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Kristie Fisher, president of Iowa Valley Community College District and former senior director for ACT, was unveiled as Kirkwood Community College's sixth president in the institution's history at a news conference May 4. She will assume the position Oct. 30, taking over for current president Lori Sundberg, who is retiring in the fall. "The board can rest assured that I will treasure this opportunity and will work every day to fulfill the Kirkwood mission," Ms. Fisher said in her remarks. "I am honored to have the opportunity to continue the great work that has made Kirkwood a leader in our communities, in our state, on a national level and in so many places throughout the globe." Ms. Fisher returns to Kirkwood nearly 10 years after leaving the university in her role as vice president of student services, a position she held for eight years. She then became a senior director/assistant vice president at ACT, Inc. in Iowa City, where she stayed until being named president of Iowa Valley. She told the CBJ that her time at ACT gave her an appreciation of research. "Being able to dig deep into research helped me think differently about the student experience and how to support students," she explained. "I spent so much of my time when I was at ACT really traveling around the country and talking about ACT's research." Before joining Kirkwood the first time, Ms. Fisher was director of community relations with College Community School District in Cedar Rapids for four years from 2000-2004. She also studied at Kirkwood before getting a degree in communications studies and eventually, a MBA, from the University of Iowa. Ms. Fisher holds a PhD in educational leadership and policy studies from Iowa State University. "Even though my career has taken me to other wonderful places, my heart has never really left Kirkwood," she said. A search committee interviewed five semifinalists for the role, before narrowing the field to three candidates. The nationwide search began in January. The other two finalists were Lisa Armour, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs for Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida and Lori Suddick, president of the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois, the school said in a press release May 1. "I think we would have been happy with any of the three," said Kirkwood Board of Trustees Chair Jim Mollenhauer during his introduction. "But as we deliberated, it became increasingly clear who stood out above the rest. "She has shown everyone that she is a dedicated and established leader that gets results," he added. "She has proven time and time again that she has a great gift for leadership that some can only dream of having." Ms. Fisher is rejoining Kirkwood at a time when the university is in transition. In January, the university announced it would sell its Iowa City campus and move operations to its site in Coralville, anticipating the decision would save Kirkwood $400,000. Kirkwood then announced a month later it would be laying off faculty and staff, as well as closing or modifying three programs, due to low enrollment. But she told the CBJ she is excited to learn about opportunities Kirkwood has already invested in, including its new aviation program. "Kirkwood has always felt innovative, supportive of students and really engaged in the community," she said. "And I believe that to still be really true." The incoming president thanked Dr. Sundberg in her speech, pointing toward her working relationship with her as a fellow university president over the last five years. "I know she has led this institution through some very difficult times during a pandemic and a derecho," Ms. Fisher said. "I consider her a friend and a trusted colleague, and I'm honored to follow in her footsteps."