After a nationwide search, Dr. Keith Cornille, executive vice president and chief student services officer at Madison Area Technical College, has been chosen to become president of Heartland Community College in Normal, Ill. He brings 32 years’ experience in higher education to his new role, 18 of those served during his tenure at Madison College.
Cornille, a resident of Sun Prairie, joined Madison College in 2000 as director of Student Life and served as dean for the School of Academic Advancement. In his current role, he is responsible for leadership and oversight of enrollment and student services, programs and services that promote student development, building inclusive learning communities and preparing students for success on the job and in the communities in which they live.
Prior to joining Madison College, Cornille served in various student service positions at Indiana University-Southeast, College of DuPage (Ill.) and Richard J. Daley College in Chicago. His credentials include a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Edgewood College; master’s in Education Administration from Northeastern Illinois University; bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Eastern Illinois University; and an associate degree from the College of DuPage.
“Madison College has seen many changes over the course of Dr. Cornille’s tenure,” said President Dr. Jack E. Daniels. “But what has remained constant is his heartfelt, tireless advocacy for student success in and out of the classroom. It is that advocacy which has so amply prepared him for success as the president of Heartland Community College.”
Daniels says Dr. Cornille’s leadership is evidenced through the creation of the onsite health clinic at the college’s Truax Campus, establishment of Student Achievement Centers at its Madison metro and regional campuses, and improved access for underserved and financially disadvantaged populations through the “Scholars of Promise” program. He also credits Cornille with playing a key role in the college’s plan to build a new south Madison campus, his leadership in fundraising campaigns and creating the Madison Metropolitan School District’s STEM Academy.
Asked to reflect on his time at Madison College, Cornille says it is a sense of shared purpose and commitment to student success that has shaped his development as a college leader. While he is quick to acknowledge “the good fortune of working with highly talented faculty and staff who always place the wellbeing and success of students first,” it is his collaboration with students of which he is most proud.
“I have worked with so many exceptional student leaders who aren’t afraid to tackle some pretty heady issues such as transportation, food insecurity, textbook rental and social justice issues related to equity and inclusion. They demonstrate empathy and compassion. They listen purposefully and strive to do what is right,” Cornille said. “If these individuals are representative of those who will take care of us tomorrow, we’re in pretty good shape.”
Cornille will remain at Madison College until June and will begin his duties as president of Heartland Community College July 1. Madison College President Daniels and the District Board of Trustees will begin work immediately to identify Cornille’s successor.