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Illinois Central College taps Harper administrator to be next president

  • Harper College News Bureau
  • April 22, 2016

Dr. Sheila Quirk-BaileyThe Illinois Central College Board of Trustees has unanimously approved the selection of Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey to be their next college president. Dr. Quirk-Baily currently serves as Harper’s Chief of Staff and Vice President of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness. Quirk-Baily replaces John Erwin, who retired as ICC’s president earlier this year.

"Serving as Illinois Central College’s fifth president will be a great honor. ICC is an excellent institution, and I am humbled and excited by the opportunity to support its future successes. I am looking forward to working with all of the outstanding people I met during the interview process and establishing relationships with our students, employees, partners and community stakeholders. I especially want to thank the search committee and the Board of Trustees for their confidence in me," Dr. Quirk-Bailey said.

Dr. Quirk-Bailey holds a Doctorate of Management in Community College Policy and Administration from the University of Maryland University College; a Master of Arts in Communications from Northern Illinois University; and a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication from Bradley University. At Harper, Quirk-Baily was the chief architect and facilitator of the college’s community-based strategic plan. The recently completed strategic plan resulted in a 10 percentage point point increase in Harper’s graduation rate, as well as the College winning the national Leah Meyer Austin Award for Excellence from Achieving the Dream.

Sue Portscheller, retiring board chair and chair of the presidential search committee, said, "After in-depth consideration of a pool of very fine finalists, we came to the decision that Dr. Quirk-Bailey was the best candidate to lead Illinois Central College forward. Not only will she bring a breadth of community college experience to our school, but she is well acquainted with the Illinois Community College System. Her focus on student success, data-driven decision making, and workforce development will be key in sustaining the successes ICC has experienced in its first 50 years."

"I am extremely pleased and proud that Dr. Quirk-Baily has been selected to lead ICC," said Harper College President Dr. Ken Ender. “She has been an integral part of our moving our student success agenda forward at Harper, and she will bring the same student-centered focus to ICC. We wish her nothing but the best as she begins this new chapter in her life."

In addition to her work at Harper, Dr. Quirk-Bailey is very active in the community. She chairs the Northwest Educational Council for Student Success (NECSS), an innovative partnership between Harper College and its three sender districts. The partnership's work helped increase college readiness of recent high school graduates in math by 27 percentage points over the last four years. She has created strategic partnerships with 3COM, Motorola, Ameritech, Siemens and five regional hospitals. She has served on many Chambers and Economic Development Boards, and she is the past chair of the Board of Directors of the Schaumburg Business Association, one of the largest business organizations in Illinois. Prior to joining Harper College, Dr. Quirk-Bailey was an Education Manager and Instructional Designer at Andersen Consulting’s Center for Professional Education.

Dr. Quirk-Bailey’s appointment requires the finalization of her contract by a vote of the Board, scheduled for their next meeting on May 19, 2016.

Media contact:Kim Pohl, Media Relations Manager, 847.925.6159