Northwest Technical Institute president Jim Rollins announces resignation

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 903 views 

Jim Rollins, president of Northwest Technical Institute (NWTI) in Springdale since 2020, will resign due to health reasons. The resignation will be effective June 30 this year. School officials announced the details Tuesday (May 21).

According to a news release, school officials described the news as a mixture of gratitude and sadness. Rollins recently had heart surgery and a cold. While his doctors are optimistic, his recovery will take longer than expected.

“It has been an honor and privilege for me to serve the students, staff, industry, and community partners of NWTI over these last years,” Rollins said in the release. A NWTI spokesperson said Rollins was not available for additional comment.

Rollins, 77, started as NWTI president on July 1, 2020. That immediately followed a 41-year career as a school administrator with Springdale Public Schools, 39 as superintendent.

NWTI listed several notable achievements under Rollins’ leadership:

  • Receiving its COE The Council on Occupational Education re-accreditation.
  • The creation and successful launch of the NWTI Education Foundation.
  • Strengthening regional partnerships with local industry, political entities, and philanthropic leaders to enhance training in Northwest Arkansas.

“Serving NWTI has been a personal joy and pleasure,” Rollins said. “The students of NWTI are special beyond words and each of them will be contributors to the workforce and our state as they grow in their professions. I want to extend an in-depth gratitude to the staff of NWTI as well. Our school works because of each of you and I thank you for the privilege I’ve enjoyed to serve with you.”

Reflecting on 52 years in education, Rollins said, “I have been blessed beyond words to serve with great Arkansas teachers, school administrators, support personnel, board members, state leaders, and wonderful parents. To all that I’ve served with, I thank you. For me, there could not have been a greater professional calling.

“And a very special thank you to the students of Arkansas. You have been a daily inspiration to me.”

NWTI spokesman Mark Moreland said the school’s board of directors does not have a comment about the search for Rollins’ replacement.

NWTI opened in 1975 and is a post-secondary school that operates under the governance of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education and is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. It offers eight diploma programs in areas such as automotive technology, electronics and automation, welding, surgical technology and ammonia refrigeration. This year, post-secondary and high school student enrollment will approach 700, and the NWTI Adult Education Center will have an excess of 1,000 students enrolled.

The school also provides adult basic education classes and GED preparation courses.