The Crowder College Board of Trustees has named Dr. Thomas R. Burke as interim president of Crowder College.

The Crowder College Board of Trustees has named Dr. Thomas R. Burke as interim president of Crowder College.
The announcement came on Tuesday, during the board's meeting at the Neosho campus.
"The board, since Dr. Methvin announced that she was going down to (as being the chancellor at Arkansas State University) Beebe, we have talked to individuals for (interim)," Crowder College Board of Trustees Chairman Andy Wood said.
Wood said they had about a half of a dozen people they talked to about this position.
"Dr. Burke had qualifications, he has been community college system his entire career," said Wood. "We were looking for an interim president that would be familiar with community college system. We actually believe we will have some internal candidates for the job, that will be very much qualified for it. So we thought it best to get somebody from outside and Dr. Burke came highly recommended."
Methvin will leave on June 30 and Burke will assume his role as interim president on July 1.
Burke obtained his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D., at the University of Mississippi, Oxford. He began his teaching career at Mountain Empire Community College, Big Stone Gap, Va., eventually becoming acting president of that college. Burke was then academic vice president at Three Rivers Community College, Poplar Bluff, Mo., for six years.  He then was named as president of Independence Community College, Independence, Kan. in 1986, and then became vice president of Kansas City Kansas Community College, Kansas City, Kan. in 1988.  In 1992, Burke was named president of Kansas City Kansas Community College, where he served until his retirement in 2011.  Upon his retirement from KCKCC, the new technical education center was named, in his honor, the “Dr. Thomas R. Burke Technical Education Center.”
Burke has served on several community and state boards including the Kansas City, Kansas Area Chamber of Commerce, the Wyandotte Economic Development Council, the Governor’s Council for Consolidation of Kansas City, Kansas and Wyandotte County Governments, the Kansas Community College Council of Presidents and the Kansas Postsecondary Technical Education Authority.  In 2010, he was honored with admittance to the Midwest Educational Hall of Fame, and in 2017, Burke was honored with admittance to the University of Mississippi, School of Education Hall of Fame. 
Burke is also familiar with Southwest Missouri, especially Neosho. His wife Sara Sara Burke, formally Sara Jones, grew up in Neosho, and graduated from Neosho High School. They will be residing in Neosho, during the time that he serves as interim president of Crowder College. 
"We are very fortunate to have Dr. Burke serve as our interim president," said Wood. "The Board is confident Dr. Burke will do a great job in moving forward the strategic plan put in place by Dr. Methvin and the Crowder family.  The board is excited at the opportunity to work with Dr. Burke. We have a fantastic staff, administration here and we believe that he will work well with them... We are going to be paying him on a monthly basis for the time period that he is here."
Wood noted that they hope to have a permanent president hired by Jan. 1, 2019.