Dr. Matt Franz, vice president for information technology for Clark State Community College, has been accepted into the competitive-entry Executive Leadership Institute (ELI). The ELI is part of the League for Innovation in the Community College, an international nonprofit organization with a mission to cultivate innovation in the community college environment.
“Dr. Matt Franz exemplifies the values of Clark State Community College: he works tirelessly to ensure that our students are successful,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State. “Since coming to Clark State, Dr. Franz’s impact on students can be seen throughout the campus. He has improved the student experience immeasurably through technology.”
Franz works closely with team members on Executive Council and the Board of Trustees. He developed extensive budget, team-building and administrative experience, and Blondin said, she has personally witnessed his growth in building consensus and morale among faculty and staff.
Franz led a campus-wide Business Process Analysis for Clark State, with a focus on creating efficiencies and better student service through IT. He enrolled in a doctoral program in Educational Leadership at National American University, where he earned his doctorate this past spring while balancing his current position, community service commitments and family.
“It is an honor to be recommended and a larger honor to be selected for such a selective and prestigious program,” said Franz. “My hope is that I can take this experience and bring it back to Clark State to help others who may be interested in similar goals and development experiences.”
Franz said his personal and professional goals include remaining an active learner in his discipline and disciplines that will help him reach his goals. “It was a profound honor for the College president to personally recommend me for this prestigious experience,” said Franz. “I am often overwhelmed with the support I’ve received throughout my career from mentors like Dr. Blondin. My goal is to learn as much as I can so I can help others some day in the same way others have helped me.”
Franz said the ELI is an intensive program designed to increase skills and abilities for executive leadership roles in a community college. “It is an opportunity to learn more about the role of the college president and areas where I need to focus to improve my effectiveness as a leader,” he said. “Working with a diverse and highly-skilled faculty from around the country will further provide theoretical and practical context to reflect on my own personal and professional goals as I continue to develop.”
Dr. Margaretta Mathis, senior vice president of Roueche Graduate Center at National American University, also recommended Franz for the ELI. Franz is a graduate of the NAU doctoral program. Mathis first met Franz when he entered the Community College Leadership Program.
Mathis got to know Franz over the past three years through his work and leadership with the program. She previously attended the ELI as a member of the League’s executive leadership team.
“Matt is a dedicated professional and rising leader in the community college field,” said Mathis. “He demonstrates care for his colleagues, the quality of his many contributions and the future of our colleges, communities and students.”
Franz said he enjoyed the research and analysis portion of his dissertation and prior doctoral work, and plans on continuing to conduct research and writing articles. “I would like to rise to a community college presidency at some point in the future, but for now, I am trying to understand all the various components of a successful college and utilize the training and education I’ve received to create positive experiences for our students,” he said. “I believe any and every role at a community college has the power to change lives. I want to make sure that is my focus and the focus of those who work with me.”
Founded in 1968, the League for Innovation in the Community College has served community college institutions for almost five decades. The League has sponsored more than 200 conferences, institutes, seminars and workshops; published over 200 reports, monographs, periodicals and books; led approximately 140 research and demonstration projects; and provided numerous other resources and services to the community college field.
The Executive Leadership Institute will be held December 10-14 in Scottsdale, Arizona; 39 participants were selected from 1200 community colleges across the country to attend the event.