A Q&A with Neil Matkin, Collin College district president

Neil Matkin is approaching five years of serving as the Collin College district president.

Neil Matkin is approaching five years of serving as the Collin College district president.

In April, Neil Matkin will celebrate five years of serving as Collin College district president. The college was named in September as one of the best colleges to work for, according to a new survey by the “Great Colleges to Work For” program. Matkin’s experience in higher education includes serving as the executive vice president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. Before that, Matkin was the president of the Central Campus of San Jacinto College and served in a variety of administrative and staff roles across the country.

Why did you want to be district president of Collin College?

I got here, and I felt like there was something very special when I came to interview as a semifinalist. …  When I got called back for the finalists’ interview and went through two or three days of interviews, I got to meet the folks on the different campuses and… [there were] very different personalities at the different campuses. But I enjoyed it. I liked the interchange, and I liked the way the board felt.

What are some of the responsibilities that come with your job?

We look at our tax rates to work with the board to make sure that we’re fiscally sound and pursuing fiscal practices. The safety of our students, faculty and staff is a solid responsibility that I take very seriously. … Everything we do, whether it’s budget or policy, or looking at getting into the housing business, even, we need to ask the question, “What impact does this have on students? What impact does this have on student outcomes?” So I think my main job is to keep us focused on what we’re here to do.

What is your favorite part about working for Collin College?

My favorite part is the fact that you can do a lot of things for a living, but in this job you get to change people’s lives. It’s not just changing a person’s life for the day—if a person comes to us and is able to achieve educational goals that they wouldn’t otherwise achieve, and let’s say their salary … moves from point A to point B, it doesn’t just impact their life, it impacts their children’s lives and their [grandchildren’s] lives. I’m hard-pressed to find another job where you can get to do that.

What are some important topics to address in the near future?

We are starting our two new bachelor’s degrees in January: bachelor of science in nursing and bachelor of applied technology and cybersecurity. Those will start in January, and we’re authorized by the legislature to offer three bachelor’s degrees. So we’re working on figuring out what the third one should be. … And then, we’re in the process of building two brand new campuses—one in Wylie and one in Allen. … We’re in the process of renewing our master plan and our strategic plan, so we’ll do demographic studies.


The Texas Department of Transportation has announced north- and southbound lane closures on US 75 on Nov. 14-15. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Lane closures on US 75 to take place Nov. 14-15 in Collin County

Driver's can expect US 75 lane closures Nov. 14-15, according to The Texas Department of Transportation. 

TxDOT presented its preferred US 380 alignment in May. (courtesy city of McKinney)
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Infinity Realty Partners and Brahma Title & Escrow expect to open a new corporate headquarters at 299 E. Eldorado Parkway, McKinney in spring 2020. (Rendering courtesy Craig Anderson)
Infinity Realty Partners and Brahma Title & Escrow to open new corporate headquarters in McKinney

Infinity Realty Partners and Brahma Title & Escrow expect to open a new corporate headquarters at 299 E. Eldorado Parkway, McKinney in spring 2020.

The McKinney Urban Transit District has allocated $270,000 for funding of a new pilot program that will allow people facing certain hardships free transportation service. (courtesy Adobe Stock)
McKinney Urban Transit District allocates $270,000 toward pilot program allowing free transportation for eligible riders

The McKinney Urban Transit District set aside $270,000 for the implementation of a “hardship” pilot program, during a Nov. 13 board meeting.

The city of McKinney has been selected to host one of the Drum Corps International tour stops at its McKinney ISD stadium next summer. (courtesy city of McKinney)
McKinney ISD stadium selected to host Drum Corps International competition next summer

The city of McKinney announced Nov. 13 that it has yet again landed a major event at its new $70 million stadium.

Graphite Pencil   Paper is now open in downtown McKinney offering a variety or pencils and stationary. (courtesy Graphite Pencil   Paper)
Graphite Pencil + Paper now open in downtown McKinney

Graphite will offer a wide variety of pencils from international and national brands, as well as sharpeners, erasers, stationary, stickers, cards, books, socks, t-shirts and more.

The city of McKinney has hired a new Assistant City Manager, named Kim Flom. (Cassidy Ritter/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Kim Flom, who is packing 15 years of municipal government experience, has been hired as the new Assistant City Manager for the city of McKinney, according to a city news release.

family walking in the park at sunset
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Cryo N More is now open in McKinney and offering services such as extreme cold treatment. (courtesy Cryo N More)
Cryo N More now open in McKinney, offering extreme cold treatment, tanning

The store offers cryotherapy, which activates the body’s natural healing system by exposing it to extreme cold, according to the website. Cryo also offers normatec compression and tanning.

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Sprout Dentistry for Kids is now open in McKinney. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Sprout Dentistry for Kids now open in McKinney

The dentist offers pediatric dental practices and offers pain-free and needle-free treatment.

At this year's State of the City, the speakers were McKinney Mayor George Fuller, city manager Paul Grimes, McKinney ISD Superintendent Rick McDaniel and Collin College District President Neil Matkin (right to left). (Miranda Jaimes/Community Impact Newspaper)
State of the City highlights McKinney’s progress and plans for upcoming year

At this year’s State of the City event on Nov. 7, guests learned of different successes and challenges for McKinney ISD, Collin College and the city.

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