R. Thomas Flynn
(born January 29 1938
is an American
college administrator and the retired president of Monroe Community College
(MCC) in Rochester, New York
. He helped MCC grow in size and stature, as well as introducing new programs at the college. The R. Thomas Flynn Campus Center on the MCC campus is named in his honor.
Early life and career
Russell Thomas Flynn was born in Bluffs, Illinois
to factory workers Bernard and Myrtle Flynn. He grew up in nearby Canton, Illinois
. At 6 ft 3 in tall, Flynn was a good baseball and basketball player and earned a scholarship to Bradley University
; he was injured and lost the scholarship.
Flynn received a bachelor's degree from MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois and a master's in education from the University of Montana. He taught mathematics for one year at St Andrew's School in Boca Raton, Florida before joining Rutgers University as dean of student services between 1965 and 1969. Flynn was dean of student services at Ocean Community College 1969–1974. In 1974, he joined Monroe Community College as vice president of student services, a post he held for 20 years. He then became vice president of student services and administrative services in 1994. He was made interim president in 1999 and president of the college in 2000. He retired in 2008.
While at Rutgers, he helped start a community college in New Jersey
. During his tenure at MCC, the school has grown, adding more than a dozen new associate degree programs and online courses. New campus facilities have been built, including on-campus housing for 700 students, unusual for a two-year college. Enrollment has grown about 17 percent, from 15,000 to 17,500 students in credit courses. The school's athletic program has grown into national prominence, winning 56 regional and 11 national championships with Flynn as president.
Flynn worked with the University at Albany, SUNY to establish a Joint Admission Program that guarantees MCC students admission to SUNY as juniors after completing their two years of study at MCC. He collaborated with the Rochester Institute of Technology on the Rochester Biomedical Experience, a program to increase minority participation in biomedical-related fields.
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Flynn created the Homeland Security Management Institute, which helps businesses and government agencies prepare for emergencies.
On September 15, 2007, Flynn was a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, which commits colleges and universities to take steps to reduce global warming.
Awards and honors
Flynn received the first President of the Year Award from the American Student Association of Community Colleges.In 2008 he was awarded Phi Theta Kappa
International Honor Society's 2008 Michael Bennett Lifetime Achievement Award.
The R. Thomas Flynn Campus Center on the MCC campus, built during his tenure, is named in his honor.
The search for Flynn's successor at MCC has been unsuccessful. The suggestions of two search advisory committees have been ignored, and the trustees deadlocked on a vote to select one of the two finalist candidates. On June 30
, Larry W Tyree was named as Interim President until a full-time president is found.
Flynn married Kate Niebling on June 15
. They have one son, a teacher, and one daughter, the associate director of MCC's Career Center; and two grandchildren.