R. Thomas Flynn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people named Thomas Flynn, see Thomas Flynn (disambiguation).
R. Thomas Flynn
4th President of
Monroe Community College
In office
February 9, 2000 – August 1, 2008
Preceded by Peter Spina
Succeeded by Larry W Tyree
Personal details
Born (1938-01-29) January 29, 1938 (age 79)
Bluffs, Illinois, USA
Spouse(s) Kate Niebling (1963–present)
Residence Mendon, New York
Alma mater MacMurray College
University of Montana
Profession Professor

R. Thomas Flynn (born January 29, 1938[1]) is an American college administrator and the retired president of Monroe Community College (MCC) in Rochester, New York, USA. He helped MCC grow in size and stature, as well as introducing new programs at the college. The R. Thomas Flynn Campus Center on the MCC campus is named in his honor.

Early life and career[edit]

Russell Thomas Flynn was born in Bluffs, Illinois to factory workers Bernard and Myrtle Flynn. He grew up in nearby Canton, Illinois. At 6 ft 3 in tall, Flynn was a good baseball and basketball player and earned a scholarship to Bradley University; he was injured and lost the scholarship.[1]

Flynn received a bachelor's degree from MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois and a master's in education from the University of Montana. He taught mathematics for one year at St Andrew's School in Boca Raton, Florida before joining Rutgers University as assistant dean of student services between 1965 and 1969. Flynn was dean of student services at Ocean Community College 1969–1974. In 1974, he joined Monroe Community College as vice president of student services, a post he held for 20 years. He then became vice president of administrative and student services in 1994. He was made interim president in 1999 and president of the college in 2000. He retired in 2008.[1]


While at Rutgers, he helped start a community college in New Jersey.[clarification needed] During his tenure at MCC, the school has grown, adding more than a dozen new associate degree programs and online courses. New campus facilities have been built, including on-campus housing for 700 students, unusual for a two-year college. Enrollment has grown about 17 percent, from 15,000 to 17,500 students in credit courses. The school's athletic program has grown into national prominence, winning 56 regional and 11 national championships with Flynn as president.[1][2]

Flynn worked with the University at Albany, SUNY to establish a Joint Admission Program that guarantees MCC students admission to SUNY as juniors after completing their two years of study at MCC.[3] He collaborated with the Rochester Institute of Technology on the Rochester Biomedical Experience, a program to increase minority participation in biomedical-related fields.[4]

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Flynn created the Homeland Security Management Institute, which helps businesses and government agencies prepare for emergencies.[1][5]

On September 15, 2007, Flynn was a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, which commits colleges and universities to take steps to reduce global warming.[6]

Awards and honors[edit]

Flynn received the first President of the Year Award from the American Student Association of Community Colleges.[1] In 2008 he was awarded Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society's 2008 Michael Bennett Lifetime Achievement Award.[7]

The R. Thomas Flynn Campus Center on the MCC campus, built during his tenure, is named in his honor.[8]


The search for Flynn's successor at MCC was unsuccessful and highly controversial. The suggestions of two search advisory committees were ignored, and the trustees deadlocked on a vote to select one of the two finalist candidates.[1] On June 30, 2008, veteran administrator Larry W Tyree was named as Interim President until a full-time president was found.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Flynn married Kate Niebling on June 15, 1963. They have one son, a teacher, and one daughter, the associate director of MCC's Career Center; and two grandchildren.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Loudon, Bennett J (2008-06-26). "Retiring Flynn oversaw time of rapid growth at Monroe Community College". Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  2. ^ Ryther, Richard H (Fall 2004). "Monroe Community College, New Facilities & Expanded Services for the Students & Community it Serves" (PDF). The Bottom Line, Newsletter of Community College Business Officers. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  3. ^ "A Joint Admissions Agreement Between The University at Albany, State University of New York and Monroe Community College". Spring 2001. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  4. ^ "White Coat Ceremony Welcomes Students into Scientific Community". Rochester Institute of Technology. 2005-07-13. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  5. ^ "Guantanamo commander leads MCC Homeland Security Program". indymedia. 2003-12-09. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  6. ^ "Signatories of the ACUPCC". ACUPCC. 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2008-06-27. 
  7. ^ "Monroe Community College president to receive International Honor". Daily Record. 2008-03-17. Retrieved 2008-06-27. 
  8. ^ "R. Thomas Flynn Campus Center". Monroe Community College. Retrieved 2008-07-03. 
  9. ^ Craig, Gary (2008-07-01). "MCC selects interim president". Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Peter A. Spina
President of Monroe Community College
2000 - 2008
Succeeded by
Larry W. Tyree (interim)