SHELDON—There’s a new leader at the helm of Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon as it looks to continue its expansion in future years.

John Hartog was named college president Monday evening, Feb. 22, after the NCC board of trustees voted unanimously to promote him from his previous position as vice president of student and academic services, which he has held since 2011.

“We know who we are; we have a long-standing track record of excellence and quality,” Hartog said in his first address to the board. “We have a rich heritage as a technical college, and that will continue to thrive in years to come. We are also a comprehensive community college, so we look how to enhance the non-technical side of the college.”

The new president’s full-picture approach made him “a natural choice” to be the next figurehead of the school, according to board president Adam Besaw.

“As a board we are excited and confident that he will provide the right energy, expertise, and collaborative leadership for NCC,” Besaw said in announcing Hartog as president.

Hartog will be taking over for Alethea Stubbe, who is retiring June 30. She has held the position since 2011 and has served at NCC for 30 years.

“Dr. Hartog exemplifies a deep understanding of issues facing students and higher education and a vision for the future,” Besaw said. “Northwest Iowa Community College will continue to grow and be a great resource to our communities under Dr. Hartog’s leadership.”

Hartog holds numerous degrees and has studied widely, including a master’s in classical and Near Eastern studies, a doctorate in systematic theology and doctoral-level study of educational leadership.

Before coming to NCC — a move for which he thanked Stubbe in his remarks — Hartog served as president of Faith Baptist College & Theological Seminary in Ankeny.

In light of his new duties, Hartog told the board that he will remain grounded and not lose sight of his role’s purpose.

“I am the same person as I was yesterday, as I am today, as I am tomorrow; the change is that the responsibilities have been increased,” the incoming president said. “I do hope to rise to your expectations and to fulfill them, and, whenever possible, to exceed them for the good of the college and our students and for our service area.”

The appointment comes as NCC works to improve its student facilities and academic quality, some of which Hartog helped oversee in his current position.

In recent years, the college has expanded recruitment, on-campus housing, and programs offered.

Before confirming the next president, the board discussed recent building renovations and the nascent welding program.

“What we do, we do very well — again, one of the high-performing colleges in the entire country,” Hartog said. “In the days ahead, there will be challenges, but we want to have incremental improvements in any area in which we can improve. It’s almost like a performance boost.”

The college held internal applications open for two weeks after Stubbe announced her retirement in January.

The board then interviewed Hartog and recommended his appointment in a meeting agenda item that Besaw prepared, which repeated language calling Hartog’s hire “a natural choice.”