James Knott
James Knott
September 6, 2013

Veteran educator James Knott is seeking re-election to the Des Moines Area Community College's board of directors, a panel that oversees the ever-growing institution's full network, from Ankeny to Carroll.

Knott, 83, is on the ballot this coming Tuesday for re-election to the board for District 4, which includes Carroll and much of the surrounding area. He is the only formal candidate for the position.

"I think it is very important for this community that we have somebody who is knowledgeable about education," Knott said.

Knott described himself as an advocate for the entire college with a special interest in the Carroll campus. He is working to see development of more programs in Carroll - including a criminal-justice degree and collaborative efforts with businesses.

The Carroll area should pay close attention to ongoing DMACC planning, Knott said.

"We are going to have changes to the structure of the community colleges in the next four years," Knott said.

Knott served as a Carroll High School teacher from 1961 to 1987 and then as dean-provost at the Des Moines Area Community College Carroll campus for nearly 20 years.

When Knott started at DMACC enrollment in Carroll stood at 180 students. He officially retired from the provost position in 2006 with enrollment at 847. Soon after completing administrative duties, Knott earned a spot on the Des Moines Area College's nine-member board of directors.

DMACC hired Knott as one of the first educators for its Carroll outreach in 1972. Knott continues to teach philosophy and ethics for DMACC - but voluntarily with no pay.

Carroll attorney and former Lt. Gov. Art Neu, a longtime advocate for DMACC, said Knott has provided superb leadership for DMACC in Carroll.

"Under his leadership the 2+2 program in elementary education and business technology was established with UNI (University of Northern Iowa)," Neu said. "The graduates of the elementary-education program have for the most part found jobs with schools in the Carroll area. I don't think people understand what an accomplishment this was and how well Jim worked with the UNI people to get the program operating.

"He established a nursing program with the University of Iowa which will help supply hospitals in Carroll and contiguous counties with nurses. Apart from those four-year-degree programs' DMACC's enrollment increased greatly while Jim was the provost, and he built up the faculty greatly. More and more young people in high school are taking college-level courses for which they receive credit at the university or college they attend.

"DMACC has also been an integral factor when new businesses look to locate or expand in Carroll and require training for their new employees. DMACC has been a great asset to the community."