FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. — Community leaders in Fayetteville welcomed Dr. Anthony Kinkel, the new president of Motlow College, during a reception held earlier this month at the Sundquist Center for Advanced Technologies on the college’s local campus.
The reception and tour was one of four held across Motlow’s 11-county service area for the incoming president.
“I believe Motlow College contributes more to Lincoln County than any other industry,” said Charles Gleghorn, chairman of the Bank of Lincoln County’s board of directors and a trustee of the Motlow College Foundation for more than 30 years. “Education is the only way you’re going to change this country.”
A community leader who spearheaded the effort for the Motlow College Fayetteville Center, Gleghorn highlighted the college’s strong presence in the community here and commended city and county officials, local industries, and other individuals who had the foresight to make that happen – “Anything can be done if you have enough people dedicated to the cause,” he said.
During the reception at the Sundquist Center, Kinkel expressed his delight at being in Tennessee and part of the Motlow College staff. He praised Gov. Bill Haslam’s Tennessee Promise program, which provides two years of tuition-free attendance at a community or technical college in Tennessee.
“Tennessee is the only state left that is investing in higher education opportunities, with the Tennessee Promise program,” said Kinkel, commending Laura Monks, director of the Fayetteville campus, where enrollment has already increased 15 percent from last fall. “There are 49 states that are cutting money to fund higher education, and Tennessee is investing.”
“Tennessee funds education on outcomes and not on seats in a chair,” he said, adding that he believes in the program and will encourage the pursuit of additional mentors for the program. He added that he is a staunch advocate of the college’s dual enrollment program and will work to see that Motlow’s offerings accommodate the needs of area industries.
“Forty-five percent of U.S. jobs are being studied for automation,” he continued, saying technology will revolutionize the way we live and learn.
Kinkel replaces Dr. MaryLou Apple, who retired as Motlow College president on June 30.
“We need more mentors and we need more community service opportunities,” said Kinkel. “I want to challenge individuals in Lincoln County and the surrounding communities to become a mentor and provide community service opportunities for the students.”
Kinkel is married to Melva Kinkel, and they have two sons, Bret, 28, and Kellen, 14. Kellen accompanied his father to the Fayetteville reception.
Kinkel’s early career was in public service, having been elected at age 24 to the Minnesota House of Representatives, where he served 12 years. He served in the Minnesota Senate from 1999-2002.
Kinkel served as chancellor at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville from 2004 to 2007 after leading Maryland’s community colleges as state director for the Maryland Association of Community Colleges. He was also the dean of general education at Northwest Technical College and previously taught political science at Central Lakes Community College in Minnesota.
Kinkel then served as president of Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado, where he was named President of the Year by the Colorado Community College Student Association. He was nominated as Business Person of the Year by the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, and selected as Innovator of the Year by the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Center for Limited Government. While he led the campus, retention rates for underrepresented minority students grew 20 percent.
Kinkel was chosen to lead Wichita Area Technical College, one of the largest two-year colleges in the Kansas Board of Regents System, in Dec 2010. During his tenure, enrollment has grown 15 percent. The college’s National Center for Aviation Training was selected by the National Association of Manufacturing to develop the national standards in aviation curriculum. The number of students earning a credential doubled, and job placement increased each year.
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