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Lakeland College's Board of Trustees has finalized its leadership plans for the college's presidency. On Tuesday, Board of Trustees Chairperson Robert Melzer announced that the board had appointed Daniel Eck as its interim president. He succeeds Michael Grandillo, who has resigned.
Eck's appointment is indefinite, and the college has no plans to conduct a presidential search in the near future.
Eck came to Lakeland in February of 2008 as a special assistant to former Lakeland President Stephen Gould, and he was named senior vice president in September of 2008. He has led virtually all administrative facets of the college, including finance, strategic planning, institutional research, human resources, information technology, facilities/grounds and international programs.
"We are very pleased that Dan is eager to assume this important role," Melzer said. "Dan's accomplishments at the college, along with his experience in managing many of Lakeland's day-to-day operations and our strategic planning to date, have given him the experience needed to lead Lakeland. We celebrated an important milestone with the college's 150th anniversary last year which has provided great momentum and enthusiasm for the future."
Melzer noted that Lakeland recently completed its Sesquicentennial Campaign, which raised more than $7.1 million, a $600,000 increase over the original goal of $6.5 million.
Eck will lead the completion and implementation of the strategic planning process currently underway.
"I feel honored and humbled that the trustees have placed their faith in me to lead Lakeland," Eck said. "I'm very excited that I will have the chance to continue working with our dedicated faculty, staff and our board to serve our students. Together, we will plan the next phase of the college's evolution. We have started many important intiatives in the past year, and we will keep moving forward."
Eck managed completion of Lakeland's $3.5 million front entrance project, introduced and led an initiative that captured hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost savings and efficiencies, and led the restructuring of several administrative departments.
In Eck, Lakeland has a dynamic leader with an eclectic professional background. A graduate of the Indiana University School of Law, he spent several years at a major law firm in Chicago. He then worked for five years in the museum field, serving as associate general counsel at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and deputy director of administration at The John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan.
Prior to joining Lakeland, he was director of development and external relations at Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, and he co-founded M12, a nonprofit that designs and implements public art projects.
He earned a bachelor's degree in anthropology from Beloit College and studied at American University in Cairo, Egypt.
"I'm very proud to be part of Lakeland College," Eck said. "I look forward to being deeply engaged with all of our constituencies: students and their parents, our faculty and staff, alumni, donors and the greater community. This college is an important resource to this region, and we will be working hard to make sure our students have access to quality, affordable higher education."
Melzer complimented Grandillo on many of the changes he introduced, including some new approaches to admissions and student recruitment that have Lakeland on pace to deliver impressive enrollment results this fall. Grandillo's ambitious approach to community building has been an effective way for Lakeland to expand its reach in the region, and those efforts will continue, Melzer said.
"Dr. Grandillo brought great enthusiasm and energy to the college, and we appreciate this leadership and service." Melzer said. "In the end, the trustees and Dr. Grandillo differed philosophically on a number of decisions. We wish Dr. Grandillo nothing but the best in his future endeavors."