FREEPORT— During the May 21 Regular Board Meeting, Trustees voted unanimously to approve the contract with Chris Kuberski to serve as the ninth president/executive officer of Highland Community College effective July 1. Kuberski currently is Highland’s executive vice president.
The board met with Kuberski to conduct a thorough review of her qualifications and skills before determining the need for a nation-wide search. A critical part of that review included an interview committee with members representing the faculty, staff, HCC Foundation, students, and community.
“We have observed first-hand Chris’s skills in collaboration, fiscal understanding, instruction, and strategic planning. After the board considered all of her qualifications, trustees voted unanimously to enter into contract negotiations with Chris,” explained Board Chair, Jim Endress.
Kuberski started at Highland in 2015 as the executive vice president, where she provides leadership to the administrative team under the direction of the president. She also serves as the chief academic officer helping align planning for the college and providing input, coordination, and leadership for institutional planning and effectiveness. Kuberski leads the College’s Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation process for the college and is a trained HLC Peer Reviewer.
“Chris’s previous experience as an HLC accreditation liaison for Rend Lake College, allowed her to hit the ground running for us when it came to the HLC accreditation process,” said Endress. “She built a plan, had faculty and staff volunteer for criterion workgroups, and encouraged strong delivery of evidence for building the College’s case to HLC–all while still meeting strategic planning goals and building efficiencies.”
“Chris’s leadership will keep Highland moving forward after the pandemic. She is dependable and puts plans into action. This is an exciting next chapter for Highland,” said Endress.
Before joining Highland, Kuberski held multiple administrative positions at Rend Lake College in Ina, Ill., including the vice president of academic instruction and the liberal arts division chair. She also instructed English/speech at Rend Lake College and English as a Second Language at Southern Illinois University in Nakajo, Japan, and Carbondale, Ill.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Olivet Nazarene University in Kankakee, Ill., in the area of English, Secondary Education, and a Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Kuberski is working toward a Community College Leadership Certificate from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.
In addition to her administrative duties at Highland, Kuberski is a member of the Women’s Enrichment Network for the Greater Freeport Partnership, the Association of Supervision and Curriculum, the Chief Academic Officers of the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) and previously served on multiple ICCB committees.
In her free time, Kuberski enjoys spending time with her family and friends, gardening, reading, and helping out with their Clydesdale horses. Kuberski and her husband, Paul, live in Freeport, Ill. They own a family farm in southern Illinois that their son, Josh, and his wife, Desiree, oversee. Josh’s twin brother, Zach, lives in Rochelle, Ill., and works for Maplehurst Farms. The Kuberskis also have a daughter, Mara, who is a graduate of Southern Illinois University and is a Highland alum.