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With the news that Dr. Steven Kurtz, will end his term as Mineral Area College president on Dec. 31 instead of June 30 as he had originally announced, the Mineral Area College Board of Trustees has named CFO Shirley Hofstetter to serve as the college's interim president.

After announcing his resignation at the September trustees meeting, Kurtz notified the board of trustees, as well as the faculty and staff, of his acceptance of a "once-in-a-lifetime professional opportunity" that he will begin in January in the Pacific Northwest.

Making his resignation public, Kurtz said, “It’s been my privilege to serve you all. It felt right. I’ve been thinking about this actually for quite a while. When it feels right, it’s the right thing to do.

"I appreciate the support of the board — this is not a farewell speech — I just want to let you know, thank you for your support over the years, especially with my family.

"We think highly of all of you. Now we’re going to move on to the next chapter of our lives ... we’re going to do things that eventually you would have figured out anyway.”

Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, Kurtz graduated from a private high school after which he attended Pima Community College for two years and ran cross-country. He then transferred to the University of Arizona where he completed his undergraduate degree in two years.

After earning his master's and doctorate degrees, Kurtz came to MAC in 2001, filling the vacancy left by retiring dean of arts and sciences, Dr. Jim Bullis. Then, following the retirement of Dr. Terry Barnes, Kurtz was named interim president of the community college in 2006 and was named MAC president in February 2007.

Hofstetter, who will become interim president at the start of the new year, began her career at MAC as chief financial officer in September of 2015. She came to the community college from East Central College where she had served as director of financial services.

Hofstetter is a CPA and holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. According to the trustees, she "has been instrumental in establishing the college budget under very difficult financial circumstances."

Due to concerns about decreases in state revenue and declining enrollment, the board choose Hofstetter to lead the community college's focus on financial stability.

Responding to her appointment as interim president, Hofstetter said, "Mineral Area College is facing many challenges, however, our talented faculty and staff understand that now more than ever we all need to work together and focus on serving students and our community."

According to the board of trustees, it has appointed a presidential search committee composed of faculty, staff, administrators, board members and community members to lead the search for a new president for the college. The college is launching a national search with the goal of interviewing finalists in February.

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Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or kjenkins@dailyjournalonline.com

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