PIQUA — Karen Rafinski, Ph. D., has been appointed interim president of Edison Community College. Edison’s Board of Trustees made the announcement after a special meeting on Wednesday night. Rafinski will be interim president while the Board works to hire a replacement for outgoing president, Dr. Cristobal Valdez, who is leaving to assume the presidency at Central Wyoming College in Riverton, Wyo.
“The college is fortunate to have been able to hire an excellent college administrator to help us during this transitional period. Dr. Karen Rafinski is universally respected and well-liked,” said James Thompson, chairman of the Board of Trustees. “Her awareness of Edison Community College, her considerable experience and her expertise will serve us well. Together with the college’s Board of Trustees I am proud to be able to announce this appointment.”
Rafinski, who most recently served as interim president of the Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC) since September 2013, will assume leadership of the College beginning July 7. Before serving as president of the OACC, Rafinski retired from Clark State Community College in Springfield, where she was president for 16 years.
Dr. Rafinski brings 41 years of experience to Edison, and spent 26 of those years in presidencies throughout Ohio and Minnesota state colleges and universities. Her responsibilities have ranged from faculty and athletic director, coaching, resource development, student services and academic affairs.
When reached for comment, Rafinski expressed her enthusiasm for taking on this role.
“I’m excited to join the Board of Trustees, faculty and staff of Edison Community College in this transition period as we remain steadfastly focused on student success and completion; we will center on growing the college to be even more serviceable to the communities we serve,” she said.
Residing in Springfield, Rafinski serves on many local boards throughout the Miami Valley.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University at Moorhead; a master’s degree from the University of Washington, Seattle, a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and an MPA from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1998, Rafinski completed the Harvard Institute for Higher Education and received an honorary doctorate from Urbana University in Ohio in 2000.