VALPARAISO | Gov. Mike Pence named Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas to the 14-member state Higher Education Commission on Thursday. It's the second time Costas has been appointed to the board, which defines the education missions of the states colleges and universities.
"Mayor Jon Costas is a true public servant, who takes great pride in serving the people of Valparaiso," Pence said. "His leadership abilities and integrity are important strengths to have on the higher education commission."
Costas was first appointed to the commission by former Gov. Mitch Daniels about eight years ago. Costas said he enjoyed the position, but, after about five years, he had to resign to attend to business.
Costas said the position became vacant recently when his successor resigned to pursue other interests, and he notified Pence of his interest in serving again.
"I let the governor know I enjoyed the service and would be willing to do it again," Costas said. "There were a lot of changes made by the group that Daniels brought in, like on-time completion and connecting funding to incentives and goals. I was part of that.
"I'm certainly supportive of the direction the governor is going. The focus again is on affordability and accessibility and having the businesses and universities all working together to make sure we are helping students get the skills and knowledge they need to be successful.
"The governor has had a particular focus on career and technical education, and I look forward to enhancing that to meet the changing needs of the marketplace," Costas said.