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East Central College trustees approved the hiring of Philip E. Pena as vice president of finance and administration at their August 27 meeting.  He will start at ECC September 4. 


Pena replaces Dr. Jon Bauer who took over as college president in July. 


Over the past five years Pena has served in several positions at Morton College in Cicero, Illinois.  He was first hired as the chief information officer at that Chicago community college and went on to serve as vice president of administration, chief financial officer and treasurer.  Pena has also taught at Purdue University Calumet in the School of Management and Sawyer College teaching business management and management information systems. 


Prior to entering higher education, Pena was an administrator with the consolidated K-12 school district in Highland, Indiana. He also spent more than 18 years as a business consultant, information technology consultant, and software engineer.


He earned undergraduate degrees in marketing and computer science from Indiana State University and went on to earn a master’s degree in business administration from Purdue University.  Pena is scheduled to earn his doctorate degree in management later this year from the University of Maryland University College. 


Since 2009 he has served as a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission’s Academic Quality Improvement Program and this year became an AQIP onsite quality checkup evaluator.


Over the years he has also been involved in a variety of civic activities including serving as a youth coach for basketball and soccer, secretary for the waterworks board, volunteer tax preparer and school board member.   


Pena and his wife, Cathy, currently live in Highland, Indiana.  The couple has four children ranging in age from 20 to 28. 


“I am very happy to be coming to East Central College,” Pena stated.  “It is a great institution with a strong tradition of academic excellence.  Dr. Bauer and the staff have been wonderful in welcoming me to campus and have been very helpful in my transition.”


He noted that everyone has been giving me great advice and help learning about the area.  “I  look forward to being an active member of the community.”


“I am excited to have Phil join our administrative team,” said Bauer.  “His experience and skills will greatly benefit East Central, and I look forward to working with him.” 


Bauer extended special thanks to Brenda Bouse, vice president of career and outreach education, who chaired the search committee; Wendy Hartmann, ECC human resources director; and those who served on the committee and spent countless hours on the search.  “Their work enabled us to find a well-qualified administrator.”

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