Dr. Jon Connolly
Secretary, Sussex County Community College
Jon Connolly graduated from Colby College in 1987 with majors in both Biology and Geology-Biology. After serving as a seventh and eighth grade science educator for three years, he earned a Master of Forest Science degree from the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies with interests in the biology of trees. In 1996 he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Maine in Biological Science. His research interests focused on fungi and their role in the decomposition of wood, bark, and leaves.
He has published more than a dozen peer-reviewed research articles, and has presented at numerous conferences and higher education leadership seminars. Jon was biology faculty at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania from 1997-1998, and at Husson University from 1998-2006. While at Husson he also served as the Assistant Chief Academic Officer from 2000-2005 and as the Associate Dean of Science and Humanities from 2005-2006. More recently he has been the Dean of Math, Science, and Healthcare at Lone Star College from 2006-2009, Vice President of Academic Affairs at the Northern Wyoming Community College District (NWCCD) from 2009- 20013, Interim President at NWCCD from January 2010-June 2010, and College Vice President and Academic Dean at Kennebec Valley Community College from 2013-present.
He credits his leadership success on the indispensable efforts of others in the talented teams with which he has worked. Such accomplishments include the revitalization of distressed academic programs, realigning the general education curriculum at two separate institutions, creating almost a dozen new academic programs, systematically fortifying faculty development opportunities; creating dozens of partnerships with high schools, colleges and universities, and philanthropic organizations, planning and designing new buildings for student and administrative use, and improving enrollment in an environment of enrollment declines. He is deeply committed to the mission of community colleges and to the people who deliver that mission.