LIBERAL – Seward County Community College named Luke Dowell vice president of academic affairs at its monthly board meeting in July. The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to appoint Dowell to the position.
Dowell, currently dean of instruction, filled the vacancy opened by Joseph McCann, who left in June.
SCCC President Ken Trzaska believes Dowell has all the traits to be successful as vice president of academic affairs.
“Mr. Dowell has high acumen of Higher Learning Commission processes, assessment, distance learning platforms and strategy, and career and technical education,” Trzaska said. “His experience as a faculty member, division chairperson, and dean gives Mr. Dowell a melded perspective around our teaching and learning mission. He has earned high respect from his peers for his calm and steady approach to serving students and leading his team. This is a key trait for a VPAA.”
A native of Colby, Kan., Dowell has degrees from Colby Community College, Kansas State University and Fort Hays State University. He began his career at SCCC as an adjunct instructor in 1993 before joining full-time in 1998.
In 2008, he was appointed division chair of math, science and health, physical education, recreation, and dance. As part of an administrative refocusing process, Dowell became dean of the division in the summer of 2016.
Dowell went on to become dean of arts and science and then dean of instruction which combined overseeing the math, humanities and business and agriculture divisions.
The progression has prepared him for his position of vice president of academic affairs which also include industrial tech and allied health under his watch.
“I think it has definitely helped,” Dowell said. “I have had the opportunity to take on more responsibilities and learn from great people throughout the college. I have learned a lot about myself and what I can do to be a valuable part of the team.
“I have enjoyed being involved in different aspects of the college and working together to meet the needs of our students, coworkers, and community,” he continued. “Education is always changing and presenting challenges, none bigger than what we face now, but it still comes back to focusing on our mission and values as we face those challenges.”
Dowell also believes he will be successful because of the support around him.
“One of the major reasons why I felt ready for this challenge is the people around me — the deans that I work with, the division chairs, the program coordinators, the faculty, the staff and administration,” he said. “I feel comfortable working with everybody. I’m comfortable to the point that I know we’re going to support each other.”
“We have such a good team,” Dowell continued. “I’m excited and looking forward to it. It’s going to be the biggest challenge of my career, but I’m ready for it.”