(Estherville, Iowa) The Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Trustees accepted College President Valerie Newhouse’s decision to retire, effective June 30, 2022. Newhouse has served as President since 2009 and is the institution’s 7th president.

From the very beginning, the Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Trustees has been consistently impressed and grateful for Newhouse’s remarkable leadership and tremendous service and commitment to the college and the communities within the Iowa Lakes five-county district and beyond.

“It has been such a humbling and rewarding honor to have served Iowa Lakes Community College as President for the past 13 years. Iowa Lakes is like home, and we are a family. Everything about Iowa Lakes, from our dedication to living our mission, vision, and values to our wonderful students, employees, Board, alumni, and friends. It truly has been a privilege to be a part of this remarkable institution,” President Valerie Newhouse.

“The Board of Trustees and I are incredibly grateful for President Newhouse’s significant success in leading the college and are thankful for her longevity of service to our institution. Her constant and thoughtful leadership throughout the unimaginable challenges brought on by COVID-19 has left Iowa Lakes in a place of strength. Her announcement regarding early retirement will allow us ample time and a competitive advantage for our next presidential search,” said Janice K. Lund, Board President.

During Newhouse’s tenure, Iowa Lakes Community College has stayed true to the college’s mission, with a dedication to providing quality lifelong educational opportunities through transformative growth both fiscally and through quality educational experiences. Additionally, Newhouse’s leadership at Iowa Lakes has elevated the college’s presence within the five-county region and throughout the state of Iowa. Newhouse began her relationship with Iowa Lakes Community College in 1986 when she started working in adult and continuing education. Twenty-three years later, she became President of the institution after holding various other roles such as Executive Vice President, Vice President of Administration, Emmetsburg Campus Associate Dean and Secondary Programs Coordinator/Supervisor.

Her dedication to Iowa Lakes is evident through the extensive infrastructure projects and progressive programming offerings she pioneered over the past 13 years. The facility projects include the new cutting-edge beef and farm lab facilities, the SERT renovation project, the Construction Technology Building, and the 2016 Bond Referendum that contributed to the construction of the Algona Campus addition and drainage project, Student Center addition and drainage project in Emmetsburg, the Janice K. Lund Performing Arts Center on the Estherville Campus, the facade and roofing improvements in Spencer and the Industrial Training Center on the Spirit Lake Campus.

Additionally, she has been instrumental in the implementation of advanced institutional programming options, including the Veterinary Technician, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Technology, Electrical Technology, Engineering Technology, Water Quality Technician, and most recently, the Cosmetology program and Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) programming.

Newhouse has received various awards and honors during her career, including the Governors Volunteer Award for work with literacy students, the Chief Administrator Award in 2017 from the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees, and the Distinguished Higher Education Leadership Award from the Iowa Women in Higher Education in 2017.

She has also been extremely active, serving as a member and chair in many local and statewide organizations. Some of the organizations include the ACCT Advisory Committee of Presidents, Emmetsburg Community Development Corporation, Emmetsburg Community Schools Foundation, Estherville Area Partnership for Growth, Iowa Association of Community College Presidents, Iowa Community College Athletic Conference, Iowa Community College Council, Iowa Energy Center Advisory Committee, Iowa Lakes Corridor, Iowa STEM Advisory Council, and Palo Alto County Economic Development Corporation.

“President Newhouse has excelled at maintaining visibility and a connection to college students, community members, and staff and has been relentless in her focus for quality programming, facilities, and personnel. It is impressive that President Newhouse has been a champion for Iowa Lakes through her leadership and service,” said Lund.

Following the acceptance of Newhouse’s resignation, the Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Trustees President, Janice K. Lund, authorized the college administration to move forward with the presidential search process. The presidential search process will begin immediately.


Media: For additional information, contact the Iowa Lakes Marketing Office at 712.362.7947.