Contact: Don Sevener, 217/557-7334
February 15, 2002
DANIEL J. LaVISTA NAMED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Board of Higher Education has selected Daniel J. LaVista,
President of McHenry County College, as its next Executive Director. LaVista has a long record of
administrative and academic leadership in Illinois and elsewhere, including as President of the College
of Lake County (CLC). He has been at the helm of McHenry County College (MCC) since 1997.
LaVista will assume the duties of Executive Director May 1, succeeding Keith R. Sanders,
who retires at the end of May after 4 ½ years in the position.
“The Board is delighted to have a person of Dan LaVista’s stature, integrity, and record of
achievement as its new Executive Director,” Philip J. Rock, Chairman of the Board of Higher
Education, said. “The pool of candidates for this position was exceptionally strong, and Dr. LaVista’s
experience gives the Board a proven leader in higher education at this critical time for our state’s
system of colleges and universities.”
Dr. LaVista said: “I look forward to this extraordinary opportunity to serve the Board of
Higher Education, the higher education community, and the citizens of Illinois. I congratulate the
Board for developing The Illinois Commitment, a strategic vision that will guide us during the
challenging times ahead.” LaVista said expanding access to college and protecting affordability of a
college degree must continue to be high priorities for the Board and the higher education community.
“The growing economic and social value of a college degree – to graduates, to the state, and to
society – demands that we broaden access to higher education and place greater emphasis on success
for all students,” LaVista said. “We also must be vigilant in our resolve that cost is never a barrier to
getting in the door of a college or university.”
He added that he agreed with Board policies aimed at strengthening diversity on college
campuses – among students as well as faculty and administrators – and measures to aggressively reach
out to nontraditional students with programs and services to meet them at the crossroads of their needs
and lifestyles. He also praised efforts to expand access, bolster affordability, and fortify the quality of
programs through technology, citing the educational value of the Illinois Century Network, and such
learning initiatives as the Illinois Virtual Campus, Illinois Community Colleges Online, and the
Illinois Virtual High School.
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