October 21, 2013


When Des Moines Area Community College provost Steve Schulz started a new job as Carroll Middle School principal in 1991, he expected to be in the area for only a few years. Nearly 22 years later, he is finally moving on - a change that will be bittersweet.

On Friday, Schulz announced that he will be taking a position as president of North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City. He will start his new position on Dec. 1.

"I'm really excited about the opportunity," he said. "When I completed my Ph.D. I had goals of someday pursuing a college presidency. This is a great opportunity both personally and professionally."

For Schulz and his wife, Cathie, the time is right. Their daughters have completed their high school careers, graduates of Carroll High School, and left home for college. Schulz grew up in Franklin County, south of Mason City. At age 52, he hopes to have a solid decade to build his legacy as college president.

But Carroll and its residents will be missed.

"Carroll was a great fit, a great place to raise kids. I had multiple professional opportunities to advance," said Schulz. "The hardest part of taking a new job is leaving a community we love and friends we love."

Schulz said that he has also always been fortunate in having good staff and fellow faculty members.

"It's hard to leave those professional bonds," he said. "I've had lots of support. I can't thank the community enough for its support over our 22 years in Carroll."

Schulz was the middle school principal until 2000 when he became superintendent of the Carroll Community School District. In the fall of 2004, he left the district to become associate provost at DMACC, as well as director of the community college's 2+2 program with the University of Northern Iowa. He became provost of DMACC in 2006.

As president, Schulz said, his duties will change significantly. In his current position, his basic responsibility is to run the Carroll DMACC campus, developing budgets and implementing policies and procedures. At NIACC, his responsibilities are broader. He will supervise the entire process, overseeing administrators on each campus and working with a board of directors to oversee spending and building projects.

Schulz said the size of the college and the area it serves is the biggest difference between DMACC and NIACC. NIACC is much smaller, serving about 3,500 students. The residential campus is located in the Mason City area, a region with a population of about 28,000, compared with Des Moines' more than 200,000 residents. The NIACC region stretches nearly to the Minnesota border.

Schulz's salary will be $165,000 per year, an increase from the approximately $134,000 he is currently making at DMACC.

Today, DMACC vice president Kim Linduska is in town to lay out a time line for filling the provost position. Community members, faculty and staff will work together on a search committee.

Schulz's wife, Cathie, is a substitute teacher in the Carroll Community School District. Their daughter Caitlyn, 22, is a senior at Iowa State University; their daughter Lindsey, 20, is a sophomore at the University of Northern Iowa.

In addition to his work in education, Schulz has been active in many community organizations. He has been a member, and at one time president, of the Carroll Area Development Corporation since 2010; a Carroll Chamber of Commerce board member, serving as president in 2006; a Carroll Rotary Club member and current membership chairman; a former United Way and Carroll Area Child Care Center and Preschool board member, and a Regional Workforce Investment board member.

Jim Knott, Carroll resident and member of the DMACC board of directors, said that Schulz will be missed.

"Steve did an excellent job. He was an excellent educator, he kept us together, he hired good staff," he said. "We wish him the best of luck, and we'll be thinking about him as he starts his new job."