-year salary will be $170,000. He doesn’t officially take leadership of the school until July 1.

Boyd will replace the retiring John Avendano, who will conclude his 10-year tenure at the end of June. Avendano’s 2017 salary was $261,000.

Boyd has been at KCC since 2014.

Asked if he ever imagined being elevated to this post, Boyd quickly answered in the negative.

“Of course not. I did not see this day coming,” he said.

The KCC board made the Boyd selection during executive session of its Monday night board meeting.

At the approximate five-minute special board meeting Wednesday at the school, Boyd thanked the trustees for expressing their confidence in his leadership abilities and the trust they are placing in him.

“I’m excited about the future,” he said just minutes after the vote was taken. “There are so many good things happening here.”

Boyd was one of two finalists. The other finalist was Laurie Chesley, of Grand Rapids, Mich. Chesley is the provost and executive vice president for academic and student affairs at Grand Rapids Community College.

“I’m humbled to be chosen,” Boyd said. “I’m looking forward to building on the college’s accomplishments and student successes. KCC is ready to jump to the next level and meet the growing needs of our students, communities, employees and workforce.”

Boyd is KCC’s vice president for instruction and student success, and chief academic officer. He is responsible for administering credit and noncredit instruction, adult education and workforce development programs, among other duties.

Previous to KCC, Boyd was a teacher and administrator for eight years at Illinois Central College in East Peoria. He holds a Ph.D. in English studies from Illinois State University.

Before his Illinois Central College stint, Boyd was a high school teacher in Morton, where he twice received the Outstanding Teacher Award.

During much of the next six months, Boyd will receive an in-depth tutorial from Avendano. The reason the board wanted the selection made early was to help ease the transition.

“This gives me six months to work with John,” Boyd said.

Boyd and his wife, Maureen, administrative assistant at Manteno Middle School, have four children: Michael, 19; Maddie, 15; Milana, 14; and Mitchell, 11. Michael is a student at KCC.

Boyd said the weekend was long as he mulled over his fate after community and school board interviews were conducted with both finalists last week.

“I had a lot of anticipation as you can imagine. I felt I gave them something to think about. But I was committed to this place regardless of who was chosen.”

Avendano said Boyd’s selection speaks to the relationships he’s constructed during the past four-plus years.

Regarding the next few months he will be spending with Boyd, Avendano said regardless of how well the president is prepared for the top position, there will be challenges.

“No one is completely ready for the presidency. There are so many things that come up which you do not expect.”

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