OTTUMWA — When Indian Hills President Jim Lindenmayer steps down, another educator is ready to step up.
The board of trustees said Monday they wanted to hire Marlene Sprouse, Indian Hills Community College executive vice president, who heads the academic affairs division of the school.
The board president, John Pothoven, said he's encouraged ranking officials to have a plan in place for a successor, both at his business and at the school. That gives the more experienced leader time to mentor a rising star.
"We interviewed our top candidate. We had some discussion about 'should we go outside to search?' But ... after a 2.5 hour interview, this board voted unanimously to extend the offer of a contract to Dr. Marlene Sprouse. It's a great day when the board votes unanimously — and when we can promote from within."
The only things that remain would be discussing a compensation package with Sprouse and seeing if she will accept the offer, Pothoven said. Since Sprouse was in the audience, he asked if she'd like to speak but indicated there was no pressure to give an answer; after all, they hadn't worked out the six-figure salary and benefits package yet.
Sprouse stood and surprised some onlookers when she said, "I'm accepting the offer."
That received a round of applause from the staff members in the audience. Sprouse said she'll be honored and proud to serve at Indian Hills as well as serving the communities the college works for.
Lindenmayer was president for 11 years. He plans to stay until Sprouse and other new leaders are up to speed. There are openings for registrar, dean of students and now, chief academic services officer.
Sprouse will be only the fourth president in the history of the college.
To see reporter Mark Newman's Twitter feed, go to @couriermark