Tyler Junior College Board of Trustees announced new roles for the College’s top two executives during its March 29 regular meeting.
Dr. L. Michael Metke, formerly TJC president, was named Chancellor for the College District of TJC and Chief Executive Officer; and Dr. Juan E. Mejia, formerly TJC provost and vice president for academic and student affairs, was named President, Branch Locations and TJC District Provost.
Mejia will continue to serve as Chief Academic Officer and Chief Student Affairs Officer, and will directly oversee TJC Rusk, TJC Jacksonville, TJC West in Tyler, TJC North in Lindale and TJC’s Online Virtual Campus.
“I am honored beyond words,” Metke said. “TJC is truly ‘The College of East Texas’ and the TJC Board plans to make that even more of a reality in the future. TJC has a glorious history and I am confident TJC will reach new heights in the years ahead.”
Metke joined TJC as president in 2007 after serving as the president of Lake Washington Technical College in the greater Seattle area. He has served on numerous local, state and national boards, and has been instrumental in the launch of new initiatives at the College including a $28 million renewal of campus infrastructure, over $100 million in new buildings, and the creation of new scholarship programs such as TJC Presidential Honors and the TJC Promise Program.
Like former long-time TJC President Dr. Harry Jenkins, who was named Chancellor of the TJC College District in 1980, Metke has been at the helm of TJC during a period of tremendous growth and development. Under Metke’s leadership, the College has expanded its geographic footprint as well as its academic offerings including becoming the first community college in Texas to offer a Bachelor of Science degree. Metke received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Houston.
Mejia joined TJC in September 2013 and has had a significant impact on the College. Prior to TJC, he served as Provost for South Texas College, where he was a founding member, and was instrumental in STC’s enrollment growth to over 33,000 students. He has also served on national, state and local boards, including Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Tyler, Tyler Innovation Pipeline and East Texas Human Needs Network. In 2017, he received the prestigious Nelson Administrative Leadership Award from the Texas Association of Community Colleges, and he has also been recognized by the Texas Legislature and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. He has been key to starting Early College High Schools at Chapel Hill and Tyler, securing authority for baccalaureate degrees, adding new academic programs and degrees, improving student engagement and success initiatives, and streamlining numerous processes and procedures. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi and M.Ed. in Adult Education and Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Texas A&M University – Kingsville.
Mejia shared, “I am very humbled and honored and express my appreciation to the TJC Board of Trustees and to Dr. Metke for the special vote of confidence and for the ongoing mentorship.”
Metke said, “Dr. Mejia’s positive energy, vision and enthusiasm have helped TJC reach major new milestones. His new title recognizes his contributions and demonstrates our commitment to broaden the opportunities for even more individuals in our service district and throughout East Texas.”
About TJC: Established in 1926, Tyler Junior College is one of the largest community colleges in Texas, with nearly 12,000 students enrolled per semester. TJC provides an affordable quality education, a vibrant student life and opportunities for community service. TJC offers more than 125 degree and certificate programs which enable students to transfer to a four-year institution or gain the skills they need to go directly into the workforce. The college is the first and only Texas community college to offer a Bachelor of Science degree. TJC features a 137-acre campus, rigorous academics, 58 national championships in athletics, stellar fine and performing arts programs; modern residential facilities, and organizations and clubs that reflect student diversity. TJC was named one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program.