CT State Community College selects next leader ahead of merger

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The Connecticut Board of Regents on Wednesday selected a leader for the state’s soon-to-be merged community college, a physician from Minnesota State Community and Technical College.

Dr. John Maduko will take up his new role as president of Connecticut State Community College on June 3. His annual salary will be $300,000, according to a Wednesday press release.

The lease marks a milestone in a merger of 12 Connecticut community college campuses that began about five years ago. The merger was controversial, particularly among faculty who questioned early on whether it would deliver the promised savings and whether the newly merged system’s staffing plan was sufficient.

The merged college will have more than 32,000 students, according to the press release. The opening is scheduled for July 2023.

Dr. John Maduko delivers a speech after the announcement. Maduko is a medical doctor and currently serves as Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Minnesota State Community and Technical College. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org

Maduko holds an MD from St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine and a BS in Biology from California State Polytechnic University Pomona. He has served as Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Minnesota State Community and Technical College since 2019.

“Together, we will write a new story, a story that celebrates meeting the needs of students and surrounding communities, addressing enrollment challenges, maintaining institutional and academic integrity, and realizing the vision of the college for student success while adapting…to new opportunities,” Maduko said Wednesday.

Maduko has previously worked at several colleges, including North Central Texas College District, Rasmussen University, and National Paralegal College, among others.

Dr. Richard Munassi, a longtime friend of Dr. John Maduko, takes photos while live streaming the announcement of Maduko’s wife who was unable to attend the event. Munassi said he flew in from Florida the day before the event to celebrate Munassi’s appointment as president of Connecticut State Community College. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org

The Board of Regents Search Advisory Committee conducted a nationwide search for the nominee. The advisory committee was made up of more than 40 students, faculty, staff, and administrators, among other groups.

“My first step is [to] connecting with the folks at CT State, being there to really avoid leading behind the desk and seeing the progress and the challenges,” he said Wednesday.

In addition to leading the college until the merger begins, he will also have to deal with declining enrollment, made worse by the pandemic.

“We need to be more aligned with reaching out to them because it’s about what we can offer to help them reach their final destination,” he said.

He added that the school will need to be “data-driven” when it comes to demand.

Dr. John Maduko, far left, participates in a campus tour of Connecticut State Community College. Maduko will take on a role leading the state’s single, amalgamated community college with 12 campuses and more than 32,000 students. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org

Governor Ned Lamont, who spoke at the press conference, spoke about the need for more skilled workers to join the workforce and the training they receive at Connecticut’s community colleges.

“We have more jobs than we have people trained for those jobs,” Lamont said.

Cheryl DeVonish, chief executive of Norwalk Community College and chair of the research advisory board, said Maduko remained in the pool of applicants because of her previous work on equity. Norwalk Community College is a Hispanic-serving institution, so it was important for her to find someone who focuses on equity for these students.

“Having Dr. Maduko serve as president of Connecticut State Community College will impact the region,” said Dr. Richard Munassi, one of Maduko’s longtime friends who attended Wednesday’s press conference. “His initiatives focused on workforce development and retraining, innovation and community engagement will set a new bar for similar systems across the country.”

Dr. John Maduko, far right, speaks to Governor Ned Lamont before a press conference. The Board of Regents for Higher Education has appointed Dr. John Maduko as president of Connecticut State Community College. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org
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