New Member! Meet President Kuberski of Highland Community College

May 4, 2021—AFIT’s Executive Committee is pleased to announce that Chris Kuberski, president of Highland Community College in Freeport, Illinois, has been accepted as a new member. Karen Brown, director of human resources, will serve as the College’s AFIT Rep.

Photo of President Chris Kuberski of Highland Community College
Chris Kuberski
Photo of Karen Brown, Director of HR at Highland Community College
Karen Brown

Kuberski was appointed the ninth president of Highland Community College last July, after serving as the College’s executive vice president and chief academic officer for five years. Before joining Highland, Kuberski held multiple administrative positions at Rend Lake College in Ina, Illinois, including vice president of academic instruction and the liberal arts division chair. She also instructed English/speech at Rend Lake College and English as a second language at Southern Illinois University in Nakajo, Japan and Carbondale, Illinois.

After recently attending AFIT’s monthly CEO Networking Sessions as a guest of Waubonsee Community College President Christine Sobek, President Kuberski decided to apply for AFIT membership. We caught up with her to learn more about her and the innovation and transformation underway at Highland.

1. Why did you decide to join AFIT?

I felt that joining AFIT would expand my network and support system while providing opportunities for me to grow and learn professionally and personally. As a new president, I will benefit from the seasoned perspectives and experiences of other presidents.

2. Why are innovation and transformation important to you and Highland Community College?

There has never been a better time for Highland and other institutions of higher education to reimagine how we provide education and support services than there is right now as we emerge from the COVID cloud. Highland seeks to be relevant, resilient, and refreshed as it adjusts to the new expectations of students, partners, and stakeholders.

3. What initiatives have you taken to implement innovative and/or transformative practices?

Some of Highland’s transformation stems from the Learning Spaces audit that was conducted to evaluate our learning and gathering spaces for students. While I led the effort, the work was done by a cross section of our campus community. As a result, our science labs will be remodeled and modernized within the next five years. Several classrooms have been redesigned to promote student engagement and to be ADA compliant.

During my first year as president, Highland began working with Partners in Leadership to address identified cultural weaknesses centered around trust and accountability. If together we can commit to our five cultural beliefs of Rise Up, Open Up, Own It, Be Bold, and One HCC, we can achieve our Key Results of trust/accountability, enrollment, financial health, and ongoing accreditation. The transformation of our culture will be seen when we are all working toward a ONE Highland mindset.

AFIT is thrilled to welcome Chris Kuberski and Karen Brown to our alliance, and we look forward to being part of Highland Community College’s transformation journey!