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New local leader for Ivy Tech

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The new leader of the local Ivy Tech Community College region said he doesn’t expect significant changes in programs while the college reorganizes part of its structure.

Steven Combs, who was named interim chancellor of the Columbus/Franklin region of Ivy Tech, will help lay the groundwork for the upcoming merger with the southeast region. Ivy Tech has announced a regional reorganization, which combines the Columbus and Franklin sites with the southeast locations of Batesville, Lawrenceburg and Madison.

Combs will communicate what’s happening and when and keep the regional sites involved in the process.

He said his focus is on academics. He has been with Ivy Tech for 21 years and was named vice chancellor of academic affairs for the Columbus/Franklin region in 2012.

“My priority is education first,” he said. “We want to provide the best education we can to prepare our students for the workforce.”

Few details are available about the reorganization, but Combs said there will be no big educational programming shifts. He wants to start conversations to expand and enhance some programs. Columbus offers an agriculture program, for example, which could be extended to the southeast locations during the reorganization.

Ivy Tech President Thomas Snyder said Combs will help Ivy Tech shape its organizational structure and find ways to increase efficiencies and savings.

Combs is identifying possible partnerships and shared services, such as in the information technology structure at the Columbus/Franklin and southeast regions.

He also will be involved in the process of finding a new chancellor to oversee the consolidated Columbus/Franklin and southeast region. John Hagan left the position after he was appointed Ivy Tech’s new associate vice president for student affairs and placement.

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