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Clark State Names New President

Clark State Names New President

March 27, 2013

The Clark State Community College Board of Trustees has named Jo Alice Blondin, Ph.D., as the next president of the College. Blondin will assume her new position on July 1, 2013. The current president, Dr. Karen E. Rafinski, is retiring after 16 years in this role.

"Dr. Blondin is a dynamic leader who is very excited about moving the College to the next level," said Jim Doyle, chair, Clark State Board of Trustees. "Throughout the interview process and campus visit, Blondin energized faculty, staff and board members. We are very confident in her ability to lead the College into the future and continue the growth and impressive legacy that Dr. Rafinski has built."

Jo Alice Blondin, Ph.D., has served as the Chancellor of the Arkansas Tech University - Ozark Campus for the past six and a half years. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Arizona State University; Master of Arts in English from Arizona State University; and Bachelor of Arts from Purdue University majoring in English with a minor in Spanish.

In her role as Chancellor, she has overseen an enrollment increase of nearly 600%; increased retention, graduation and success rates from 17% to 58.61%; started the campus's first capital campaign and met fundraising goals in four months; added 16 new technical and academic programs; added a "one-stop" Student Service and Conference Center, a new Student Union, Library and Bookstore as well as multiple technology and facility upgrades; and led the Ozark Campus in several strategic mergers resulting in seven off-site locations. She also facilitated the transition from a post-secondary vocational institute to a two-year college campus of Arkansas Tech University and the development of an aggressive strategic and master plan.

Prior to her current position, Blondin served as the chief academic officer at Arkansas Tech University – Ozark Campus; chief student officer, Arkansas Tech University – Ozark Campus; lead faculty (chair), departments of English, Rhetoric, Speech and Social Sciences, University of Arkansas – Fort Smith; team leader, departments of English, Rhetoric and Speech, Westark College/University of Arkansas – Fort Smith; and project coordinator, Preparing Future Faculty Program, Graduate College, Arizona State University. She also serves as a professor of English at Arkansas Tech University and has taught a variety of composition, literature and professional writing courses.

Dr. Blondin lives in Van Buren, Arkansas, with her husband, Andy Fox, and their daughter, Helena, who will be attending Ohio State University starting Fall 2013.

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