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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald

COLLINS, James E. (Crystal Lake, IL,---- ). Collins entered LORAS COLLEGE as a freshman in 1980 and began his career there in 1984 as an admissions representative. He also held the positions of director of special projects, director of alumni and college relations, interim director of development, assistant to the president and vice president of institutional advancement. In 1999 he was appointed the college's senior vice president. Following the resignation of Joseph Gower, then-president, after one year, Loras spent two years with an interim leader before hiring Collins in 2004. (1)

During his tenure as president, Collins saw the establishment of a Master's of Business Administration in business analytics in 2012. At the time of its announcement, Collins stated that in higher education nationwide such a program was almost nonexistent. Business analystics/intelligence used data management and analytical tools to evaluate past performance to improve decision-making, predictive modeling and business outcomes. (2) The "Inspiring Lives & Leadership campaign in 2013 and had passed $100 million in contributions on its way to raising $105.6 million by the end of the campaign on August 31, 2017. This was the largest such campaign in the history of the college. The effort resulted in three new graduate programs and 120 new endowed scholarships and 55 other awards. The campaign also helped achieve Collins' third major accomplishment--improvement of staff--by helping the school attract and retain strong faculty. (3)

In addition to his responsibilities at Loras, Collins served locally on the executive committee for the GREATER DUBUQUE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, chaired the Education Division for the United Way, and was a member of the Carnegie Stout Library Foundation Board. His service extended to the DUBUQUE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, ARCHDIOCESE OF DUBUQUE, Holy Family Catholic Schools, MERCY MEDICAL CENTER, and Stonehill Franciscan Services. (4)

At the state and national levels, he chaired the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, served on the Governor's Iowa Tomorrow's Workforce coalition, was a member of executive committee of the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the executive committee member of the Iowa College Foundation. He served on the Iowa Healthy Living Council, Iowa Campus Compact, Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the NCAA III presidents' advisory group. (5) In 2015 Collins was re-elected to his second three-year term to the Seaton Hall University Board of Regents. (6)

For his work to improve the worlds of Loras, the Dubuque community, and the state and nation, Jim Collins became the 2018 recipient of the FIRST CITIZEN AWARD.



1. Hinga, Allie, "Loras' Jim Collins Dedicated to Service," Telegraph Herald, January 1, 2019, p. 1A

2. Becker, Stacey,"Loras to Office Analytics MBA," Telegraph Herald, September 13, 2012, p. 1A

3. Hinga, Allie,"Loras Passes $100 Million Goal," Telegraph Herald, August 4, 2017, p. 1A

4. Hinga, "Loras' Jim Collins...", p. 1A

5. Ibid., p. 2A

6. "Board of Regents," bizTimes, March, 2015, p. 68