Using teleconferencing technology and some cross-country travel, Dr. Mike Metke will serve as part-time president of Tyler Junior College until he begins full-time employment in January.

David Hudson, president of the TJC board of trustees, said the decision was “the smart thing to do” compared to the other option of naming a separate interim president and cited the work of the college’s faculty and staff as a factor in the decision.

“There are no difficulties or problems that are not being addressed by the people that we have on staff,” said Hudson. “These outstanding people can continue to manage the college without the appointment of an interim president.”

After Dr. William Crowe announced he would be leaving at the beginning of October to start a new job in Georgia, the board met several times to discuss options including the possibilities of naming one of the college’s vice presidents or someone unaffiliated with the college as interim president.

On Sept. 27, members of the board voted unanimously to exercise an option in Dr. Metke’s contract to move up his start date based on his availability.

“Our plan is for me to be working about quarter-time,” said Dr. Metke. “And then in December, I hope to ramp that up.”

Though he currently serves as president of Lake Washington Technical College in Kirkland, Wash., Dr. Metke will attend monthly board meetings in Tyler and will participate via teleconference in weekly meetings with TJC vice presidents.

Dr. Metke said starting earlier will give him time to get to know the college and the community so he can “hit the ground running” in January.

“I would like to engage in some strategic planning … and help develop a roadmap for the future,” said Dr. Metke. “For me it’s all about options, creating opportunities for students, finding a need and filling it.”

Dr. Metke, who studied and worked in Texas before taking his current job in Washington state, said he and his wife Donna are looking forward to their move to Tyler.

“My wife and I have been talking the last few days about how good it feels, the Texas way of life,” said Dr. Metke.

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