• Go Beavers!!!

Hamm Elected President of KACCT

06 July 2015

Pratt Community College Board Chair Michele Hamm has confirmed the next step in her service to the college and will spend the coming year as president of the Kansas Association of Community College Trustees. This will be Hamm’s second year on the executive committee, having just completed a one year term as secretary.

All 19 Kansas community colleges have representatives in KACCT, which aims to advocate for its constituencies through cooperation, collaboration and communication.

“I still feel like a newcomer in a lot of ways, as many of the other association members have served for 20 or 30 years,” said Hamm, who has spent six years on the PCC board of trustees. “It has been highly beneficial to take part in the meetings and discussions over the years, and I am honored to have the support of KACCT and [PCC] President Calvert.”

Hamm brings a unique background to her role as president, coming in as a woman and stay at home mother, but says this only strengthens the discussions at the state level.

“I don’t have a long resume of professional degrees or publications like many of the other trustees, and I find myself in the company of many accomplished businessmen and executives,” she said. “However I am a community college graduate myself and have housed dozens of community college students in my home over the years. Maintaining a close look at the day to day operations and challenges of community colleges allows me to contribute a different perspective to the conversation. It is the combination of all our backgrounds together that helps us move forward.”

The association meets once a quarter at different host colleges around Kansas with additional monthly phone conferences by the executive committee. According to Hamm, there’s been increased talk of shifting more of the meetings to phone to cut back on travel time across the state, but she finds the personal connections and member networking to be an invaluable part of the KACCT experience.

“The face to face interactions are so important for accomplishing our goal of joining together to unify our voices,” she said. “When you look around the room at the many faces present, it really softens the competitive edge that is sometimes present in other situations.”

Along with increased planning and organizational responsibilities, Hamm will serve as the primary liaison between KACCT members and Linda Fund, the KACCT executive director, and will also work more closely with Allie Devine and John Donley, KACCT’s lobbyists in Topeka. Hamm wasn’t slated for presidency for another year, but stepped up early due to mitigating health issues of another committee member.

The Kansas Association of Community College Trustees, whose forerunner was formed in 1994, is a non-profit association based in Topeka with the vision of responsive, affordable, accessible and quality learning opportunities.