"I am grateful for the time I have spent leading the Illinois
community college system," said Obrzut. "It has been a privilege to
work with the excellent staff at the ICCB, and I want to thank them
for their professionalism and their dedication to the service they
provide to the state and the community colleges.
"I also want to
convey my heartfelt gratitude for the support I have received over
the years from the board and from the Illinois Community College
Trustees Association and the Presidents' Council," said Obrzut. "It
has been crucial to maintaining a strong and united system. No state
surpasses the quality of education and the dedication to students
and their communities that we find with Illinois community
Under Obrzut's leadership, the ICCB has undertaken a Homeland
Security and Campus Safety Initiative, advocated for additional
resources for adult education and family literacy, and completed
comprehensive reports on textbook costs, baccalaureate degree
access, and funding of grants for Illinois veterans and National
"Geoff has been a true public servant and champion for the
Illinois community colleges and the Illinois Community College
Board," said Alexi Giannoulias, who chairs the board. "His passion,
commitment and leadership will truly be missed. Geoff is a good
friend and I am sad to see him go, but am excited to see what the
future holds for him."
"Geoff has served the Illinois Community College System with
integrity and has led the system in some of the most financial and
political turbulent times in Illinois history," said Guy Alongi,
former board chairman. "I wish Geoff well in his retirement and will
always consider him a dear and personal friend. The Illinois
Community College System owes Geoff a great deal of gratitude for
his service over the past 9 1/2 years."
Obrzut has served citizens of the state of Illinois for more than
30 years in government work. His background includes serving as a
state representative for the 52nd District in the Illinois General
Assembly, where he represented both Triton College and Oakton
Community College in his district. He had been elected to the board
of trustees of Triton College in River Grove and served on the board
from 1981 to 1987.
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Obrzut's achievements include his service as a past officer and
chairman of the State Relations Committee of the Illinois Community
College Trustees Association. He was named the Outstanding Alumnus
of the Year by the Illinois Community College Trustees Association
in 1986 and received the Outstanding Service Award from the Illinois
Student Association in 1992. Obrzut also served as chairman of the
National Council of State Directors of Community Colleges from July
1, 2009, through June 30, 2010.
Obrzut also initiated the formation of the ICCB Latino Advisory
Committee in March 2008. The committee, composed of statewide
advocates on Latino educational issues, members of community
colleges and representatives from partner agencies, has helped
inform the Illinois community college system on student needs,
educational best practices and legislation that affects the Latino
Prior to coming to the Illinois Community College Board, Obrzut
was the director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities in
the Illinois Department of Human Services.
Obrzut received his bachelor's degree in political science from
the University of Illinois at Springfield and graduated from Triton
College in River Grove. He graduated from West Leyden High School
with the Class of 1970. While at West Leyden and at Triton, Obrzut
was very active in the environmental movement, founding a group
called SOAP, Students Organized Against Pollution. He also played
competitive sports, serving as the captain of his high school and
college basketball teams.
"This is a true retirement, and I plan to spend a lot of time
fishing at my cabin in northeast Wisconsin and golfing in South
Carolina," Obrzut said.
The ICCB is the state coordinating board for community colleges.
Illinois is home to 48 community colleges in 39 districts and has
the third-largest community college system enrollment in the nation.
Illinois Community College Board
file received from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]