Former graduate to return to lead institution as sixth president in college’s history
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (May 4, 2023)–Kirkwood Community College named Dr. Kristie Fisher as its next president at a press conference held on the college’s main campus this afternoon. She will be the sixth president in the institution’s history.
Currently the president of Iowa Valley Community College in Marshalltown, Fisher has served in that role since 2019. She returns to Kirkwood after having served two previous stints at the college. From 1995 to 2000, Fisher served as the annual giving director for the college’s foundation. Following a four-year period as the director of community relations with College Community School District in Cedar Rapids, she came back to Kirkwood in 2004 to serve as the director of special projects and assistant to the president under Mick Starcevich’s leadership. In 2006, Fisher was named Kirkwood’s vice president of student services, a position she held until 2014. She then became the Senior Director/Assistant Vice President of National Associations and Market Engagement for ACT, Inc. in Iowa City, where she stayed until being named president of Iowa Valley.
To Fisher, being named the sixth president in the college’s more than 50-year history is a dream come true.
“I am thrilled and honored to be named the next president of this great institution,” said Fisher. “As a graduate of Kirkwood, and having served in various roles for the college in my professional career, I know firsthand how much of an impact it has on our region. Kirkwood changes lives. I’ve seen it with my own eyes and even experienced it myself. I have a special place in my heart for this college. After being away for a number of years, it feels like I’m coming home and it’s very exciting.”
Fisher holds a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Iowa State University. In addition, she also earned both an MBA and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa. She started her college academic career at Kirkwood, graduating with an Associate of Arts degree.
The Kirkwood Board of Trustees named Fisher as the next president of the institution following an extensive nationwide search, which began in late January. To Board Chair Jim Mollenhauer, after reviewing all the applicants the choice was clear.
“Dr. Fisher has all the elements the board was looking for in a president,” said Mollenhauer. “She has shown everyone that she is a dedicated and established leader that gets results. She has proven time and time again that she has a great gift for leadership that some can only dream of having. Considering all this and much more, Dr. Fisher was without a doubt the right choice to take Kirkwood into the future.”
Fisher will succeed current Kirkwood President Lori Sundberg who is retiring in the fall.