Former KCC Provost and Interim President Michael Zibrin Has Died


Former KCC provost and interim president, Dr. Michael Zibrin, died of pancreatic cancer on January 10. He was 88.

Born in Brezno in former Czechoslovakia on April 15, 1934, he emigrated to the United States during the Cold War, gaining American citizenship after joining the army during the Korean War. He used the GI Bill to enroll in the University of Chicago, where he earned a bachelor of arts in business – and met his future wife, Mara Kalve, a chemistry major who had escaped from her home in Riga, Latvia. He subsequently earned a master of business degree from the University of Chicago and a doctor of education from Rutgers University.

Zibrin was first hired at Kingsborough in 1971 as the dean of faculty and later served as senior vice president and provost. Prior to coming to Kingsborough, Zibrin taught accounting at the Chicago Southeast Community College, where he was promoted to dean of faculty.           

During his tenure, Zibrin helped build student enrollment to close to 20,000 and introduced pedagogical guidelines. As the physical campus grew, he helped develop new departments such as maritime technology, computer science, tourism and hospitality, and journalism and print media.

With the unexpected death of KCC President Leon M. Goldstein in 1999, Zibrin was appointed interim president until the arrival of Dr. Byron McClenney in 2000. He retired in 2002.

The family has asked that contributions be made to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.