Michael Elbe Named JWCC's Sixth President

Michael Elbe has been selected as the next president of John Wood Community College.  The Board of Trustees, by unanimous vote, made the announcement following its regular meeting at the Quincy campus Wednesday evening, February 19.

Trustees contracted with Higher Plain Executive Placement to assist with the nationwide search that drew 45 candidates.  A Presidential Search Committee consisting of JWCC board members and five community leaders conducted the candidate interview process and recommended Elbe to be selected as the sixth president of the College.

Elbe will assume his new post April 1, 2014.  He succeeds Dr. John Letts, who will retire March 31 following more than 25 years at JWCC, serving as president in his final two years at the College.

“Mike proved himself every step of the way against some incredible candidates,“ Randy Sims, JWCC board and presidential search committee chair said.  “We are proud to say that we have a respected new leader committed to this community who will collaboratively grow the College through relationship building with students, employees and private business.”

Elbe has served as JWCC’s vice president for student services since 2012.  In that role he led  the areas of admissions, records, career and advising, educational support grant programs, financial aid, veterans’ affairs, student life and athletics. 

Over the course of his 26 years of professional experience, Elbe has served at four, four-year colleges in addition to his 13 years of service as director of student life and athletics at JWCC.  He served as director of student life from 1999 to 2002 and as assistant dean of students from 1998 to1999 for the University of Dubuque. From 1988 to 1990, Elbe was an academic advisor for the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, from 1987 to 1988 he served as a resident director for St. Andrew’s Presbyterian College and also served as  a graduate assistant for the University of Southern Alabama.  Elbe served as a faculty member at each of the four-year colleges where his was employed.

In addition to his administrative roles at JWCC, Elbe coached John Wood Trail Blazer men’s basketball for 13 seasons, compiling a 246-165 record. He received regional, district and conference Coach of the Year honors and led two teams that finished fifth and seventh in the nation. 

During his tenure at JWCC, Elbe has led and served on several College committees.  He served as a team leader for JWCC’s Higher Learning Commission self-study, was vice chair of the JWCC Leadership Council, served on Risk Management and Integrated Marketing Teams and numerous hiring committees.  He was named JWCC Professional Staff Member of the Year in 1996 and received the President’s Appreciation Award in 2009.

Active professionally and in the community, Elbe is co-chair of the professional division of the United Way of Adams County annual campaign, served as a team leader for the American Red Cross Heroes Campaign and presents “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” programs at local schools.

Elbe is currently an Educational Leadership doctoral candidate at William Woods University and recently earned an Educational Specialist in Administration (Ed.S.) as part of his doctoral work.  He received a Master of Science in education from the University of South Alabama and a Bachelor of Science in education from Quincy University with a State of Illinois teaching certificate.