New NPCC president ‘all about student success’

By Wayne Bryan Published May 8, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.
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Wayne Bryan

John Hogan, on screen, speaks to the Board of Trustees of National Park Community College after his selection as the new president of the college was announced by Board Chairman Mike Bush on Friday in Hot Springs. Hogan, vice president of student affairs for the Ivy Tech Community College System in Indiana, said he and his family are excited about his new job in Arkansas. His wife is a graduate of Harding University, and one of his sons is a sophomore at the school in Searcy.

HOT SPRINGS — John Hogan of Columbus, Indiana, will become the fourth president of National Park Community College on July 1. His selection was announced by NPCC Board of Trustees Chairman Mike Bush on Friday during a meeting of the board on the college campus in Hot Springs.

After the announcement, Hogan spoke in an Internet video call to the board and others gathered in the crowded board room a few doors away from what will be his office at the Gerald Fisher Campus Center at NPCC.

“I could not be more delighted to have the honor to lead National Park Community College,” he said. “You are asking me to talk on the stewardship of a very significant responsibility. Central Arkansas is blessed with a college team with student success at its core. I am very anxious to get to Hot Springs and get to work.”

NPCC President Sally Carder, who will retire June 30 after nine years at the college, said Hogan was the best choice for the position.

“After talking to all the candidates, any one of them could have done the job, but he was the best fit,” she said. “He connected with our value system, and he has a love for student success and economic development.”

In a statement Hogan prepared for release at the meeting, the president-designate said, “We are about student success.”

Hogan is now vice president for student affairs and placement with the Ivy Tech Community College System in Indianapolis, Indiana.

It is the largest community-college system in the nation with more than 210,000 enrolled at campuses in 31 cities. He was named to that post in December.

In that position, Hogan has been leading efforts to expand outreach to employers in the state and help match Ivy Tech’s degrees and training programs to the state’s workforce needs to better prepare students for jobs, according to an announcement issued by the college system.

Hogan was one of four finalists to be interviewed for the NPCC job on Monday and Tuesday of last week. The other candidates for the last round of interviews were Linda Birkner, vice chancellor of administration at the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton; Steve R00k, vice president of academic and student affairs at Rich Mountain Community College in Mena; and Ricky Tomkins, vice president of learning at Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville.

Bush said surveys were taken of faculty, staff and community members who heard from the four finalists during meetings with them in Hot Springs. He said Hogan received the most positive comments in all categories.

“He has great buy-in from the community,” Carder said.

One of the projects Hogan will be working on as the new college president will be the partnership between NPCC and Henderson State University, which recently announced it will open a branch in Hot Springs.

Christi Batts, executive director of HSU-Hot Springs, said she has met the president-designate and knows he will work well with Henderson State.

“He is very personable and very intelligent,” she said. “Most importantly, he is very interested in the students. That will matter most of all. I know Dr. Hogan and NPCC will continue to build on our partnership.”

Although Hogan was the only candidate for the school’s presidency who is not from Arkansas, he has connections to the state. His wife, Dorelle, is a graduate of Harding University in Searcy, and one of the Hogan’s three sons, Adam, is a sophomore at Harding.

The couple’s youngest son is a high school senior in Columbus and will move to Hot Springs with his parents. Their oldest son is a bank-branch manager in Columbus.

Before being named to a position in the administration of the system in Indiana, Hogan

was chancellor for the system’s college in Columbus for 11 years. He has been a faculty member and administrator in the college system since 1988.

Under his leadership, enrollment at the college from a six-county Columbus/Franklin, Indiana, region increased from 480 students in 2005 to 1,600 currently.

Hogan was also a successful fundraiser for the area college. Donations were $93,000 in 2003 and were reported as $1.98 million in 2013.

Hogan attended Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green and earned a Bachelor of Science in health care administration and a Master of Arts in Education in college student personnel administration. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy in higher education administration from Indiana State University in Terre Haute.

In the community, Hogan was a member of the board of directors of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce and a member of the aviation commission of the Columbus

Municipal Airport for almost seven years. He volunteered as a youth basketball and baseball coach.

Carder said Hogan’s selection as president will make leaving the school easier for her.

“This is like giving away my baby,” Carder told the Tri-Lakes Edition. “But I can walk into retirement knowing the college is in capable hands. He will build on our success and move National Park to the next level.”

Staff writer Wayne Bryan can be reached at (501) 244-4460 or

Tri-Lakes Edition Writer Wayne Bryan can be reached at 501-244-4460 or

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