Bob Johnson of Waterman, chairman of the Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees, has been selected as the president of the Illinois Community College Trustees Association.
He accepted the gavel from outgoing President Reggie Coleman, John Wood Community College Trustee, at the ICCTA annual meeting held in Chicago in June. He assumed his duties as ICCTA president on July 1.
Johnson is one of four family members that own Johnson Farms and Johnson-Pate Pork Inc., continuing the close association of Kishwaukee College and the local agricultural community. Johnson’s father, the late LaVerne “Dutch” Johnson, served as one of the original members of the Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees. Upon his retirement from the BOT, Dutch Johnson encouraged Don Huftalin to become a BOT member. After serving 30 years on the BOT, Huftalin, in turn, encouraged Bob Johnson to run for trustee, bringing the connection to the college full-circle. He was elected to the BOT in 2005. Johnson served as the vice chairman of the Kishwaukee College BOT in 2007 and has been the chairman since 2008.
Soon after his election to the BOT, Johnson attended a meeting of the ICCTA and was impressed with the organization’s focus and primary goals: to provide ongoing education for community college trustees from across Illinois and to act as an advocate for community colleges in Springfield and Washington, DC.
Johnson has served in several leadership positions since becoming an ICCTA delegate, including regional chairman in FY09 - FY10, treasurer in FY11 – FY12, and vice president in FY13. As president of ICCTA for the next year, Johnson will preside over ICCTA statewide meetings and oversee administration of the organization. There are 48 colleges and two multi-community college centers in 39 community college districts that serve nearly 1 million students each year in the state.
“Illinois has a very strong community college system and, by the colleges working together, we can all better serve our communities and students,” Johnson said in a news release.
Providing a strong network of community college trustees benefits all the colleges in the state and plays an important role in community college education.
“There is a wealth of knowledge among trustees from other schools in Illinois and across the U.S. that is readily shared with other trustees,” Johnson said in the release. “In this era of dysfunctional Illinois state government, it is vital that community colleges look out for our students’ best interests as effectively as possible.”