ICCTA Meritorious Service Award
Edward T. Duffy
Illinois Community College Board
As chair of the Illinois Community College Board from 1999 to 2004,
Ed Duffy successfully guided the system during a critical time in its history. His tenure saw the
transfer of adult education governance to ICCB and the state’s commitment to replace $250 million of
temporary buildings over a five-year period. As ICCB’s representative to the Illinois Board of Higher
Education, Duffy chaired a study that helped IBHE members understand the unique role of part-time
faculty. He also worked closely with IBHE chair Philip Rock to turn back ill-advised proposals for
legislative micro-management of higher education.
No stranger to the political process, Duffy previously held the posts of director of the Illinois
Department of Public Aid (overseeing the nation's fifth largest public-welfare system), deputy chief
of staff to former Gov. James R. Thompson, and director of the Illinois Department of Alcoholism and
Substance Abuse. He began his career in public service as a member of the Chicago Police Department
and has served as an executive in the thoroughbred racing industry.
In February 1973, a small group of women met to form an organization that
would take action to end discrimination against women and improve working conditions in downtown Chicago.
None of the founders could have envisioned the changes that would eventually be realized —nor the role
Women Employed would play in bringing attention to the plight of working adults who lack access to
postsecondary education in Illinois.
Under the leadership of executive director Anne Ladky, Women Employed has lobbied lawmakers and published
studies on career laddering, economic self-sufficiency, and problems in Illinois’ financial aid system.
In addition, as a member of Gov. Blagojevich’s executive transition team, Ladky stressed the need to
help working students and those whose poverty threatens to deny them access to college. These efforts have
resulted in real advances for low-income students, including the provision of financial aid for part-time
and summer-school attendees. Most recently, Women Employed has worked with ICCTA to double the value of
the Illinois Incentive for Access Grant, a state-funded scholarship originally born of ICCTA efforts in 1997.
Joseph J. Neely
Former vice chair
Illinois Community College Board
Joe Neely’s unwavering commitment to the Illinois community college system can been seen at both the local
and state levels. As the chair of the Shawnee Community College Board of Trustees, he played a pivotal role in
rejuvenating the board and the institution. His work as Shawnee’s representative to the ICCTA strengthened the
state association and helped other trustees understand the special qualities of rural community colleges.
Appointed to the Illinois Community College Board in 1994, Neely was a respected and disciplined leader who
served seven years as vice chair and one year as chair. His experience as a college trustee led him to take
every opportunity to explain the importance of local governance and the value of trustee development programs.
In addition, more than any other ICCB member, he was faithful in his attendance of ICCTA conventions.
An attorney, Neely brought deliberative thinking and sound judgment to his duties as a member of two ICCB
Executive Search Committees, assisting with the appointments of presidents Dr. Joseph Cipfl and Geoffrey Obrzut.
For additional information on ICCTA's Meritorious
Service Award, please contact
Kim Villanueva at 217-528-2858, ext. 1.
Illinois Community College Trustees Association|
401 E. Capitol Ave., Suite 200
Springfield, IL 62701-1711
| Home | News
| Events | Links |