Not entirely coinicidentally, I believe, Bakke's announcement came the day the college Board of Trustees picked an executive vice president. Might he be the interim leader during a search period or even grow into the leadership role? Time will tell.
I'm in the middle of the ocean and too far removed to report this fully, but readers should know that some growth pains have been evident behind the scenes at Pulaski Tech. The arrival of the EVP was a sign of board belief in the need for some stronger management oversight to oversee the now sprawling college. Faculty has had some grumbling about the governance process. Some past hires have been cause for heartburn. College, in other words.
I don't have it officially, by the way, but my overnight e-mail says the new exec. v.p. is Dr. Michael L. DeLong, vice president for academic affairs at Ozarka College in Melbourne since 2006. Previously, he served as associate vice president for academic affairs at Oklahoma State University at Oklahoma City from 2001-2006, department head of business administration at Oklahoma State University from 1998-2001 and assistant professor at Oklahoma State University from 1995-1998. He served in the Air Force from 1973 to 1994, specializaing in avionics. Dr. DeLong holds a Doctor of Education in adult education from Oklahoma State University at Stillwater, a Master of Arts in management from Webster University, a Bachelor of Arts in human resource management from Southern Nazarene University and an Associate of Applied Science in avionics technology from the Community College of the Air Force.
Also pending is a board decision on whether to seek a special tax election this year for a property tax millage to support construction at Tech and, if so, how much.
Dr. Dan F. Bakke, president of Pulaski Technical College, today announced his retirement from the college, effective June 30.
Dr. Bakke became president of Pulaski Technical College on July 1, 2000. Previously, he served as vice president for instruction at Pulaski Tech.
“For 15 years, I have had the unbelievable opportunity to work with the board, faculty, staff, students and the great central Arkansas community,” Dr. Bakke said. “I will always be indebted to all who supported me during this time.”
“I want to thank the dedicated faculty and staff for always placing learning first and doing everything possible to help students succeed. I know PTC will always abide by the motto ‘Dedicated to Your Success.’”
Dr. Bakke has spent 38 years in various administrative positions with Arkansas and Texas community colleges, including two years as vice president for student services at Pulaski Tech and three years as dean of instruction at Southeast Arkansas College at Pine Bluff.
“We are grateful to Dan for his commitment to the college and to the central Arkansas community,” John Suskie, chairman of the Pulaski Tech Board of Trustees, said. “Under his leadership during the past 12 years, Pulaski Tech has experienced unprecedented growth and development. His extraordinary student-focused leadership has touched tens of thousands of lives, and we will be forever in his debt.”
When Dr. Bakke assumed the presidency, the college had approximately 4,000 students. Today, the college serves almost 12,000 credit students.
Additionally, the college has grown from four locations in Pulaski County to seven locations in Pulaski and Saline counties. Under his leadership, campus expansion programs included the Little Rock-South and Little Rock-West locations, as well as the Saline County Career Center and the Saline County Adult Education Center. Additionally, the college has one of the largest distance education programs in the state, with more than 5,000students taking at least one online or hybrid course.
Also under his leadership, the college has expanded its Business and Industry Center and now provides customized training for some 200 companies in central Arkansas. Last year, the college served almost 9,000 individuals in corporate, continuing, community and adult education.
Active in community and economic development activities, Dr. Bakke is a member of the Rotary Club of Little Rock and serves on the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board, the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce Executive Board and the North Little Rock Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors.
Dr. Bakke said he looks forward to spending time with his wife, Jane, who is retired after 40 years of teaching in the Watson Chapel School District, as well as his two daughters and three grandchildren.
The board’s academic affairs committee, chaired by Trustee John Barnes, will initiate a search for a new president effective immediately.
Pulaski Technical College is a comprehensive, two-year college that serves the educational needs of central Arkansas through more than 90 occupational/technical degree and certificate programs, a university-transfer curriculum and specialized programs for business and industry.
The college’s mission is to provide access to high quality education that promotes student learning, to enable individuals to develop to their fullest potential and to support the economic development of the state.