Ivy Tech Community College has created a position to oversee the Franklin campus and work with local companies to be sure programs will help students get jobs.
The college named Tina Gross to be the first Franklin campus president. She has been campus executive director for three years and worked for Ivy Tech for 20 years. She is one of several new campus presidents Ivy Tech is naming this month as part of administrative restructuring the community college is doing across the state.
Students shouldn’t notice the changes because they are internal and administrative, impacting, for example, the boundary lines of the Ivy Tech region where Franklin’s campus is located, Gross said. For instance, that means Indianapolis Ivy Tech recruiters will go to Indian Creek and Franklin schools to talk to students rather than community college staffers from Columbus, she said.
As president of the Franklin campus, Gross will focus on building relationships with local business leaders and fundraising.
She will meet with local employers, such as Endress+Hauser in Greenwood and KYB and NSK in Franklin, to gauge whether Ivy Tech’s programs help students get jobs and to find out what training and experience companies are looking for in potential job candidates. She said the campus will be able to tailor its programs to fit the job needs in the community.
Gross also will raise money for scholarships, such as the two one-time scholarships the Caterpillar Foundation gave students last year. She will work to continue finding similar opportunities for students by meeting with business leaders.
She also will raise money for building projects, such as the completion of Ivy Tech’s 30,000-square-foot building in Franklin. The community college plans to renovate 9,000 square feet of the building, adding classrooms, science labs and offices. The work will allow Ivy Tech to add more degree programs and staff who will help students with financial aid and career counseling.
In her role as executive director, Gross oversaw the community college’s full-time staff of 10 people in Franklin and the day-to-day operations at the campus. She will continue to manage the campus staff, but a director will manage daily operations. She also will continue to work with campus groups such as the student government, mentoring students and trying to find internship opportunities for them.
The shift of the Franklin campus from the Columbus region to Indianapolis was made because research showed that most of the local students came from the southside and Johnson County. In addition, when the Columbus region was enlarged, it took in large areas of southeast Indiana; and putting Franklin in the Indianapolis region likely will better serve the local campus’s needs.
The reorganization of Ivy Tech appears to make good sense. Having a local administrator should allow the campus to be more responsive to local needs.
We congratulate Gross on her appointment as Franklin campus president, and we commend her on an eagerness to reach out to local industries to better serve their workforce needs.