CLC welcomes new Chief Financial Officer

Castor Basa

On November 5th, CLC welcomed Kevin Appleton, the new Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Business Services. Appleton has decades of experience in the financial services of higher education and will now serve the students of CLC.

Having graduated from Harvard’s School of Education and coming all the way from Washington D.C., one might be curious as to why he’s come to Grayslake to continue his career. Appleton began his education in a community college like our own, at Southern State Community College in Hillsboro, Ohio.

“A community college is where I started my higher education, and that’s where I’d like to end it,” said Appleton, explaining why he’d taken the position at CLC.

Appleton has worked previously in many state colleges and universities across the country and has experience communicating with the federal government to provide and improve exchange opportunities, student development, and financial management training. Overall, he has two and a half decades of an extensive background in financing educational institutions.

Appleton asserted that the best way to do his job is to focus on “how we can better serve the students.”

The new CFO said that the most important thing he’s learned through his many years of experience is to “keep the interest of the students at the forefront,” which is exactly what the students of CLC need, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Covid affects everything,” Appleton said. “It has impacted the finances of the institution in terms of enrollment, in terms of the resources available to the institution through the tuition, and in terms of state support. [I am] anticipating, with a positive outlook, hopefully, the end of the pandemic.”

In his practice, Appleton highly values transparency, accountability, and affordability, which are arguably the most critical aspects of community college.

“Last year, the board made a decision to hold tuition steady and not to affect any increases in tuition or fees to students,” said Appleton. “That reflects the commitment to affordability and trying to ensure that students have access to higher education. I expect that commitment going forward.”

Appleton values not only reasonable prices but also the comfort of students.

“We want to provide a desirable learning and working environment and a safe, well-maintained campus, and focus on enhancing student success in a quality learning environment,” said Appleton.

Appleton wishes for the Division of Business Services and Finance to “achieve institutional goals, exceed standards of higher education, protect, preserve and enhance the assets and revenues of the college, [and] maintain and improve financial accountability.”