Kathleen Plinske, Ed.D.


Executive Vice President and Provost
Valencia College
Campus President

Osceola, Lake Nona, and Poinciana Campuses

Valencia College


Kathleen Plinske serves as Executive Vice President and Provost and as Campus President of the Osceola, Lake Nona, and Poinciana Campuses at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida.  Prior to joining Valencia in 2010, Plinske began her career at McHenry County College, a community college in her hometown of Crystal Lake, Illinois.  She was hired as an Instructional Media Specialist in 2001, and moved into a number of different roles over the next nine years, including Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness, and ultimately, Interim President.

A graduate of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Plinske attended Indiana University-Bloomington as a Herman B Wells Scholar, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Physics with highest distinction and honors.  A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she completed a Master of Arts in Spanish from Roosevelt University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Florida, and a Doctorate in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University.

Actively involved in her community, Plinske has served as Board Chair of the Education Foundation of Osceola County and as President of the Rotary Club of Lake Nona.  She has also served on the Board of CareerSource Central Florida, the Osceola Center for the Arts, Junior Achievement of Osceola County, and the Lake Nona Education Council.  She has taught the honors leadership course for Valencia College and graduate courses in educational leadership for the University of Central Florida and Pepperdine University.

In 2010, Plinske was recognized as one of 24 emerging leaders in the world by Phi Delta Kappa.  She was named 2012 Woman of the Year by the Orlando Business Journal in its 40 Under 40 competition and the 2012 Outstanding Young Alumna by Indiana University.  She received the 2013 Alumni Distinguished Leadership Award from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, and in 2014 received the Compadre Award from the Hispanic Business Council of the Kissimmee/Osceola Chamber of Commerce and the Don Quijote Hispanic Community Champion Award from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando.  Plinske was selected as an Aspen Presidential Fellow in 2016, was selected as Pepperdine University's Distinguished Alumna in 2017, and has been recognized by the University of Florida as an outstanding young alumna.


Plinske is happily married to her husband, Larry W. Tyree, who shares her love for golf, the Florida Gators, the Chicago Cubs, the mountains of North Carolina, and their dog, Cooper.


Executive Vice President and Provost


  • Work in close partnership with the President to provide leadership for and integration of mission-critical college functions, including academic affairs, student affairs, educational partnerships, and analytics and planning for a multi-campus community college serving more than 70,000 students. 

  • Provide leadership for the college’s planning process, characterized by a collaborative and comprehensive approach that integrates district and campus planning and aligns resource development and allocation to college strategy.

  • Serve as strategic leader for the college’s governance model to support collaborative design for major decisions that lead to large-scale systemic change.

  • Foster an evidence-based decision-making culture by curating data analyses and reports and by convening conversations with faculty and staff that lead to improved student outcomes and institutional impact.

  • Build partnerships within the community to respond to needs, challenges, and opportunities which pertain to the College’s mission.



  • Serve as chief academic and operating officer for three campuses which enroll more than 30,000 students annually.  Provide leadership for 140 full-time faculty, 500 part-time faculty, 250 full-time staff, and 300 part-time staff.

  • In collaboration with the School District of Osceola County, launched community-based initiative with the goal of increasing the college-going rate of students in Osceola County; college-going rate increased from 40% in 2010 to 54% in 2017.

  • Led the design and planning of Poinciana Campus, which opened in Fall 2017. Oversaw opening of Lake Nona Campus, which opened in Fall 2012.

  • Led the design and planning of 150,000 square foot building at the Osceola Campus, which includes 18 classrooms, 10 science laboratories, a library, tutoring center, and a regional campus of the University of Central Florida.

  • Led the design and planning of 50,000 square foot Careers in Industry and Technology building; supported development of Center for Accelerated Training.

  • Serve as Principal Investigator for $3.0 million National Science Foundation grants to increase number of underrepresented students pursuing a degree in STEM.

  • Awarded $2.625 million Title V grant to develop new career and technical education pathways.



Campus President

Osceola, Lake Nona, and Poinciana Campuses


Interim President


Vice President, Institutional Effectiveness


Director, Distance Education and Professional Development


Coordinator, Media Development and Technology Training


Instructional Media Specialist



  • Served in a number of positions of increasing responsibility at comprehensive community college with enrollment of 10,000 credit students annually

  • As Interim President, reported directly to seven-member, locally-elected Board of Trustees. Responsible for operating budget of approximately $40 million and nearly 800 full-time and part-time employees

  • As Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness, responsible for oversight of Institutional Research and Marketing, as well as institutional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission and development of college's strategic plan

  • As Director of Distance Education and Professional Development, responsible for all online and hybrid courses and all training and professional development opportunities for faculty and staff

  • As Coordinator of Media Development and Technology Training, responsible for providing technology training and support to all faculty and staff

  • As Instructional Media Specialist, provided technology support to faculty teaching online and hybrid courses. 


Board Member and Co-Chair, Career Services Committee - CareerSource Central Florida

QEP Evaluator - Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Coastal Carolina Community College

Member, President (2013-2014), and Vice President (2011-2013) - Rotary Club of Lake Nona

Board Member - Kissimmee/Osceola Chamber of Commerce

Volunteer - Nemours Children's Hospital

Board Member and Chair (2014-2016) - Education Foundation of Osceola County

Board Member - Osceola Center for the Arts

Board Member - Community Vision of Osceola County

Board Member and Chair (2013) - Lake Nona Education Council

Board Member - Junior Achievement of Osceola County

Peer Reviewer - Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association

2015 - present


2010 - 2018

2010 - 2018

2015 - 2018

2011 - 2016

2011 - 2015

2011 - 2015

2012 - 2014

2012 - 2014

2007 - 2010

Doctor of Education


Master of Business Administration



Malibu, California


Gainesville, Florida

Master of Arts - Spanish



Chicago, Illinois

Bachelor of Arts - Spanish and Physics



Bloomington, Indiana

Master of Science -
Industrial and Systems Engineering

In Progress (expected Spring 2021)


Gainesville, Florida


Holmes, E., Lora-Santos, E., Britt, J., & Plinske, K. (2019). LifeMap 2.0: The evolution of a developmental advising model at Valencia College. In T. O’Banion (Ed.), Academic advising in the community college (pp. 51-68). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.


Plinske, K. (2018). Long-term learning communities: Mitigating the effects of stereotype threat and cultivating student success. In M.A. Poisel & S. Joseph (Eds.), Building transfer student pathways for college and career success (pp. 93-108). Columbia, SC: National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, University of South Carolina.


Plinske, K. (2018, January). Got College? A grassroots effort to increase the college-going rate in a historically underserved community. League for Innovation in the Community College Innovation Showcase.

Plinske, K. (2017). Being called to the presidency during tumultuous times. In M. Ellis & L. Garcia (Eds.), Generation X presidents leading community colleges: New challenges, new leaders (pp. 25-34). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.


Plinske, K. (2017). Serving as president during tumultuous times. Community College Daily. Retrieved from  http://www.ccdaily.com/2017/09/serving-president-tumultuous-times/


Plinske, K., & Packard, W. (2010). Trustees’ perceptions of the desired qualifications for the next generation of community college presidents. Community College Review, (37)4, 291-312.

Plinske, K., & Packard, W. (2009). Leveraging your systems portfolio: Supporting institutional dialogue and organizational learning. A Collection of Papers on Self-Study and Institutional Improvement, Annual Meeting of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. (114th, Chicago, IL, April 17-21, 2009).


Milliron, M.D., & Plinske, K. (2009). Building for a new generation of learning: Catalytic conversations for the educational publisher. Publishing Research Quarterly, 25(1), 1-11.


Milliron, M.D., Plinske, K. & Noonan-Terry, C. (2008). Building a new generation of learning: Conversations to catalyze our construction. Planning for Higher Education, 37(1), 7-14.


Plinske, K., Patton, D. & Packard, W. (2007). While there’s no ‘U’ in AQIP, it’s incomplete without you! Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (112th, Chicago, IL, Apr. 20-24, 2007).


Gunter, J., Dzierba, A., Lindenbusch, R., Plinske, K.A., Rust, D. R., Scott, E., … Witkowski, M. (2001). Partial wave analysis of the pi0 pi0 system produced in pi -p charge exchange collisions. Physical Review D, 64, 072003.

Marshall, S. P., Ramirez, M., Plinske, K., & Veal, C. (1998). Creating conditions for developing and nurturing talent: The work of school leaders. NASSP Bulletin, 52(595), 75-84.


Named one of 40 Top Alumni Under 40 - University of Florida

Named one of 20 Top Alumni Under 40 - Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences

Distinguished Alumna - Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology

Executive of the YearOrlando Business Journal's Women Who Mean Business

Presidential Fellow for Community College Excellence - Aspen Institute

Don Quijote Hispanic Community Champion Award - Hispanic Chamber of Metro Orlando

Hispanic Business Council Compadre Award - Kissimmee/Osceola Chamber of Commerce

Alumni Distinguished Leadership Award - Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Outstanding Young Alumna - Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences

Woman of the Year - Orlando Business Journal's 40 Under 40

One of 24 Emerging International Leaders in Education - Phi Delta Kappa

Top 10 Professional Under 40 - McHenry County Business Journal

Doctoral Fellow - Community College Leadership Development Initiative

Member - Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society

Member - Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honors Society

Herman B Wells Scholar - Indiana University

Science, Technology, and Research Scholar - Indiana University 


















Valencia College

Honors Leadership (SLS 2261)

Developmental Math II (MAT 0028)

Elementary Spanish I (SPN 1120)

University of Central Florida

Community College Curriculum (EDH 6215)

Community College Organization and Supervision (EDH 6204)

McHenry County College

Elementary Spanish I (SPN 151)

Elementary Spanish II (SPN 152)

The College Experience (MCC 101)

Pepperdine University

eLearning: Theory and Practice (EGLC 755)

eLearning: Theory and Practice (EDD 755)


Increase in Osceola County College-Going Rate - Orlando Sentinel (September 26, 2019)

Enfoque Interview - Telemundo Orlando (September 22, 2019) 

Student to Serve as President for a Day - Valencia Voice (March 7, 2019)

New Training Programs Coming to Valencia - Osceola News Gazette (April 26, 2018)

U.S. Department of Education's Rethinking Higher Education Summit - C-SPAN (December, 2017)

Got College? Recognized with Chancellor's Best Practice Award - Valencia News (November 2, 2017)

Poinciana Campus Scholarship Announcement - Osceola News Gazette (May 4, 2017)

CFE Contributes $125,000 for Future Teachers Academy - Valencia News (January 18, 2017)

Ir a Universidad No Significa Endeudarse - El Sentinel (October 2, 2015)

Igniting Dreams - Vitae Magazine (Summer 2015)

Launch of "Got College?" - Orlando Sentinel (April 30, 2013)

Opening of New UCF Osceola Regional Campus - UCF News (December 30, 2012)


Kathleen Plinske




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