John Cech, PhD, the Montana deputy commissioner of higher education, was named the new President of Carroll College on Monday.
Cech will be the 18th president of Carroll College and will assume the duties in June.
He will replace Rev. Stephen Rowan, PhD, who has served as interim president for the college since August of 2017 after former President Thomas Evans, PhD, stepped down to accept the position of president at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX.
The Carroll College Board of Trustees and a 13-member search committee made the decision and stated that Cech will be a strong leader for the campus.
“John Cech has a rare combination of skills and traits that make him the perfect fit for Carroll,” John Walda, chair of the Carroll Board of Trustees, said.
Born in Butte, Cech graduated from Billing Central High School before earning his BS in Business Administration from Montana State University at Billings.
He then earned a Master of Nonprofit Management from Regis University in Denver and his PhD in Higher Education Administration from Walden University in Minneapolis.
Cech has worked for the Montana University system for 16 years and received national recognition for advances in student success and completion.
He said he wants to first listen to students and faculty before making any changes, but sees a lot of potential in the school.
“I’d like to work with the faculty and the academic division to have conversations about undergraduate programs and some graduate opportunities that can really move this campus,” he said. “Not only here in Montana but across the Pacific Northwest.”
Prior to applying for the presidency, Cech and his wife Victoria were already familiar with Carroll as their son Isaiah is a junior.
“For the past several years, I have had the pleasure of getting to know many of the faculty, staff and Carroll community, the mission, and its Catholic identity," Cech said. "I’ve come to see firsthand that ‘Not for School, But for Life’, isn’t just some motto on a plaque. It’s something real and life-giving.”
Cech added that he’s excited to be an “official Saint” supporting Carroll Basketball in person for the Frontier Conference Boys and Girls championships.
He said he's honored and humbled to begin his service at Carroll College.