James Helms


IUE Chancellor's Medallion (2014)
IUE Chancellor's Medallion
Location: Richmond


James Helms, Chancellor Emeritus, is well-known for the forward-thinking, service and leadership he brought to the table as Chancellor at Ivy Tech Community College Southeast, which serves Dearborn, Ripley, Jefferson, Ohio, and Switzerland Counties. Among his many achievements, Helms is attributed with increasing enrollment at the community campus from 500 students in 2000 to approximately 5,000 upon his retirement in January 2014. While at Ivy Tech, he was instrumental in the establishment of three new facilities in Batesville, New Madison and Lawrenceburg and creating associate degree programs.
He is highly recognized and noted for his partnership with IU East to develop a degree completion program that would allow associate degree graduates to complete a four-year degree at their local campus. Students could stay in Lawrenceburg, eliminating the need to drive long distances, and save costs on higher tuition and transportation, while completing a bachelor's degree through IU East.

Helms put together the degree completion program in 2002-2003. Following a trial run with the successful partnership becoming a reality in 2004, the partnership continues to be just as successful today. Through the Ivy Tech and IU East partnership, students can complete credits with both institutions at the Ivy Tech Lawrenceburg campus to earn a bachelor's degree including a RN to BSN, elementary education, psychology, communication studies, and business administration as well as a Master of Science in Education. Additionally, the program has expanded to Madison and Batesville.

Helms served in primary and secondary education for 51 years before he retired from Ivy Tech in January 2014. Before joining Ivy Tech as executive dean in 1998, Helms served as a member of the Ivy Tech regional board, appointed in 1976.

He is currently a member of the Ivy Tech Community College State Foundation Board and continues as a liaison with special initiatives in the Southeast Region in coordination with the President's Office in Indianapolis.