Thomas J. Snyder serves as president of Ivy Tech Community College, the largest institution of higher education in Indiana and the nation's largest singly-accredited statewide community college system.
Appointed in 2007, President Snyder leads the strategic, academic and operational processes of Indiana's largest and fastest growing college, serving more than 175,000 students annually at 32 campuses and 100+ learning centers that provide a full-spectrum of educational resources, transfer credits, associate degrees, workforce assessments, training and professional certification.
Snyder was selected by President Barack Obama to serve on the College Promise Advisory Board in September 2015, which brings together luminaries and leaders to share best practices and ideas for models to make community college free and to serve as a way for those leaders to recruit more of their peers to join the cause.
The independent College Promise Advisory Board is chaired by Dr. Jill Biden, Vice-Chaired by former Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer and directed by former Under Secretary of Education, Martha Kanter.
Both Snyder and Ivy Tech Community College were recognized by Obama when he visited Ivy Tech in February 2015 to promote the America’s College Promise initiative. During his remarks at Ivy Tech, Obama stated that Ivy Tech is “one of the best (schools) in the country, not just in the state of Indiana.” His town hall meeting with leaders and students detailed the value and necessity for higher education and that community colleges serve as the best way to provide that pathway to success.
Snyder was also selected by President Obama to serve on a Roundtable on Affordability and Productivity in Higher Education at the White House in December 2011.
The roundtable also included Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, as well as senior White House advisors in discussions to explore effective practices that promote affordability and productivity in higher education.
In October 2010, Snyder and Ivy Tech student Michael Rice were invited by Dr. Jill Biden to participate in the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges. President Obama asked Dr. Biden to convene the event to highlight the critical role community colleges play in developing America's workforce. Ivy Tech Community College subsequently hosted the largest regional U.S. Department of Education summit on community colleges in March 2011 as a follow up to the White House Summit on Community Colleges. More than 200 participants from 13 states joined in the historic sessions which focused on "Partnerships between Community Colleges and Employers" and engaged business leaders throughout the Midwest in addition to participants from higher education and government.
President Snyder's growth strategy supports the administration's initiative and he has prepared expansion contingencies to welcome even more Hoosiers to the college's statewide campuses and career-aligned curriculums. Several new multi-million dollar facility projects have been announced, are currently under construction or have been completed statewide.
Snyder has served on a panel hosted by the Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW), an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He detailed the critical role of higher education, as well as the potential impact from the business community's perspective and how the business community could engage in higher education and why their involvement is so important.
President Snyder's major media editorials frequently detail the challenges and innovations that are driving community college solutions in national forums, including the Huffington Post and as CNN panelist, as well as in many newspaper articles and television broadcasts statewide. He is a regular guest on Inside Indiana Business, a statewide business, education and economic development program.
One of four college presidents invited to testify at a hearing on college affordability before the U.S. Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, President Snyder noted that Ivy Tech costs less, adjusted for inflation, than it did four years ago. By capping the number of required textbooks, providing more online courses, and reducing overhead costs, Ivy Tech is one of the most economical options in higher education available.
Snyder led the advocacy that influenced The Indiana Commission for Higher Education to approve new policies, designed to increase transfer options for Hoosier college students and to improve graduation rates through performance-based funding incentives for the state's colleges and universities. The Commission approved a new general education core transfer certificate that will provide Ivy Tech Community College students with a consistent set of general education requirements to improve successful transfer to Indiana's public four-year colleges.
President Snyder has installed numerous growth and expansion initiatives to meet the future student services requirements.
To upgrade student and community support, he added new senior leadership campus presidents, appointed the first female provost, installed a vice president of development to lead statewide fundraising initiatives and established a senior executive dedicated to diversity.
President Snyder introduced comprehensive student value-improvement initiatives which combined the expertise of statewide staff and student leadership teams to develop, track and achieve performance and service goals, optimize resources and ensure that students achieve their educational benchmarks with assigned engagement and success coaches These initiatives, coupled with an integrated Corporate College for employers and workers, have generated new and creative ways for Hoosiers to access value-based education and workforce training throughout the state.
More than 10,000 apprentices have been awarded college degrees through Ivy Tech's program, and apprentices have an average starting wage above $50,000.
In 2015, that same momentum will drive Student Success 2025, a new initiative which is aligned with national higher education goals to achieve 60 percent postsecondary attainment among working-age adults (25-64) by 2025. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education (CHE) adopted this goal and Ivy Tech will contribute significantly to Indiana's efforts to achieve this goal of 50,000 graduates by 2025.
Additional achievements that chart progress of Ivy Tech's mission to serve Indiana families with the best college options include:
Under President Snyder's leadership, Ivy Tech has doubled enrollments, installed student success pathways, added major new facilities, and improved operational efficiencies. These initiatives have resulted in positive results, ranging from improved graduation rates, to upgraded bond ratings from both Standard and Poor's Ratings and Fitch Ratings.
Prior to joining Ivy Tech, President Snyder held Chairman and CEO/President positions at Flagship Energy Systems Center and Delco Remy International, Inc., respectively. During his 11 years at the helm of Delco Remy, he established a new business model and diversified the company from a $500 million automotive parts supplier to $1.3 billion in sales as a global leader in truck, off-road and aftermarket products with more than 6,000 employees worldwide.
He began his career at General Motors Corporation, advancing through executive positions in engineering, marketing and sales for automotive batteries, magnetics and electric vehicle components.
Snyder graduated from Kettering University, formerly General Motors Institute in 1967, with a degree in mechanical engineering. Snyder also holds a master's degree in business administration from Indiana University. Snyder also completed a six-year tour of duty with the Air Force with research and development assignments at Vandenberg and Andrews Air Force Bases and the Pentagon.
He serves on the boards of Conexus, Energy Systems Network, Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow, Community College Advisory Panel, Auto Communities Network, The Manufacturing Institute, Midwestern Higher Education Compact, Rebuilding America's Middle Class, Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, Indiana Career Council, Tocqueville Society of United Way, Academic Advisory Council, National Workforce Solutions Advisory Board, and the Paramount Theatre.