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Joe Kanosky


President Emeritus
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Joe earned his Bachelor’s degree in English from Western Illinois University in 1971. From 1971 to 1973 he worked in road construction and dabbled in the insurance industry. From 1973 to 1978 Joe was a high school English teacher and football and track coach in the Galesburg, Illinois area. From 1978 to 1981, Joe was a full time graduate student at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. At Illinois State he earned both his MSEd. and Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Foundations.

During his years at ISU, Joe served as graduate research assistant for Alan Hickrod and Ben Hubbard in the areas of school finance and the politics of education. During the graduate study years, Joe spent the summer of 1980 at ETS in Princeton, New Jersey, as a graduate research fellow in education politics. Joe presented his research results at the spring 1981 AERA Conference in Los Angeles.

Joe came to Highland Community College in the fall of 1981 from Illinois State and has held a variety of positions in the areas of student services, instructional program administration, community service and economic development. Joe has been a Director, an Associate Dean, and a Dean. He served as Vice President for Student and Community Services from 2000 to 2003 and Vice President for Institutional and Community Development from 2003 until November of 2005 when he was named acting President. Joe was selected as Highland’s seventh President in June of 2006.

Joe served on the Freeport School Board for almost eight years with two of those years as board president. While on the school board, Joe served as a member of the school district’s Equity Steering Committee and continues as a member of the Key Communicators Committee. He also holds a position on two Workforce Investment Boards, which serve northern Illinois, and is a member of the board of the Tri-County Economic Development Alliance. He also serves on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club and State Bank of Freeport, and is a member of the Freeport Noon Rotary. His past service includes being on the board of directors of the Freeport Area Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Illinois Development Alliance.

On the State level, Joe is a member of the Illinois Council of Community College Presidents. He has presented at the Illinois Council of Community College Administrators conference on several occasions sharing his expertise on leadership and core values.

Joe and his wife Jennifer have been in Freeport since the fall of 1981. Jennifer previously served as a guidance counselor at Freeport Senior High School before retiring this year. They have two grown children, Andrew and Alison.

Dr. Kanosky retired on June 30, 2015 and was granted the title of President Emeritus by the HCC Board of Trustees effective July 1, 2015.


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