The Crowder College Board of Trustees has named Dr. Thomas R. Burke as Interim President of Crowder College. Dr. Burke will begin his duties on July 1, 2018, and he will serve as Interim President until such time as the Board of Trustees chooses a permanent President. Dr. Jennifer Methvin, the current President of Crowder College, will be leaving Crowder effective June 30, 2018, as she has accepted the position of Chancellor at Arkansas State University-Beebe.
Dr. Burke obtained his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D., at the University of Mississippi, Oxford. Dr. Burke began his teaching career at Mountain Empire Community College, Big Stone Gap, Virginia, eventually becoming Acting President of that college. Dr. Burke was then Academic Vice President at Three Rivers Community College, Poplar Bluff, Missouri, for six (6) years. Dr. Burke was then named as President of Independence Community College, Independence, Kansas in 1986, and then became Vice President of Kansas City Kansas Community College, Kansas City, Kansas in 1988. In 1992, Dr. Burke was named President of Kansas City Kansas Community College, where he served until his retirement in 2011. Upon his retirement from KCKCC, the new technical education center was named, in his honor, the “Dr. Thomas R. Burke Technical Education Center”.
Dr. Burke has served on several community and state boards including the Kansas City, Kansas Area Chamber of Commerce, the Wyandotte Economic Development Council, the Governor’s Council for Consolidation of Kansas City, Kansas and Wyandotte County Governments, the Kansas Community College Council of Presidents and the Kansas Postsecondary Technical Education Authority. In 2010, Dr. Burke was honored with admittance to the Midwest Educational Hall of Fame, and in 2017, Dr. Burke was honored with admittance to the University of Mississippi, School of Education Hall of Fame.
Dr. Burke and his wife, Sara, will be residing in Neosho, Missouri, during the time that he serves as Interim President of Crowder College. Sara Burke, formally Sara Jones, grew up in Neosho, Missouri, and graduated from Neosho High School.
Andy Wood, Chairman of the Crowder Board of Trustees stated, “We are very fortunate to have Dr. Burke serve as our interim president. The Board is confident Dr. Burke will do a great job in moving forward the strategic plan put in place by Dr. Methvin and the Crowder family. The Board is excited at the opportunity to work with Dr. Burke”.