June 22, 2013

Incoming Butler Community College president stresses commitment to students

Butler Community College’s next president, Kimberly Krull, has worked in community colleges for years.

Butler Community College’s next president, Kimberly Krull, has worked in community colleges for years.

“I know what the expectations are in Kansas,” Krull said. “I have connections at every community college in the state.”

Most recently, she has been vice president for academic affairs at Cloud County Community College in Concordia for eight years. Earlier she taught at Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture.

Krull was chosen from a pool of three candidates at a board of trustees meeting Thursday night.

Ron Engelbrecht, chair of the presidential search committee, said Krull impressed the board with her commitment to student success.

“It was for a wide range of reasons, but one she really stood out on was her commitment to students,” Engelbrecht said. “That’s a big thrust for two-year colleges and four-year colleges moving forward, to increase our retention rates.”

The best way to accomplish that, Krull said, is to get to know the students at Butler.

“I want to go to events, be in the hallways, get to know them and have them know me,” she said.

She said she has stayed at small community colleges for one reason – at this level, professors and administrators play a key role in student development.

“If I can make a difference in one person’s life every day, I know I’ve done a good job,” Krull said. “Everyone at a community college campus touches a student life in some way.”

Cloud County’s president, Danette Toone, said she is confident Butler will find “they’ve made the best choice possible.”

“She truly is just a class act,” Toone said. “When she got back from her interviews, she said, ‘I just felt so comfortable there. I felt like this was the place I’m supposed to go to.’ ”

Toone said it will be difficult to replace Krull, who is well-known among Cloud County students.

“When you have good people, you know they will eventually find their ship to move on,” Toone said. “She’s a great leader with great energy.”

Krull will replace Jackie Vietti, who was Butler president for 17 years.

“She’s left a wonderful legacy and tradition at Butler,” Krull said. “I’m excited to be a part of its future.”

Contract negotiations are currently under way between Butler and Krull. Engelbrecht said Krull is expected to move into the role around Aug. 1. Until then, Butler’s interim president Karla Fisher will continue to serve.

In her spare time, Krull said she enjoys running, reading, and playing with her two dogs and one cat.

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