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WATC head applies for Arkansas job

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, at 11:20 a.m.
  • Updated Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, at 9:34 p.m.

Tony Kinkel, president of Wichita Area Technical College, is one of four candidates being considered for the top job at Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville.

Kinkel has been president of WATC since January 2011.

The college’s board narrowed the field at its board meeting on Friday. A final decision will likely be made at the Nov. 12 board meeting, according to Northwest Arkansas Community College spokesman Steve Hinds.

The college’s current president, Becky Paneitz, has announced she will retire effective June 30.

Kinkel had run a community college in Arkansas earlier in his career and described Arkansas as his second home. It’s nothing against Wichita, he said.

“I love Wichita, and love what we’re doing here, and I’d be very happy to stay,” he said.

In his letter to the board in Arkansas, Kinkel cited bringing the college back from insolvency and eliminating employee furloughs. He also noted recognition from the National Association of Manufacturers as a leader in aviation training, having a 94 percent placement rate for graduates, and student satisfaction rates higher than Kansas and national averages.

Prior to coming to Wichita, Kinkel was president of Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs for 31/2 years.

Before going to Colorado, Kinkel was chancellor of the University of Arkansas Community College in Batesville, Ark.

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