COVID-19, Park Forest, Schools, Science

Dr. Thomas D. Saban Named Interim President of Prairie State College

Dr. Thomas D. Saban
Dr. Thomas D. Saban (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Chicago Heights, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Prairie State College (PSC) recently announced that Dr. Thomas D. Saban will serve as interim president of the college. The appointment was approved during the March 31, 2020, PSC Board of Trustees meeting. Saban has been serving as vice president of finance and administration at the college since 2014. 

Saban’s appointment comes after the PSC board accepted the resignation of Dr. Terri L. Winfree, who had served as president of PSC since 2013. 

“I am humbled and heartened by the confidence placed in me by the Board of Trustees to lead this great institution in the coming year,” Saban said. “I want to thank Dr. Winfree for her leadership during the time that she served as president. Her commitment to the college is unwavering, and I want to commend her for that,” he added. 

Saban takes the helm during an unprecedented time at the college, as the COVID-19 pandemic has the campus operating virtually, offering only online course options for students and performing most administrative tasks via email and online.

Saban says that despite this, he is committed to keeping college priorities and initiatives on course and on time. 

“We will continue to expand virtual offerings, including efficiencies and learning support for our students. We will continue to refine the ‘working from home’ approach, development of online classes, and continued recruitment for summer and fall registration,” he added. 

He adds that higher education and community colleges in particular will play an important part in the continued advancement of society during the pandemic and beyond. 

“The impact that the COVID-19 pandemic will have on our economy, the workforce, and future college students makes the role of an institution of higher ed – especially one dedicated to serving the community – paramount,” Saban said. “The most important thing is that PSC will continue to provide our community the excellent education and services that they have come to expect from us, albeit virtually for now.” 

This is not the first time that Saban has been an integral part of PSC’s perseverance during a crisis. During Illinois’ budget impasse between 2015 and 2017, Saban took the lead in steering the college’s budget to have the least impact on the student, faculty, staff and community experience.

PSC Board Chair Marc Wiley said this was one of the many reasons the board chose Dr. Saban to step into the college’s head office upon Winfree’s resignation.

“Over the last several years that Dr. Saban has served as vice president of finance and administration, he has shown his clear ability to provide strong leadership, especially during times of crisis,” Wiley said. “With his many years of experience outside of PSC, combined with the great work he has done since joining the PSC administration, I am confident that Dr. Saban will be an excellent leader as the college navigates through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.”

Saban has more than 25 years of experience in education. Prior to joining the administration at PSC, he had served as the Vice President of Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Rocky Vista University, College of Osteopathic Medicine in Colorado. Before that, he had served as the Vice President for Finance and Administration/Chief Financial Officer at Texas A&M University, Associate Vice President for Planning, Budgets and Research at St. Petersburg College in Florida and as the Vice President for Administration and Finance/Chief Financial Officer at Worcester State College in Massachusetts, and Vice President for Finance and Administration/Chief Financial Officer of Chadron State College in Nebraska. Saban held a number of other educational and leadership roles prior to that, including serving as a controller, director of finance and system coordinator/project leader.

Saban has a B.S. from the University of Wyoming, an M.B.A. from the University of Miami, and a Ph.D. from Barry University in Florida.

This is news from Prairie State College.