Dr. Dan F. Bakke, president of Pulaski Technical College, announced today that he will retire June 30.
"For 15 years, I have had the unbelievable opportunity to work with the board, faculty, staff, students and the great central Arkansas community," Dr. Bakke said. "I will always be indebted to all who supported me during this time. I want to thank the dedicated faculty and staff for always placing learning first and doing everything possible to help students succeed. I know PTC will always abide by the motto 'Dedicated to Your Success.'"
Before becoming college president in 2000, Dr. Bakke served as vice president for instruction at Pulaski Tech. He has spent 38 years in various administrative positions with Arkansas and Texas community colleges, including two years as vice president for student services at Pulaski Tech and three years as dean of instruction at Southeast Arkansas College at Pine Bluff.
The college Board of Trustees' Academic Affairs committee, chaired by John Barnes, will initiate a search for a new president.
"We are grateful to Dan for his commitment to the college and to the central Arkansas community," said John Suskie, chairman of the Pulaski Tech Board of Trustees. "Under his leadership, Pulaski Tech has experienced unprecedented growth and development. His extraordinary student-focused leadership has touched tens of thousands of lives, and we will be forever in his debt."
When Dr. Bakke assumed the presidency, the college had about 4,000 students. Today, the college serves nearly 12,000 credit students.
Additionally, the college has grown from four locations in Pulaski County to seven locations in Pulaski and Saline counties. Under his leadership, campus expansion programs included the Little Rock-South and Little Rock-West locations, as well as the Saline County Career Center and the Saline County Adult Education Center. Additionally, the college has one of the largest distance education programs in the state, with more than 5,000 students taking at least one online or hybrid course.
Also under his leadership, the college has expanded its Business and Industry Center and now provides customized training for some 200 companies in central Arkansas. Last year, the college served almost 9,000 individuals in corporate, continuing, community and adult education.
Dr. Bakke said he looks forward to spending time with his wife, Jane, who is retired after 40 years of teaching in the Watson Chapel School District, as well as his two daughters and three grandchildren.