The longtime president of Kansas City Kansas Community College has announced his intention to retire in June.
Thomas Burke has worked at the community college since 1988 and has been its president since 1992.
In that time, he has helped guide the college through many changes, including the addition of a technical school operated by the Kansas City, Kan., school district.
He also helped bring all the state’s community colleges under the authority of the Kansas Board of Regents with the passage of a 1999 bill.
“I don’t know if the realization has struck home as of yet,” Burke said on Wednesday.
He said he started thinking over winter break that this might be a good time to retire and noted that his wife had already started making travel plans.
Brian Bode, the school’s vice president for student and administrative services, said Burke was a steady hand guiding an unsteady ship.
The college today faces a strained budget while it deals with record enrollments.
“I read a great quote the other day,” Bode said. “We’re going to fill the position, but we’re not going to replace Dr. Burke for a very long time.”