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The Leadership Crisis | Trustee Entrepreneurship | ACCT Congress Recap


Shifting theSails

ACCT Chair LeRoy Mitchell believes community colleges can guide students through exemplary leadership.



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Board of Directors

2013-2014 Chair LeRoy W. Mitchell Westchester Community College, NY

From the Chair Shifting Winds

Chair-elect Robin M. Smith Lansing Community College, MI

Vice Chair Roberto Zárate Alamo Colleges, TX

Secretary-Treasurer Bakari Lee Hudson County Community College, NJ

Immediate Past Chair Jean Torgeson North Iowa Area Community College, IA

Central Regional Chair Diane Gallagher Highland Community College, IL

Northeast Regional Chair William E. Coleman, Jr. Mercer County Community College, NJ

Pacific Regional Chair Jim Harper Portland Community College, OR

Southern Regional Chair Randall “Mack” Jackson Midlands Technical College, SC

Western Regional Chair Robert “Bob” Feit Southeast Community College, NE Kirsten Diederich North Dakota University System, ND Stanley Edwards Halifax Community College, NC Mary Figueroa Riverside Community College District, CA Connie Hornbeck Iowa Western Community College Vernon Jung Moraine Park Technical College, WI Gregory Knott Parkland College, IL Jeffrey May Joliet Junior College, IL Kent Miller Mid-Plains Community College Area, NE Clare Ollayos Elgin Community College, IL Hector Ortiz Harrisburg Area Community College, PA George Regan Robeson Community College, NC Dana Saar Maricopa County Community College, AZ Jane Strain Cochise College, AZ David H. Talley Palm Beach State College, FL Rafael C. Turner Mott Community College, MI

We are all the products of our life experiences. I was fortunate to have been born into a family that supported itself by building boats — hard work, but work that taught me a variety of lessons. Perhaps the most valuable lesson of all was advice from my father that was at the time literal, but which has taken on a great metaphorical meaning for all of us. My father told me, “You can’t control the winds, but you can shift the sails.” Since 2008, community colleges have had truly unprecedented opportunities to shift our sails. Budgets have been cut, enrollment rates spiked beyond our capacities and then dropped sharply once we learned to cope. These were clearly economy-driven effects that are still affecting us today. None of us has been complacent. Despite all the unprecedented changes, community college trustees, with ACCT at the helm, have not only coped with the factors beyond our control, but we have also taken the noble and necessary initiative to make the changes required to improve the outcomes and future lives of our current students. This is not easy work for individual trustees or for our national association. ACCT has forged vital new relationships with philanthropic foundations to make these changes possible through the Symposium on Student Success that you will read about in this issue of Trustee Quarterly, other partnerships such as the one we have with Single Stop USA to help students find the resources they need, and through the focused, data-driven and outcomes-based work of the groundbreaking Governance Institutes for Student Success. We did not have to do this work; we have chosen to do it, and it is my honor to serve as the board chair of an association that represents the honorable, hardworking, and humble individuals who make up our nation’s community college boards. Still, there is at least one more great shift underway in our country: Over the past 20 months, approximately 200 community college presidents have left their positions, and a full 75 percent of current presidents have indicated that they plan to leave their offices within the next ten years. This changeover in leadership will undoubtedly have an extraordinary and profound effect on the community college system as a whole — and as trustees, it is our responsibility to make sure that the transition is a smooth one that works in favor of our students. This will be a unique opportunity for us, as trustees, to embrace the long-neglected initiative of diversifying our faculty. Students of all backgrounds need role models in the classrooms to enhance their prospect of emulating those whom they aspire to become. Please be sure to read about this transition and what ACCT is doing about it on page 26. I look forward to my year as ACCT Chair, and to bringing my message to Washington, D.C., this February at the Community College National Legislative Summit. I hope to see you there, and to hear how your board is navigating these choppy, ever-changing waters. The lessons that come from this hard work can be hard won, but we are always better for it in the long run. LeRoy W. Mitchell Westchester Community College, New York

Emily Yim Edmonds Community College, WA

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The Voice of Community College Leaders

From the President & CEO


Editorial Team EDITOR-IN-CHIEF J. Noah Brown President & CEO

Managing Editor David Conner Communications & Publications Manager

Editor Mark Toner CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jee Hang Lee Vice President of Public Policy and External Relations

Ira Michael Shepard ACCT Legal Counsel

EDITORIAL ASSOCIATES Karen Lomax Executive Assistant to the President and CEO

Jennifer Stiddard Senior Public Policy Associate

PROOFREADER Indya Rogers Board and Publications Assistant

Design & Production www.moiremarketing.com – Washington, D.C. Your Opinion Matters contact: David Conner (866) 895-ACCT (2228) dconner@acct.org

TRUSTEE QUARTERLY (ISSN 0271-9746) is published three or four times per year as a membership service of the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT). ACCT is a not-for-profit educational organization of governing boards of public and private community, technical, and junior colleges. Membership is also open to state coordinating boards, advisory boards, and state associations. The mission of ACCT is to foster greater understanding of and appreciation for community college boards; support boards in their efforts to develop public policies focusing on meeting community needs; help build board governance leadership and advocacy capacity through in-service education and training programs; and support boards through specialized services and programs. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and values of the Association of Community College Trustees. Non-members may subscribe to TRUSTEE QUARTERLY for $60.00 per year (plus postage for international subscriptions). Third-class postage paid at Washington, D.C.

1233 20th Street, NW, Suite 301 Washington DC 20036 (202) 775-4667 FAX: (202) 775-4455 E-mail: acctinfo@acct.org www.acct.org

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On Becoming Great Leaders This past October, I had the once-in-a lifetime opportunity to interview Bill Gates during the 2013 ACCT Leadership Congress. Gates has proven himself to be one of the great intellects of our time, but perhaps more than that, he embodies the qualities that make a truly great leader. Not one to rest on the laurels of having been one of the primary players in the technological revolution, he and his wife and partner Melinda founded their eponymous philanthropic foundation, which has made tremendous strides in its bold goal to reduce poverty and improve health in developing nations and to address failures in America’s education system. These goals are lofty, but as the Gateses have proven, they are attainable through exemplary leadership. As the president and CEO of ACCT, I have an insatiable appetite for learning about how to be a better leader. It’s my job, but it is also my passion. I recently had something of an epiphany about one of the primary characteristics of a great leader — and certainly one that Bill Gates has in spades. Great leaders, without exception, think like entrepreneurs. Since trustees must be great leaders, they too must have an entrepreneurial spirit. To learn more, see page 28 and consider becoming involved with NACCE, the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship, an organization on whose board I serve and which inspired this insight. Encouraging, developing, and nurturing great leaders is the business of ACCT. It is no accident that our annual convention is called the ACCT Leadership Congress. This issue is dedicated to that meeting, and I hope that you will read and think about the ideas that were discussed at this past October’s Congress, as well as the Symposium on Completion that preceded it. And don’t overlook our cover story on ACCT’s new Chair LeRoy Mitchell, a great leader in his own right. His dedication to community colleges and their students, and his own personal endless pursuit of education, set an example we all should follow. Speaking of entrepreneurial trusteeship, be sure to read about the College of Southern Idaho’s groundbreaking approach to helping students with legal needs so they can focus on the work of being students. These students will one day lead our nation, and as you will read in our news department (p. 4) and a story on p. 26, our colleges are currently facing an impending leadership crisis — with nearly 200 presidents having left their colleges over the past 20 months, and a projected 75 percent of all presidents planning to retire within the next 10 years. And finally but by no means any less imperative, I strongly encourage you to read ACCT Vice President Jee Hang Lee’s advocacy column in preparation for the upcoming Community College National Legislative Summit (NLS), or even if you do not plan to attend the NLS. The column contains a vitally important update on the Administration’s planned college ratings system, which could have a significant effect on your students’ ability to receive financial aid and how your college is perceived. I hope to see you at the NLS in February and in Chicago this October for the 45th Annual ACCT Leadership Congress, where we will continue to raise the bar on leadership, always with an entrepreneurial spirit and the success of our students in mind. J. Noah Brown ACCT President and CEO



Departments 8

Advocacy Crafting a College Ratings System Jee Hang Lee

28 President’s POV Trusteeship is Entrepreneurship



J. Noah Brown

32 Legal Recent Legal Developments Impacting Community Colleges Ira Michael Shepard

14 Features 10 From Inspiration to Mobilization — By Mark Toner Now in its fourth year, ACCT’s Symposium on Completion shifts the focus to accelerating proven strategies for student success.

© 2013 Association of Community College Trustees. Photos by Keith Weller.

14 Moving the Needle — By Mark Toner Innovation took center stage at the largest ACCT Leadership Congress of the decade.

in every issue 1

From the Chair


From the President & CEO



24 Around the Regions 34 ACCT Lifetime Members 36 Searches 41 Interface 44 Advisor

20 Shifting the Sails — By Mark Toner ACCT Chair LeRoy Mitchell believes community colleges can guide students by example — and by serving as examples.

26 The Leadership Crisis Six national community college organizations collaborate to address the growing turnover of college presidents.

29 A Different Kind of Counseling — By Doug Maughan Students at the College of Southern Idaho are offered free legal services so they can focus on their studies.

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Registration and Call for Presentations: 2014 ACCT Leadership Congress

News 2013 ACCT Association Awards The 2013 ACCT Association Awards were presented on Friday, October 4, during the Annual ACCT Awards Gala in Seattle. For photos and videos of the Association and Regional Awards, visit www.acct.org/awards.

Join more than 1,400 trustees, college presidents, philanthropic leaders, and federal officials as we move the needle on student success at the 2014 ACCT Leadership Congress, to be held

2013 M. Dale Ensign Trustee Leadership Award Marie Flickinger San Jacinto College, Texas

2013 Marie Y. Martin Chief Executive Award Edwin R. Massey Indian River State College, Fla.

October 22-25 in Chicago, Illinois. Registration for the 2014 Congress opens in mid-February at www.acct.org. ACCT is seeking presentations for the 2014 Congress that relate to the following tracks: 1. Entrepreneurship and strategic alliances to meet local workforce needs and partnerships with K-12 2. Data-driven solutions to foster equity, access, and student success and completion

2013 Charles Kennedy Equity Award Alamo Colleges, Texas

3. Innovative financial strategies and expanded fundraising 4. Combating poverty, serving at-risk and underserved populations, and ensuring access 5. Procedures, practices, and policies that promote effective governance. For more information and to submit your presentation idea, go to www.acct.org and click “Events,” or email questions to ACCT Education Events Specialist Christina Sage Simons at csage@acct.org. 4

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2013 William H. Meardy Faculty Member Award Elaine Padilla Rockland Community College, N.Y.

2013 ACCT Professional Board Staff Member Award Kimberly Olson Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, Wisc.

Keep an eye on your mailbox and email inbox for the 2014 ACCT Regional and Association Awards Call for Nominations, to be issued early in 2014!

ACCT Teams Up With 5 Community College Organizations to Address Impending Leadership Crisis According to a recent report from ACCT’s sister association, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), nearly 200 community college presidents left their positions in the 17 months leading up to the most recent ACCT Leadership Congress. More astoundingly, 75 percent of current presidents surveyed by AACC indicated that they plan to retire within the next 10 years. This exodus from the current leadership of our nation’s community colleges stands to affect 13 million students. On September 23, ACCT met with AACC and Achieving the Dream, Inc. (ATD), the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, the League for Innovation in the Community College, and Student Success Initiatives, the University of Texas at Austin, to address this tidal shift in the longstanding leadership of community and technical colleges. All six of the national community college organizations have pledged to share program information and support each other as they accelerate their efforts focused on the leadership pipeline. Leaders of fix of the six organizations convened in Seattle at the 2013 ACCT Leadership Congress to announce this imperative new initiative to ACCT’s member trustees. For more information about the partnership and what it means to your college, see page 26.

Let the LAW work for you Timing is everything when it comes to advocacy, but not everyone has time to pay attention to pending legislation day in and day out. ACCT’s Latest Action in Washington (LAW) Alerts do the work for you. Since 2008, nearly 1,600 new people have signed up to receive ACCT’s LAW Alert e-mails — brief summaries of legislative actions e-mailed to subscribers as legislation happens, giving community college trustees, presidents, and other leaders and advocates time to contact their representatives and exert influence before it’s too late. Please encourage your fellow trustees, presidents, and colleagues to stay up to date about legislation that affects their community colleges by joining the LAW E-Alert network. To join, simply e-mail publicpolicy@ acct.org with “LAW Alert” in the subject of the e-mail.

Members of the six national community college organizations meeting on September 23, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

For more information about ACCT’s advocacy services, visit www.acct.org/advocacy.

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Model Standards of Good Practice for Trustee Boards In Support of Effective Community College Governance, the Board Believes: n

That it derives its authority from the community and that it must always act as an advocate on behalf of the entire community;


That it must clearly define and articulate its role;


That it is responsible for creating and maintaining a spirit of true cooperation and a mutually supportive relationship with its CEO;


That it always strives to differentiate between external and internal processes in the exercise of its authority;


That its trustee members should engage in a regular and ongoing process of in-service training and continuous improvement;


That its trustee members come to each meeting prepared and ready to debate issues fully and openly;


That its trustee members vote their conscience and support the decision or policy made;


That its behavior, and that of its members, exemplify ethical behavior and conduct that is above reproach;


That it endeavors to remain always accountable to the community;


That it honestly debates the issues affecting its community and speaks with one voice once a decision or policy is made.

Adopted by the ACCT Board of Directors, October 2000. *The term “board” refers to a community college board of trustees or appropriate governing authority.


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News New Report: Financial Aid 101 for Community College Trustees and Leaders ACCT is pleased to announce the release of Financial Aid 101: A Guide to Understanding Federal Financial Aid Programs for Community College Trustees and Leaders. Federal financial aid serves as a crucial tool to support both access and success for students in higher education. This is especially true at community colleges. Whether they are seeking job training, a certificate, or an associate degree, our students rely on consistent and meaningful sources of support to advance their educational aspirations. This report is designed to help community college trustees and leaders understand the broad structure and design of the largest federal financial aid programs, including grants, loans, and tax credits. ACCT mailed printed copies of the report to the board chairs and presidents of each of our member colleges in December, and the response has been tremendous, with many colleges requesting copies for all members of their boards. The report is also available electronically at no cost at www.acct.org/reports-white-papers. Hard copies of the report are available to ACCT members upon request. Contact Bryce McKibben at bmckibben@acct.org for more information or to request copies.

ACCT Joins White House Effort to Expand Access to Higher Education On January 16, ACCT President and CEO J. Noah Brown represented the nation’s community college trustees at a White House summit hosted by President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The focus of the summit was to highlight various commitments made by states and institutional leaders to help low-income students enroll in and succeed in college. “Community colleges are the gateway to higher education for the majority of low-income students,” said Brown. “ACCT is pleased that the Obama Administration has such a deep understanding of not only higher education, but of the importance of community and technical colleges in the higher education landscape.” The daylong summit was held in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House campus. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama led the discussion with 100 leaders from a range of institutions that include liberal arts colleges, research universities, foundations, and nonprofits. The summit was dedicated to launching a plan of action for increasing college access and success for low-income and disadvantaged students. The event was jointly coordinated by the White House National Economic Council, the White House Domestic Policy Council, and the Department of Education as a kick-off to an effort the Administration will be engaged in over the coming months.

ACCT President Announces Legacy Awards Finalists During Live Online Event On December 11, ACCT President and CEO J. Noah Brown served on a live webinar panel to announce the 2014 Community College Futures Assembly Bellwether Awards and Legacy Award. ACCT is a sponsor of the 20th Anniversary Bellwether Legacy Award, a special award created to commemorate the Community College Futures Assembly’s 20th anniversary. “The Bellwether Award is among the most prestigious recognition given to those within the community college sector,” Brown said. “ACCT is proud and honored to be able to support the first-ever Legacy Award, and I am excited to be personally involved in the announcement of the awards.” For 20 years, the Community College Futures Assembly has not only been a national policy summit, but also has recognized and promoted cutting-edge, trendsetting programs that other colleges might find worthy of replicating. Since 1995, the Assembly, sponsored by the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Florida, has recognized exemplary and effective programs through the awarding of the coveted Bellwether Award.

Legacy Award Nominees To find out who won, visit http://education.ufl.edu/futures/ Alamo Colleges, Texas Alamo Academies – An Industry-Driven Higher Education Program of Studies, Workforce, and Economic Development Partnership: Solving the School-to-Careers Pipeline Austin Community College, Texas College Connection: A Legacy of Student Access and Success Central Community College—Columbus, Neb. Evolving Collaboration: The Key to Developing and Building America’s Workforce Cleveland State Community College and Do the Math: Solving the Nation’s Math Problems Chattanooga State Community College, Tenn. The Community College of Baltimore County, Md. High Impact Assessment: Progress and Transformation Indian River State College, Fla. Baccalaureate Transition Team Mid-South Community College & Arkansas Delta Power of Partnerships Continues Training & Education Consortium, Ark. Montgomery County Community College, Pa. Nursing Shortage Generates Innovative Program Expansion: 10 Years of Success South Texas College, Texas Dual Enrollment Medical Science Academy (DEMSA) Temple College, Texas Partners in Excellence: A Decade of Success through Collaboration at the Temple College Clinical Simulation Center

Education Officials on the Move Former Under Secretary of Education Martha J. Kanter officially left the U.S. Department of Education in January. She had previously announced in August 2013 that she would leave the Obama administration and return to academia. Dr. Kanter is now serving as a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Higher Education at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, where she will Kanter speaking at the 2013 Community fulfill a two-year appointment. In October College National Legislative Summit 2013, President Obama nominated Ted Mitchell, CEO of NewSchools Venture Fund, to replace Dr. Kanter as Under Secretary of Education. Dr. Mitchell is still awaiting Senate confirmation. He has previously served as president of Occidental College, dean of the Graduate School of Education at UCLA, and professor of education at Dartmouth. Until Mitchell is confirmed, Deputy Under Secretary Jamienne S. Studley is serving as Acting Under Secretary of Education. Dr. Studley, a former

president of Skidmore College and one-time Education Department general counsel, joined the administration last fall and is coordinating the “college ratings” effort. In early November, President Obama nominated Ericka M. Miller, vice president for operations and strategic leadership at the Education Trust, to be the next assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE). Dr. Miller has spent six years at Education Trust, focusing on equity issues in elementary and secondary education. She will relieve Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier, assistant secretary of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) who has been doing double-duty by also serving as acting assistant secretary of OPE. In mid-December, President Obama announced the nomination of Portia Y. Wu as the next assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment & Training Administration (ETA). Ms. Wu currently serves as Special Assistant to the President for Labor and Workforce Policy at the White House Domestic Policy Council (DPC). Prior to joining the Administration, she was the Vice President at the National Partnership for Women and Families and, for seven years, counsel for the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. T R U S T E E Q U A RT E R LY   W I N T E R 2 0 1 4



Crafting a College Ratings System ACCT offers testimony on the Obama Administration’s proposals.


By Jee Hang Lee

Last August, President Barack Obama announced that he would direct the U.S. Department of Education to develop a college ratings system to determine institutional “value” prior to the 2015–2016 academic year, with a tentative rollout planned for later this spring. The proposed ratings will focus on three key areas of metrics: access, affordability, and outcomes. President Obama has also called upon Congress to move legislation that would distribute more federal student aid to institutions that are rated highly by 2018. Since the announcement, there has been some controversy about the Department of Education’s ability to equitably rate all higher education institutions given their differing missions and student populations. Ultimately, the key question is how to create a meaningful, useful, and representative rating system for prospective students and their families.

There are currently two primary federal consumer information sources on higher education: the U.S. Department of Education College Navigator website and the White House College Scorecard, which together provide statistics on net price, retention, completion, enrollment, borrowing, and financial aid. However, the accuracy, usability, and representative nature of these metrics remain questionable, and they portend a troublesome model for the new ratings system. Net price information, which measures the cost to students after average aid, inexplicably varies widely between institutions of similar published price and location. For example, one four8

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year college in the Bronx has a College Scorecard room-and-board cost for an off-campus student listed at just $2,500 for an entire academic year, potentially due to input error and significantly understating the true cost of living in New York City. Prospective students also see just one net price estimate that can vary significantly from year to year. Since the vast majority of community college students borrow nothing, data on loan defaults and median borrowing are misleading about the typical student experience and make no mention of low

borrowing rates. Verifying and explaining the data in any federal ratings system will be paramount if the tool is to have any sustainability and credibility for potential consumers. The federal government is currently prevented by law from collecting information on non-federal aid students due to the ban on a federal “student unit record system.” The ban hampers the ability to compile data on a broad spectrum of higher education, and especially for nontraditional students who may transfer or stop-out. ACCT supports


Drawbacks to Existing Data

lifting the federal student unit record ban, but the ratings system will proceed even without this important change.

Making the Case for Community Colleges This past fall, the Department held a series of listening sessions to allow the public, colleges, students, and other stakeholders to speak about what should be included in any college ratings system, and ACCT testified at the listening session held at George Mason University in Virginia. Our message was simple: determining accurate and valid data continues to be the largest hurdle to a meaningful ratings system. The following are some of the recommendations made by ACCT based upon community college concerns: Access. The ratings system will evaluate institutions based on the number of low-income students enrolled. However, the system should not focus solely on the number of Pell Grant recipients, since that number will generally be lower than the total number of low-income students. Low-income community college students often do not fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at all — frequently citing that they had no idea financial aid existed, believed they would not qualify for aid, or found the application process too complex. Affordability. Community colleges remain the most affordable sector of higher education, providing a path to higher education with minimal or no debt for students. However, tuition and fees at community colleges are largely outside of the institutions’ control, as state and local funding cuts have escalated these costs 29 percent in just five years. In order to gain a more accurate picture of affordability, ratings should also evaluate student loan debt based on the median debt load of all completers at an institution. Outcomes. Community colleges support the mission of helping more students succeed. The flexibility offered by community colleges to students who can attend a program that is convenient

to their home or work, or to reduce their course load as life circumstances change, is something about which our postsecondary system should be proud. While current consumer sources exclude students who transfer out, President Obama has proposed using a combined completion and transfer rate in the ratings system. However, current federal data sources show completion rates of only first-time, full-time students — an exceedingly small fraction of community college enrollments. Measuring “completion” rates at 100, 150, and 300 percent of the “normal time” of program length at full-time enrollment would provide more accurate outcome data, as would pending efforts to include non-first-time students in the measurements. As federal data collection efforts improve, and as state data systems begin to integrate, the specific outcomes of transfer students from two-year institutions will become more clear. The President has also proposed evaluating graduates’ post-college earnings or incomes. Should this be done, it would be imperative to accrue accurate data, which is made more challenging by the current ban on collecting data on non-federal aid students. The Department of Education has recently proposed collecting earnings information only for federal loan borrowers, yet many community colleges cite borrowing rates among their students as low as 1 percent, and some do not participate in the Direct Loan program at all. Earnings information based on borrowers alone would not reflect those who have completed their studies — and in many ways would represent heavily skewed data that would not apply generally to community college students and their outcomes.

from high school and enrolls directly into college with a full-time credit load. Higher education demographics are rapidly changing, while the available federal data are too narrow and fail to capture the actual experience and outcomes for millions of community college students. Because the new federal ratings system is still being developed, it is unclear whether it will ultimately have a significant impact on consumer choices or federal funding. Community college students attend their local community college based primarily upon location, affordability, and the presence of highquality programs. Even if a similar institution is more highly rated in another state or locality, the vast majority of community college students are unlikely to opt for out-of-state or out-of-district tuition and fees to attend that institution. In order to truly serve student interests, the college ratings system must be nothing less than a fully transparent consumer information tool that provides clear and concise data for all prospective students and their families — including colleges where the majority of students do not participate in federal student-loan programs. Designing this tool remains an uphill task. ACCT will continue to monitor and inform the Administration as it develops the ratings system and other elements related to higher education. We encourage you to utilize ACCT’s online policy center to communicate with your members of Congress, and follow federal legislative updates through the Latest Action in Washington (LAW) email alerts and the Capitol Connection e-newsletter. To join, email publicpolicy@acct.org.

An Uphill Task Currently available and utilized data only represent a minority of the students served by community colleges. The majority of students in higher education are classified as “non-traditional” students, but all the data provided are designed for a traditional student who graduates

ACCT Vice President for Public Policy and External Relations Jee Hang Lee can be reached by email at jhlee@acct.org, or by phone at 202-775-4667. T R U S T E E Q U A RT E R LY   W I N T E R 2 0 1 4



Inspiration to Mobilization Now in its fourth year, ACCT’s Symposium on Completion shifts the focus to accelerating proven strategies for student success. B y M ark T o n e r

LeRoy Mitchell, 2013-2014 ACCT Chair and trustee at Westchester Community College, State University of New York

Attendees discuss student success priorities.

When community college leaders and experts

including launching the signature Governance Institute for Student Success (GISS). “When I think about what we’ve collectively achieved, it’s really staggering,” said ACCT President & CEO J. Noah Brown. This year’s symposium, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Lumina Foundation, and ACCT Corporate Council member Ellucian, marked a shift towards leveraging the considerable progress that has been made. “We’re now at an inflection point,” explained Sheri Ranis, strategy director for the Lumina Foundation. “We’ve learned a lot about what completion and attainment means in every sense. Now, as Elvis Presley once said, it’s time for a little less conversation, a little more action. It’s about mobilization and acceleration.” With leadership changes on many community colleges campuses looming in the coming years, trustees will play the

gathered for the fourth annual Symposium: the Journey to Completion immediately before the 2013 ACCT Leadership Congress in Seattle, it was a time to take stock — and to move forward. “This year, we gather to see how far we’ve come,” said outgoing ACCT Chair Jean Torgeson, a trustee at North Iowa Area Community College. “We’re seeing gains in credential attainment, but we’re not yet where we want to be.” Over the past four years, community college leaders and experts have come together at the symposium to forge stronger bonds with foundations and K-12 organizations, develop a policy action agenda for governing boards, and better understand how data can be used to sharpen success efforts. During that same period, ACCT has focused its own efforts to support the student success agenda, 10

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University of Wisconsin-Madison Associate Professor Sara Goldrick-Rab

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Deputy Director Suzanne Elise Walsh

critical role in ensuring that the completion agenda continues to scale across the country, said Narcisa Polonio, ACCT executive vice president for education, research, and board leadership services. “We believe the sustainability of the student success movement really depends on trustees,” she said. “If they come up with the right policy and it is implemented the right way, it can be sustained for the next 10 to 20 years.”

© 2013 Association of Community College Trustees. Photos by Keith Weller.

Mounting Challenges While student success has become a foundation of both the community college and the national education agenda, the challenges continue to grow. “Students have never been more unprepared for college,” Steven Johnson, president of Sinclair Community College in Ohio, declared. Even Seattle, one of the nation’s best-educated cities, has to “import educated workers” to fill high-tech jobs, said Seattle Community Colleges Chancellor Jill Wakefield. “We need to make sure those who live in the city have the same opportunities,” she said. With nearly one in four Americans now under the age of 18, addressing the growing numbers of students unprepared for college-level work has become critical, an emphasis shared by the foundations that have supported the community college sector’s completion efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation believes that improved student outcomes are the best way to “attack the yawning equity gap in this country,” said Daniel Greenstein, director of the foundation’s postsecondary success strategy. “It’s a moral imperative because individual lives are attached to it, and it’s a national imperative because it impacts economic development.” Across the higher education spectrum, foundations are focusing on technology, more flexible pathways, metrics, and affordability — all of which community colleges have much to share with the rest of the sector, speakers said. “You’ve already been not just the vanguard, but also the flag bearers among the different tiers of higher education,” said Lumina’s Ranis. “How do we convert others and translate what you’ve done to the rest of higher education?

ACCT President and CEO J. Noah Brown

That’s a really important inflection point, where you as the vanguard need to educate the rest.” The completion agenda has also firmly landed in many statehouses, where performance funding is increasingly seen as a lever to improve outcomes across higher education. “For the first time in a long time, we’re having concrete discussions about student success because the creation of the system requires it,” said Sara Goldrick-Rab, associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where lawmakers are considering implementing performance funding. Ohio brought together presidents of both two- and four-year institutions to develop its own system, which currently funds community colleges 50 percent on enrollment, 25 percent on success measures, and 25 percent on course completion, said David Cannon, vice chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents. For performance funding to move the needle on student success, it must have explicit and measurable goals, include the full spectrum of higher education institutions while acknowledging their different missions, and reward institutions for meeting their goals, said David Longanecker, president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. Unlike previous performance funding efforts which accounted for just a small percentage of an institution’s total budget, new systems must carry enough weight to make them worth the effort, while still maintaining an emphasis on quality, he added. “Given the mission of every community college in the country, there should be a strong focus on underrepresented students,” Longanecker said. “If that is your goal, make sure your performance funding rewards are serving the underserved.”

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ACCT Executive Vice President Narcisa A. Polonio

Lumina Foundation Strategy Director Sheri Ranis

are as important as differences among institutions, said Thomas Bailey, director of the Community College Research Center at Columbia University. “When you aggregate, you’ll find [your metrics] don’t total where you want to be as an institution,” agreed Greg Smith, president of Central Community College in Nebraska. “You’ve got to get down to the program level. That’s also where the faculty is, and where you’re most likely to get them involved and get the most buy-in and dialogue.” The Voluntary Framework of Accountability provides a tool to drive those internal conversations. Having completed beta testing at 140 colleges, the metrics and the online data tool used to collect them “give us the full breadth of the community college mission and the full scope of our student population, their goals, and their objectives,” said Bernadette Ferro, VFA’s project manager. At Oxnard College in California, metrics reinforced how only a small percentage of unprepared students managed to complete college-level courses in math and writing — a familiar problem nationwide, but one given new urgency by surfacing the data internally, according to President Richard Duran. “Even though it seems obvious, what we had to do is quantify it for our own college community,” he said. “Before that, it was only anecdotal information — the one student who defied all odds. That started the process of conversations with faculty and the community.” In Nebraska, where an ACCT grant is helping the state’s six community colleges implement the VFA, practices are beginning to change, said Central Community College’s Smith. Since leaders participated in GISS, student success issues are now “standing agenda items” at every board meeting, he said.

Proven Solutions As community college leaders shared strategies from their own campuses during the symposium, two common themes emerged: a willingness to try new things, and the use of data to get a sense of how well they worked. 12

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2012-2013 ACCT Chair Jean Torgeson

As the number of students requiring developmental education continued to grow, Zane State College in Ohio revamped the program, elevating its director to a full dean and replacing tutors with faculty members. Zane State also added a first-year experience course and more extensive pre-enrollment programs, identified touch points, and created a “success inventory” that assesses both students’ academic and life issues and puts those most at risk into mandatory academic advising and support programs, said President Paul Brown. At Walla Walla Community College in Washington, one of this year’s winners of the Aspen Prize, the focus has been on continuous measurement of learning outcomes, clear pathways to completion, and alignment based on industry partnerships and economic studies, said President Steven L. VanAusdle. Multiple speakers pointed to the Single Stop USA model, which consolidates benefits and services available to high-need students, as a key piece of the solution. And as part of a broader redesign of the first-year experience, Seattle Community Colleges presented students with information about brain development that emphasizes that everyone can improve their ability to learn in order to “reset the mindset of students about what they can do,” Wakefield said. But there’s still a long way to go. Sinclair, which has focused on automatic graduation, an informal “light touch” support program, and new approaches to developmental math, has seen one measure of its graduation rate double. “But it’s still so modest, you’re not going to hear me crowing about it,” Johnson said. “We’re going in the right direction, but it’s not good enough to be proud.”

New Models The national push for higher completion rates, coupled with declining state support, has prompted many colleges to leverage technology to support growing numbers of nontraditional students. But online learning, particularly in the form of massive open online courses (MOOCs),

Attendees discuss student success priorities.

has the potential to transform all learning, speakers said. “Many universities see this as a catalyst for change from one-dimensional lectures to more active engagement in the classroom,” explained Daphne Koller, co-founder of MOOC provider Coursera. The so-called “flipped” classroom, in which students study lectures electronically outside of class and then spend time working with peers, can improve student outcomes, Koller argued. “Community colleges are interested in doing this for a refresh of their curriculum,” said Rebecca Petersen, research director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s edX venture, which is exploring flipped courses with two Massachusetts community colleges with support from the Gates Foundation. Community college students who took a blended class were consistently more successful than those who took the MOOC alone, Petersen said. But a five-year study of community college students confirmed that online courses have higher withdrawal rates and lower overall grades — and more significantly, that students with poor academic backgrounds have significantly lower grades than their academically stronger peers. “Performance gaps that already exist tend to widen in online courses,” said Shanna Smith Jaggars, assistant director of the Community College Research Center at Columbia University. “If we want [online learning] to be for all students, we need to build things into those courses that build self-direction and self-motivation.” Speakers stressed the importance of considering online courses as part of a college’s broader spectrum of offerings. “Think about all the different pathways the learners on your campus are seeking,” Petersen said. “It’s not just all MOOC or blended learning, but the ecosystem you create and how technology…fits into it.”

Leadership Matters As part of its student success efforts, Walla Walla Community College set an audacious goal: an 80 percent completion rate.

Getting there “is all about leadership,” VanAusdle said. “It takes a type of leadership that sells a very strong vision.” At Seattle Community Colleges, leaders have committed to using data to make decisions, said Wakefield. As a result, the colleges have shifted funding, hired more advisors and orientation leaders, and are now preparing to scale up experiments in developmental math courses, based on what’s worked well in smaller pilots. “It takes courage to set higher requirements, make things mandatory for students, and change things that faculty and staff have gotten used to,” Wakefield said. But early efforts have “given us courage to make the tough decisions, because we see we’re leading to student success,” she said. Supporting leadership will take on a new dimension in coming years, as record numbers of community college presidents retire and statehouses change hands. Given the transition, trustees must serve as the institutional voice that ensures the continuity of student success initiatives. “Community colleges must take charge of their own destiny,” Polonio said. “We are in a position to define these things, and we need to take advantage. That’s the board’s role.” Speakers acknowledged that role can be challenging. “What makes it a bit daunting is the amount of choices and priorities,” Lumina’s Ranis advised trustees. “Try not to be overwhelmed by the specifics and details. You don’t need to be the experts on solutions, but you need to be able to ask your leaders at your institutions about them. Outline that change agenda, begin to sort through the priorities, and [you will] make progress.” Incoming ACCT Chair LeRoy Mitchell, a trustee at Westchester Community College in New York, pointed to gatherings like the symposium as evidence that trustees are committed to doing just that. “The challenge before us is very real,” he said. “It’s very encouraging to see this mix of individuals come together to tackle the problem.” T R U S T E E Q U A RT E R LY   W I N T E R 2 0 1 4


Moving the Needle B y M a r k T o ne r








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Innovation took center stage at the largest ACCT Leadership Congress of the decade.



If not a tale of two cities, the 2013 ACCT Leadership Congress was certainly a tale of two Washingtons. As Washington, D.C., languished in the midst of the federal government shutdown last October, Washington state welcomed more than 2,000 community college leaders to one of the largest ACCT Congresses in a decade. And as host city, Seattle served as a model for the kind of innovation that Congress speakers urged community colleges to 2 1. ACCT President and CEO J. Noah Brown interviews Bill Gates; 2. 2012-2013 ACCT Chair Jean Torgeson; 3. Seattle Mayor Michael McGinn; 4. ACCT Marketplace; 5. More than 2,000 people attended the opening session.


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embrace amid challenges that continued long after the federal government returned to business as usual.


© 2013 Association of Community College Trustees. Photos by Keith Weller.







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Pointing to the state’s reputation as an innovator — and the creator of the $4 cup of coffee — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee gave community colleges the lion’s share of the credit. “The only way we could do these things is because of the 34 community colleges that serve as the backbone of education in our state,” said Inslee. “We’re pushing the envelope in our state, and I know you are [doing the same] in yours, to maximize the utility of our institutions,” he said. For trustees, finding new ways to address the challenges their colleges and students face “reflects our commitment to the communities we serve and our country,” said 2012-13 ACCT Chair Jean Torgeson, a trustee at North Iowa Area Community College. ACCT President & CEO J. Noah Brown urged community college leaders to “make the courageous decisions needed to move the needle for more students than ever before.” “The challenges are many, the resources are stifling, but you are men and women of conviction,” Brown said. “Your commitment has never been as important as we work to restore the U.S. to its historical position as first in the world.”

The Innovation Equation 4


Echoing a key theme of the Symposium on Completion that immediately preceded the Congress (see p. 10), speakers stressed that the time for piecemeal change on community college campuses is long over. “Changes on the margin simply cannot produce the gains we need,” Lumina Foundation President and CEO Jamie Merisotis told attendees, saying the student success agenda has reached “an inflection point.” “We need to revamp the higher education system [into] an integrated, fully linked system for developing human potential,” he said. During a standing-room-only keynote, Microsoft founder and former CEO Bill Gates urged trustees to “think about innovation and where it fits in with your goal to create great community colleges.” “It’s no secret that community colleges are facing a big challenge,” said Gates, now co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “[But] the innovation opportunity at the community T R U S T E E Q U A RT E R LY   W I N T E R 2 0 1 4








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college level is starting to change. By getting ahead of that, it gives you time to shape it for the exact student body you’ve got and the needs they have.” The needs are critical. Jim Wigfall, a senior executive of the Boeing Company, urged community colleges to continue developing career pathways for highly technical aerospace jobs — and for the nation as a whole. “Our future depends on affirming America’s role as the leader in technology and innovation,” Wigfall, vice president of business support for Boeing’s shared services group, told Congress attendees. “That future depends on how well we educate students both inside and outside of STEM disciplines.” Community colleges continue to enjoy the support of a broad range of allies, including industry and foundations — and for good reason, according to Gates. “If you could fix one thing, improve one thing...community colleges would be your first choice because of the impact that’s possible,” he said. “The bulk of lifting people up is happening at the institutions you represent.” The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports a number of ACCT initiatives, including the Governance Institutes for Student Success (GISS) and the Symposium on Completion. “The work you do is very important, and the Foundation is committed to doing this work with you and taking community colleges to an even higher level,” Gates said. With a stated goal of increasing the percentage of Americans with high-quality postsecondary degrees or credentials to 60 percent by 2025, Lumina has made more than $120 million in grants focused on community colleges, Merisotis said. “We choose to partner with community colleges because to us, it’s about results,” he explained, urging trustees to explore new ways to educate students, to provide one-stop service hubs to meet their nonacademic needs, and to analyze and reallocate funds to where they matter most. “The ultimate goal is a system with broad, connected pathways to high-quality credentials,” he said, acknowledging that such work will take “years of concerted efforts.” Technology will play a key role in such efforts. Gates touted its potential to improve student support systems, targeted instruction, and administrative services. While acknowledging 16

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5 1. President Brown signs copies of his book, First in the World: Community Colleges and America’s Future; 2. 2013-2014 ACCT Chair LeRoy Mitchell; 3. Lumina Foundation President and CEO Jamie Merisotis; 4-5. Attendees recognized during the first ACCT Member Celebration Luncheon.








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the limitations of online-only offerings such as massive open online courses (MOOCs) — particularly for low-income students — Gates urged colleges to continue exploring uses of the technology that are combined with on-campus activities. “I think that will emerge as a best practice in three to five years,” he said. “Every community college trustee ought to take a MOOC or two. And three years from now, you should take them again.” And the decisions involving these changes fall squarely on governing boards, speakers stressed. “Technology is not a solution, it’s a vehicle for doing something,” Brown said. “The question for the board is what that ‘something’ is. You have to articulate that in the context of your institution.”

Taking Charge



4 1. 2013 M. Dale Ensign Trustee Leadership Awardee Marie Flickinger accepts the award from Jean Torgeson and J. Noah Brown; 2. Western Nebraska Community College Show Choir “Varsity Vocalise” entertained at the ACCT Regional and Association Awards; 3. ACCT Founding Executive Director (1972-1988) William H. Meardy; 4. 2013-14 ACCT Chair-Elect Robin Smith and Chair LeRoy Mitchell take the oath of office.

The government shutdown served as a reminder of the challenges facing the traditional funding models of community colleges. But beyond the short-term impact of the shutdown, long-term issues remain, speakers cautioned during a public policy session. The Pell program faces shortfalls exceeding $7 billion starting in 2016, prompting the threat of additional eligibility changes following the elimination of ability-tobenefit students last year. Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act also remains a concern. During a roundtable discussion of his book First in the World: Community Colleges and America’s Future, Brown took a longer view of the challenges facing community colleges. “We are a sector that has evolved for 112 years by being innovative, creative, and responsive. We’ve reached a level of maturity, but at the same time, I worry about us becoming inflexible and intransigent,” Brown said. “When you’re successful, it’s increasingly difficult to effect change without major innovation. Unless we begin to innovate and change how we think about our business models, this dynamic is never going to change.” In multiple Congress sessions, community college leaders demonstrated that they are willing to do just that. To cover ongoing maintenance costs, the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) leased unused land and buildings. T R U S T E E Q U A RT E R LY   W I N T E R 2 0 1 4








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In one case, developers used the leased property to create a downtown mixed-use project that will contribute $500 million to the local economy. “In a way, we are own stimulus program,” said SDCCD Board President Rich Grosch. In Texas, the Austin Community College District went a step further. “We bought a mall,” said Board Chair Jeffrey Richard. More specifically, the colleges purchased a financially distressed 81-acre mall in a strategically important location as a mixed-use development, nearly doubling the square footage of its campuses while providing space for emerging industries. “Community colleges are not only academic institutions, but they are also transformative economic institutions as well,” Richard said. Such strategies can place community colleges on stronger financial footing. But they must also serve the renewed focus on ensuring student success, speakers said. “Retention is not a number — it is in every case a student, and a student’s dream,” Patricia Donohue, president of Mercer County Community College in New Jersey, told trustees. “We have a lot of people whose dreams are in our hands, and we have to keep looking for solutions that will move them to be successful learners and successful completers.”





Leadership Matters With more than 200 community college presidents having departed their posts in the last 17 months — and hundreds more slated to retire in the coming years — trustees face unprecedented challenges in ensuring their institutions continue to be helmed by innovative leaders capable of advancing the student success agenda, speakers said. “If we’re going to meet this need for 500 presidents, we’ve got to be open to a lot of different people and looking in different places and different sectors,” Brown said. Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, detailed five key qualities of exceptional community college presidents: a deep commitment to student access and success, a willingness to take risks, excellent internal change management ability, a strong vision for the college that includes external partnerships, and skill in fundraising and 18

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1. Outgoing ACCT Chair Jean Torgeson passes the gavel to incoming Chair LeRoy Mitchell; 2. Chair Mitchell presents Immediate Past Chair Torgeson with recognition plaque; 3. Chair Mitchell shows his allegiance to Westchester Community College; 4. A special spotlight session panel about using data to measure accountability. From left: President Brown, Pearson Higher Education’s Jonell Sanchez, Ellucian’s Marcia Daniel, and EdFinancial’s Judith Witherspoon; 5. Engaged general session audience; 6. 2013-14 ACCT Vice Chair Roberto Zarate.

Regional accrediting agency executive directors give “The View on Accreditation.” From left: Belle S. Wheelan, Elizabeth H. Sibolski, Sandra E. Elman, Barbara A. Beno, and Barbara Brittingham.

resource allocation aligned with student success. However, “there are significant gaps between these qualities and what trustees have emphasized in hiring,” Wyner said. According to Wyner, two of the biggest challenges trustees have traditionally faced in hiring college leaders have been an aversion to risk-takers and overemphasizing external relationship building over the skills needed to bring about internal change. However, examples of the rewards of making difficult decisions were evident throughout wide-ranging Congress sessions, with the host state again leading the way. Olympic College closed a successful automotive program which duplicated offerings elsewhere to create a state-ofthe-art mechanical engineering lab in order to help meet the needs of the nearby Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. At Walla Walla Community College, a realignment of programs to better match the region’s changing labor market resulted in doubling the size of its nursing program and creating new winemaking offerings that helped create a $250 million industry in its region.   “If you can communicate a strong vision and you’re trustworthy and passionate, I think you can make bolder changes,” said President Steven VanAusdle. “You can find competitive advantage, or you can create it by creating skillsets. Talent being as short as it is, I believe business is going to grow where the skillset is.” Trustees, too, must communicate an equally bold vision. The leaders of five of the nation’s accrediting agencies stressed the importance of fostering strong board-CEO relationships. “When you talk to CEOs and trustees of other community colleges, tell them how important it is to have that kind of partnership and that kind of a trusting relationship with one another,” Elizabeth H. Sibolski, president of the Middle

States Commission on Higher Education, said during a roundtable discussion. “Trustees are the hope,” added Sandra Elman, president of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. “You are the power of what lay people can do to sustain a system of governance unique to this country that…is the envy of the world.” Congress speakers also reminded trustees of the ultimate goal of strong leadership. “Remember who you are there to serve — the students,” Merisotis told attendees.

Shifting the Sails As the 2013 Congress drew to a close, community college leaders reaffirmed the unique role of their institutions in safeguarding the nation’s economic prosperity. “In our picture, the middle class is still within reach,” said Dan Altmayer, president of the Washington Trustees Association of Community and Technical Colleges. “We’re the bridge to that destination and beyond.” Outgoing ACCT Chair Torgeson pointed to her own career in nursing in urging trustees to continue the charge to help students succeed. “If we can heal a student, we can heal a family, and we can heal a whole community,” she said. Taking the gavel as the new ACCT Chair, LeRoy Mitchell told community college trustees that his tenure would be marked by a “collective commitment to inclusion,” saying that “our lives are richer when we have role models who are better versions of ourselves” in times of change (see profile, p. 20). “My father told me you can’t control the wind, but you can shift the sails,” Mitchell, a trustee at Westchester Community College in New York, told Congress attendees. “My friends, that’s what we will do.” T R U S T E E Q U A RT E R LY   W I N T E R 2 0 1 4


Shifting theSails ACCT Chair LeRoy Mitchell believes community colleges can guide students by example — and by serving as examples. By Mark toner

On taking the gavel as ACCT Chair in Seattle last October, LeRoy Mitchell used a nautical metaphor to describe how he sees community colleges navigating one of the most challenging times in their history. “My father told me you can’t control the wind, but you can shift the sails,” said Mitchell, a trustee at Westchester Community College, State University of New York. “My friends, that is what we will do.” The son of a boatbuilder, Mitchell’s journey from Dominica, a small island in the Caribbean’s Lesser Antilles, to Seattle and the chairmanship of ACCT represents the opportunities that education can provide to people from all backgrounds. And having served as an educator himself, in settings ranging from kindergarten through graduate school, Mitchell says his mission is to help ensure that all students see their full potential by seeing examples and role models everywhere around them.

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“We as trustees don’t micromanage. But we can send the message that inclusion and diversity are as important to the success of students as academics. If we are talking about access and success, there has to be a pathway to success, and part of that pathway is giving students some goals, some ambition, and some role-modeling — a roadmap, if you will.”

“My passion is to give an equal chance and an equal example to people who have been underrepresented,” Mitchell says.

A Lifelong Educator With a deep-timbered, emphatic voice which retains the musical cadence of the Caribbean, Mitchell is quick with examples of the importance of education. He was 23 when he first came to the United States to attend college. But he had already served as a teacher and assistant principal at the primary school he attended in Dominica, an island nation of roughly 71,000 people. “At 19, I was the youngest assistant principal on the island,” he says. The Catholic Christian Brothers who had educated him and then welcomed him as an educator in their schools in Dominica then invited him to study with a full scholarship at Iona College, an institution also run by the Brothers in New Rochelle, N.Y. Although he had traveled internationally, “it was a complete jump,” he says. Mitchell received a degree in accounting from Iona in 1971, and then received another scholarship to pursue his MBA. He interned at KPMG, but ultimately was recruited by Ernst & Young after a senior tax attorney studying for the CPA exam saw his performance in class. A few years later, at the behest of his former department chair, he left Ernst & Young to open his own accounting practice in New Rochelle and teach at Iona, where he has served as an assistant and then associate professor of accounting for more than 30 years, including a four-year stint as chair of the college’s accounting and business law department. Mitchell later received a doctorate in public 22

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administration from New York University and became involved in a wide range of civic organizations, including the local legal aid society, police foundation, and industrial and economic development authorities, as well as the Westchester Planning Council. Most of Mitchell’s family, including his brothers and sisters, still live in Dominica; one of his nephews came to the U.S. after receiving a full scholarship to Yale Medical School. He and his wife, an anesthesiologist, have a son, who just received his MBA from New York University, and a stepdaughter, who received a master’s degree in education from NYU and is now teaching in California.

Leading By Example Despite his background in education and community service, Mitchell’s entry to community college leadership was a circuitous one. “I got into community colleges through the back door,” he laughs. Active in New Rochelle’s Democratic Party and local governance, Mitchell found himself redistricted out of a possible run for a city council seat. Instead, he was nominated to serve on Westchester Community College’s board of trustees in 2002. During his tenure, including a term as board treasurer, Mitchell helped spearhead the construction of Westchester’s Gateway Center, an award-winning green building on campus, as well as the development of a strategic plan to guide the institution. “What keeps me working is that I’ve found my community college is the biggest secret out there,” Mitchell says. “It’s an opportunity for youngsters to get the same level of education

and save $60,000 or more for two years and then get a fouryear degree.” Mitchell also quickly saw an opportunity to advance a cause which had become his passion while teaching at Iona: advancing diversity in the academic ranks. As the only black professor in his first 10 years at Iona College, “I fought my battles,” he says. For Mitchell, diversity in teaching and leadership is important because underrepresented youth need to see successful examples in order to succeed themselves, he says. “The reason we say black kids don’t aspire as much is because they don’t have role models in front of them [who] look like them,” he says. “When they do, I firmly believe that students are better inclined to aspire to be like that person.” In his role as a trustee, Mitchell urged his board to allocate resources to help Westchester recruit and place new faculty members from underrepresented populations, including a rapidly growing Latino student population. “I am for inclusion,” Mitchell says. “Let’s include everybody in the mix.” During his tenure, the institution has hired an African American dean and made strides in bringing more diversity to the professorial ranks, though hiring freezes have complicated the process, Mitchell says. As with his path to trusteeship, Mitchell’s road to ACCT leadership was also somewhat circuitous, in that when he arrived at Westchester as a trustee, the institution wasn’t a member of the association. But he became active in the New York Community College Trustees, ultimately serving as its treasurer, and after learning about ACCT at a state meeting, Mitchell asked the college’s president why Westchester wasn’t a member. “He responded that we used to be members of ACCT, but no board members would attend conferences,” Mitchell recalls. “I said if we would rejoin, I would attend the conferences and take a role.” The college rejoined, and true to his word, Mitchell became active in ACCT affairs. He was soon encouraged to run for the ACCT Board of Directors, which he joined in 2010, subsequently becoming the Northeast Regional Chair before being elected to the executive committee.

Moving Forward At an awards ceremony in Brooklyn, Mitchell was once greeted warmly by something of a celebrity — one of the region’s bestknown Calypso musicians. “He acknowledged me as a mentor who made him who he was,” Mitchell recalls. Educators will be familiar with what happened next: “I didn’t remember him at first,” Mitchell says, but after some additional conversation he recalled that he had taught the musician public speaking back at his high school in Dominica. Ever since, “that role-modeling has stayed in my mind,” Mitchell says.

At ACCT meetings in recent years, Mitchell has served as a constant and vocal champion of inclusion, candidly reminding fellow trustees about the real-world importance of diversity and role models. “Let’s be blunt,” Mitchell says. “Students want to see people who look like them in front of the classroom instead of cleaning the toilets. I’m not saying that there’s no dignity in that kind of work, but [examples] shouldn’t just be concentrated there. To me, that’s selfdefeating — if I see I have no chance to get above a certain level, why bother?” As ACCT Chair, Mitchell hopes to continue stressing the value of inclusion across the entire community college sector. “We as trustees don’t micromanage,” he says. “But we can send the message that inclusion and diversity are as important to the success of students as academics. If we are talking about access and success, there has to be a pathway to success, and part of that pathway is giving students some goals, some ambition, and some role-modeling — a roadmap, if you will.” Along with advocating for additional resources at the local, state, and federal levels, Mitchell also sees the importance of working with K-12 systems to “alleviate the burden of remediation,” he says. Frustrated by a generation of high school students who have entered his own college classroom after 12 years of being narrowly taught to tests, Mitchell would like to see community colleges help high schools promote a broader education focused on critical thinking. “When you are narrow in learning, the chances of failure are greater because when you study for a test, by definition you are trying to second-guess the teacher,” he says. “If you study for knowledge, you’ll be able to grasp something.” An official ACCT visit to England, during which Mitchell met with representatives of the UK’s Association of Colleges, also reinforced his belief in the importance of preparing students for the workforce. “Right now, you have a skilled labor shortage and [unfilled] jobs going out there begging, whereas in the white-collar arena, you have an excess of unemployed people — that’s a mismatch.” Addressing the ongoing skills gap, Mitchell says, is something only community colleges are prepared to do. “ACCT has a very important task ahead of it,” he explains, noting that workforce training is part of “the original mission of our junior and technical colleges.” Along with continuing to broaden educational opportunities to increasingly diverse student bodies and sharpening the focus on student outcomes, the community college sector has to be able to meet these traditional needs without losing momentum. Fortunately for community colleges, Mitchell and thousands of dedicated trustees like him know how to shift the sails to guide their colleges toward a brighter future. T R U S T E E Q U A RT E R LY   W I N T E R 2 0 1 4


Around Regions the

central Region Lewis and Clark Community College in Illinois is leading a regional consortium of nine community colleges in eight states that have been awarded $23.8 million in federal funds to train and place workers in highskill transportation, distribution, and logistics jobs. The Mississippi River Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics Consortium received funding from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program. More than 120 Iowa residents have already received degrees or certificates from programs offered by the state’s 15 community colleges participating in the Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, which is funded by a $13 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Another 650 residents continue to work towards a credential, and the consortium hopes to surpass the grant goal of 2,800 participants over the course of the project, officials said. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and other state and local leaders participated in Lakeshore Technical College’s Kick Off Your


Manufacturing Career event, a culmination of a two-week public tour of Lakeshore’s advanced manufacturing mobile lab. The 340-square-foot lab was designed to provide instruction in industrial maintenance and programmable logic controls (PLCs) to high schools, businesses, and the Department of Corrections. Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Columbus State Community College, Sinclair Community College, and Cuyahoga Community College are participating in an alliance of Ohio colleges and universities that are recruiting minority students to study science, technology, engineering, and math. Funded by a $3.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, participating institutions offer stipends to minority students who participate in advising, mentoring, tutoring, and research, as well as a summer bridge program. Community colleges in Michigan are creating regional career liaisons that will provide resources and information about postsecondary training programs to high school counselors, administrators, parents, and teachers. The Career Jump Start Program is a response to feedback received at Gov. Rick Snyder’s economic and education summits in 2013. “One of the most common issues is around the lack of knowledge that high school students have about in-demand careers and training programs,” Snyder said in a statement. “Through the Career Jump Start program, we will encourage students to consider

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training opportunities that will provide them with critical work skills for those highdemand careers.”

NORTHEAST Region In October 2013, New Jersey became the first state in the country to launch a statewide Phi Theta Kappa Community College Completion Corps event. Sponsored by the New Jersey Education Association, all 19 of the state’s community colleges hosted a series of campus-based college completion activities in an effort to increase the number of community college students completing their associate degrees and certificates. The State University of New York system plans to expand online course offerings to include degree programs at several of its community colleges. The Open SUNY program will provide eight online degrees in subjects ranging from applied science to nursing and tourism management, complemented by online mentoring and other support services. SUNY currently has 85,500 students enrolled in 12,000 online courses.

Massasoit Community College received $27.4 million in state funding from Massachusetts to design and construct a new allied health and science building. The new facility in Brockton will accommodate growth in students seeking degrees and certification in nursing and other medical support jobs, officials said. Montgomery County Community College in Pennsylvania and Drexel University will launch Drexel@MCCC, a partnership which will allow students to earn a Drexel bachelor’s degree at one of MCCC’s campuses or online. College officials describe the partnership as one that goes beyond traditional articulation agreements to integrate faculty and advisors from both institutions, as well as libraries, facilities, and student services.

Pacific Region California Gov. Jerry Brown proposed nearly $1 billion in additional funding for the state’s community college system. If approved by the legislature, the governor’s budget would freeze fees at $46 per unit and restore funding levels to 2007 and 2008 levels. It would also allow the state’s community colleges to increase enrollment by 3 percent.

New rules adopted by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors establish for the first time minimum academic performance requirements for students receiving financial aid through a fee-waiver program. Foster youth are exempt from the policy, which will include an appeals process. Other changes will give priority enrollment to students who attend orientation sessions and develop education plans, as well as increase counseling and support services. Washington community colleges are rolling out a statewide web-based tool called ctcLink, which will provide students at all 34 schools with a comprehensive advising center, as well as services including online registration and enrollment, financial aid, and tuition payment. Community Colleges of Spokane and Tacoma Community College will pilot the system in August, followed by the remaining schools over a three-year period. The University of Washington is also developing a version of its own academic planning system for use by community college students who want to transfer to UW, with support from a $1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The University of Hawaii’s Kapi’olani Community College and the Community College National Center for Community Engagement will lead a national project to develop courses

focused on fostering civic responsibility across a wide range of subjects. Funded by a $270,000 grant from the Teagle Foundation, the “Student Learning For Civic Capacity: Stimulating Moral, Ethical, and Civic Engagement for Learning That Lasts” project will develop 70 courses in the humanities and other fields in cooperation with six other community colleges in California, Louisiana, New York, Arizona, and New Jersey.

Southern Region Florida lawmakers passed Senate Bill 1720, which requires each Florida College System to develop a plan to implement developmental education reform. After a jump in the cost of prepaid tuition plans for fouryear colleges, Florida saw enrollments in the state’s prepaid plans for its community colleges nearly double. The state’s prepaid program has also added an option for families to purchase four years of tuition and fees at a community college, many of which now

offer bachelor’s degrees. The prepaid cost of four years at a community college is nearly one-third the monthly payment for four years at a university, state officials said. Midlands Technical College in South Carolina received a $25 million grant, the largest in the college’s history, from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program. The grant will fast-track displaced workers into healthcare careers using a combination of new training technologies and certificate bundling. MTC will receive $8.3 million directly and administer the grant with partner colleges in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Alabama. The Alabama Community College System is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding with a scholarship contest to highlight alumni success stories on its new Alabamafutures. com website. Scholarships will be granted in winners’ names to prospective students.

western Region Nebraska’s six community colleges received a $500,000 state grant to focus on reverse transfer during 2013-14. MidPlains Community College, the fiscal agent for the grant, sent letters to more than 800 students who had completed at least 30 hours and transferred, but did not earn a degree from any institution. MPCC hopes to award certificates, diplomas, or degrees to those students who have met the completion criteria for their program or assist those needing further coursework to reenroll and finish.

Nebraska lawmakers also approved a bill to fund GED preparation and testing services at community colleges and Tennessee’s two U.S. Senators other organizations. Sponsored announced that the U.S. by Metropolitan Community Department of Veterans Affairs College in Omaha, the bill will has reversed an earlier decision provide $1.5 million in funding not to fund community college over a two-year period to defray learning support classes the costs of GED education for returning veterans. The and testing, and will support redesigned remedial classes, the state’s community colleges’ available at 13 community colleges across the state, are now efforts to serve the more than eligible for federal support through 113,000 adults in Nebraska who lack a high school diploma. the G.I. Bill.

Around the Regions provides an opportunity to share what’s happening in the states and around the regions. This section focuses on state legislative and budgetary issues, economic development, and finance. Please e-mail items from press releases or newsletters to ACCT at dconner@acct.org. Fax submissions to 202-223-1297. T R U S T E E Q U A RT E R LY   W I N T E R 2 0 1 4


The Leadership


Six national community college organizations collaborate to address the growing turnover of college presidents. A great exodus among community college leaders over the past two years has brought together six leading organizations that share a common interest in ensuring that secure and visionary transitions occur at the affected institutions. Representing more than 13 million community college students, trustees, and presidents, the participating organizations include ACCT, Achieving the Dream Inc. (ATD), the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, the League for Innovation in the Community College, and Student Success Initiatives at the University of Texas at Austin. The numbers are sobering. According to a recent report by AACC titled Compensation and Benefits of Community College CEOs: 2012, which was compiled in partnership with ACCT, 75 percent of current community college presidents plan to retire within the next 10 years. In the past 17 months alone, close to 200 presidents left their CEO positions. The turnover poses a threat to the future of the community college sector and its promise of maintaining broad college access and achieving significantly improved student outcomes. The recruitment, preparation, and selection of leaders who are equipped with the skills required to dramatically improve community college student success is critical to all colleges.

Recognizing the Crisis Executives from five of the six partnering organizations gathered in Seattle, Washington, during the 44th Annual ACCT Leadership Congress to address the issue. ACCT announced the partnership during a special membership-celebration luncheon held on October 3, explaining that all six of the national community college organizations have pledged to share program information and support one another as they accelerate their efforts focused on the leadership pipeline. By combining forces, the goal is to leverage the strengths and resources of each organization to address this significant transition in leadership in ways which align recruiting, selection, and development practices with the goal of student success. “It is gratifying that all of these organizations have come together 26

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to address perhaps the most critical challenge for our colleges — leadership for the next century of the community college movement,” said ACCT President and CEO J. Noah Brown. “Boards have a real stake in the future of presidential leadership if they are to meet the needs of our communities and of the nation in the coming decade. The partnership between boards and presidents enables our colleges to equip students for success, while also contributing to workforce and economic development.” Walter Bumphus, president and CEO of AACC, expressed his enthusiasm for this new collaboration. “An alarmingly high number of current community college leaders are quickly approaching retirement. The pool of potential applicants to fill those CEO positions who possess the requisite skills to ‘hit the ground leading’ is shrinking. In order to develop and implement a student success agenda, leadership development and faculty engagement are critical,” he said. “As the national ‘voice’ of community colleges, AACC has offered relevant, high-quality leadership development programs to our membership for more than 10 years. In addition to launching several new leadership development and training initiatives in the coming year, we look forward to collaborating with ACCT, Achieving the Dream, the Aspen Institute, and the League for Innovation to grow the leadership pipeline.” “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s higher education development,” said William Trueheart, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “While there is very strong work happening today in community college leadership development, we cannot leave it to chance that our nation’s community colleges are prepared to meet the coming demand. We have learned a lot about what makes an effective community college president, and it is time to not just name those qualities, but translate what we know into action.” Joshua Wyner, executive director of the College Excellence Program, stressed that “the stakes are enormous.” “Community colleges can and must achieve much higher levels of student success in learning, completion, and in the labor market if our nation is to achieve the twin goals of economic growth and social mobility,” Wyner said. “Deeply committed and capable

About the Organizations Achieving the Dream Inc. is a national non-profit leading the nation’s most comprehensive nongovernmental reform network for student success in higher education history. For more information, go to www.achievingthedream.org.

William Trueheart, President and CEO, Achieving the Dream, Inc.; J. Noah Brown, President and CEO, Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT); Carol Lincoln, Senior Vice President, Achieving the Dream, Inc.; Josh Wyner, Executive Director of the College Excellence Program, The Aspen Institute; Walter Bumphus, President and CEO, American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), Byron McClenney, Project Director and Senior Lecturer, University of Texas at Austin; Narcisa Polonio, Executive Vice President of Education, Research, and Board Services, ACCT; and Kay McClenney, Director, Center for Community College Engagement, University of Texas at Austin (Gerardo de los Santos, President and CEO, League for Innovation in the Community College was unable to attend).

executive leaders at community colleges are critically important to meeting those goals. For these reasons, it is important that everyone who cares about these issues to join us in identifying new strategies to recruit, hire, and develop the next generation of exceptional presidents who can deliver the leadership community colleges — and their students — deserve and need.” “As we are experiencing waves of leadership transitions in community colleges, preparing the next generation of highly qualified and diverse leaders is paramount,” said Gerardo de los Santos, President and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College. “To achieve these goals, strategically leveraging new partnerships and alignment opportunities across national, state, and local organizations and institutions that provide community college leadership development is critical,” “We look forward to being able to leverage what we have learned in Achieving the Dream (ATD) and the Governance Institute for Student Success (GISS),” stated Byron McClenney, who has served as national director of leadership coaching for ATD and as a partner with ACCT in GISS from his post at The University of Texas at Austin.

The American Association of Community Colleges, headquartered in the National Center for Higher Education (NCHE) in Washington, D.C., is an advocacy organization proactively advancing the cause of more than 1,100 community colleges and more than 13.3 million currently enrolled students. For more information, go to www.aacc.nche.edu. The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) is a non-profit educational organization of governing boards, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern over 1,200 community, technical, and junior colleges in the United States and beyond. For more information, go to www.acct.org. The College Excellence Program at the Aspen Institute aims to identify and replicate practices and policies that significantly improve college student outcomes. To learn more, visit: www.aspeninstitute.org/cep. The League for Innovation in the Community College is an international organization dedicated to catalyzing the community college movement. Information about the League is available at www.league.org. Student Success Initiatives (SSI) is a grantfunded group within the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin that provides training and consultant outreach to community colleges. For more information, go to http://studentsuccessinitiatives.org/.

Moving Forward Turning the tide on the impending leadership exodus will require great effort — not only by each of the national organizations representing community college interests, but throughout the higher education sector. This includes governing boards, universities, professional leadership organizations, and many others needed to meet the challenge. ACCT will keep members abreast of the efforts led by the six national organizations and will continue to work in unison with its partners to garner support for the leadership pipeline initiative. This spring will mark six months since the initial meeting at which the national community college organizations gathered to discuss the impending leadership crisis. The spring 2014 issue of Trustee Quarterly will include an update on the efforts made by each of the six participating organizations to address the impending leadership pipeline crisis. T R U S T E E Q U A RT E R LY   W I N T E R 2 0 1 4


P resident ’ s P O V

Trusteeship is Entrepreneurship Creating a culture that encourages risk-taking and experimentation requires courageous leadership.


Most people know me as the president and CEO of ACCT, but I am also a board member. Since 2009, I have served on the board of directors of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE). NACCE is a non-profit organization for educators, entrepreneurs, and distinguished business development professionals to provide quality programs and services in entrepreneurship education and serve as advocates for “entrepreneurship movement.” At the NACCE Conference this past autumn, I was introduced to Sara D. Sarasvathy, an extraordinary thinker and researcher, who is leading the relatively new science of effectuation. As the Isidore Horween Research Associate Professor of Business Administration at the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia, Sarasvathy has studied the characteristics of entrepreneurship and has identified five principles that virtually every entrepreneur seems to follow almost instinctually. As I reflected on the job of trustees — ensuring that the institutions they govern are both resourced and effective in helping students be successful — it struck me that these same principles apply directly to effective community college governance. A good community college trustee must have an entrepreneurial spirit and the instinct to work on behalf of the colleges they govern. Examining the five principles of effectuation, it is easy to see how they relate to trusteeship. First, successful entrepreneurs start with the “bird in the hand” concept. They focus on current resources and assets without worrying about what they do not have. Is this not the history of community colleges — creating vast and robust institutions by exploiting available resources and opportunities? Should trustees re-examine their institutions’ 28

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By J. Noah Brown current assets and core missions in order to redouble efforts around student success and completion? The answer is a resounding “yes.” The second principle is applying the concept of “affordable loss.” In other words, what resources and assets is one willing to invest as “risk capital” to create a new venture or opportunity to gain desired outcomes or measurable results? Many community colleges are using this principle in order to move assets and resources to achieve greater outcomes. Trustees need to lead and enforce this behavior by creating a mutually supportive and affirming culture of risk and experimentation. Next, as lay citizens who represent their communities, trustees have a unique and inescapable obligation to identify and leverage resources and talent from within their communities — employers, businesses, government, foundations, community-based organizations to name just a few. These organizations can round out the “quilt of expertise and resources” necessary to pull off a new venture, program, support services, whatever is needed to strengthen the institution’s mission and outcomes. The fourth principle again involves something that community college trustees are relative experts in achieving — “making lemonade” from whatever lemons are thrown at them. In other words, entrepreneurs, like trustees, find ways of leveraging contingencies to institutional advantage. By finding new ways of exploiting these contingencies, colleges make the lemonade that nurtures and sustains programs and student services. Trustees need to embrace this culture and incent their institutional leadership and faculty to also find ways of gaining whatever advantage they can from the existing resources and assets that already pervade the campus and community.

Lastly, trustees need to be the “pilot in the plane” — that human presence that helps guide the enterprise forward toward the horizon. Just as planes are sophisticated marvels of technology and superb aerodynamics, so too are today’s community colleges. But just as the passengers on planes cannot rely entirely on autopilot to assure they arrive safely at their destination, trustees must ensure that the colleges they govern are driven through shared vision and a focus on continuous improvement and success. Fundamentally, this is the challenge and opportunity embodied by the student success and completion agenda. So trustees are entrepreneurs. They need to help move existing resources and assets by incenting a culture of risk and experimentation. They should continually reach into their communities to identify new sources of expertise and points of leverage to assist the college leadership and faculty in moving the needle on student success and completion. Trustees need to incent and honor efforts that maximize returns — that turn lemons to lemonade — and further cement institutional standing and reputation in the community. And most important, trustees must lead with vision and courage, ensuring that students arrive at their appropriate destination without mishap or preventable failure. So let’s make 2014 the year when trusteeship is synonymous with entrepreneurship!

J. Noah Brown is president and CEO of the Association of Community College Trustees and author of the Bellwether Book Awardwinning First in the World: Community Colleges and America’s Future.

A Different Kind of Counseling By Doug Maughan

Students at the College of Southern Idaho are offered free legal services so they can focus on their studies. By 3 p.m. on a typical Thursday afternoon, the meeting rooms in the student union building at the College of Southern Idaho are quiet. A few students are gathered at cafeteria tables or computer nooks studying or just hanging out. This is when the other students begin to show up. Some are alone, others are accompanied by a spouse or a friend. What sets them apart is the nervous looks on their

faces. They sit or pace slowly outside one of the meeting rooms; some carry papers, folders, or notebooks. But these students aren’t here for an important test or even for a critical meeting with a dean or an advisor. They’re here to discuss issues that loom large in their personal lives. Today, they will have 30 minutes to discuss their legal issues with an attorney — and it won’t cost them a thing.

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Local attorney and trustee Laird Stone became aware of the need for a student legal clinic after his wife enrolled at CSI.

Local attorneys donate their time to the clinic. “We have a waiting list of attorneys who want to come do this,” Stone said.

The free legal clinic is the product of a partnership between the College of Southern Idaho (CSI) and Laird Stone, a local longtime attorney prior to his election to the college’s board of trustees in 2012. “When my wife Vickie was enrolled in CSI’s culinary arts program, I would often eat lunch in the program’s café,” Stone said. “Sometimes, Vickie’s classmates would ask if they could discuss their legal questions with me when I came to campus. Although I took time to visit with many of them back then, Vickie and I recognized that far more CSI students needed legal assistance and that too few could afford it.” As Stone began thinking through a free legal clinic at CSI, it quickly became clear it would require careful planning (see sidebar, p. 31). “Once we got started putting the actual plan together, it became even more apparent that this would be much more involved than just getting a group of attorneys together to offer free advice to students,” Stone said. Other issues, including malpractice, approval from the Idaho State Bar Association, and potential issues regarding attorney/client privilege and confidentiality questions all needed to be addressed. Enthusiasm and support for the clinic gained momentum. The dean of students took the idea to the student senate, which presented the plan to CSI’s board of trustees for approval in early 2013. Stone met with officers of the Fifth District Bar Association, an organization of southern Idaho litigation and family law attorneys — all of whom not only supported the plan, but also said they would like to be a part of it. Stone also studied the way the student legal clinic works at his alma mater, the University of Idaho. One thing that was never lacking, right from the beginning, was enthusiasm among other local attorneys. “We actually have a waiting list of attorneys who want to come do this,” said Stone. Jeff Lynn had been wrestling with several challenging real estate issues after his divorce when he saw the news about a

free legal clinic on CSI’s website. “I had racked up thousands of dollars in legal bills before this,” said Lynn, a student enrolled in CSI’s water resources management program. “I’ve seen a different attorney each of the four times I’ve gone, and each one has really helped me.” The student services office is working to raise more awareness among students that the clinic is available to them. Almost every legal issue is addressed at the sessions: divorces, collections, military retirement, criminal cases, landlord/tenant disputes, personal and real property issues, adoptions, and child support. “In fact, spending a few weeks volunteering to help college students with their problems is almost like a refresher for the bar exam,” Stone said. “You’re going to field questions from the entire legal spectrum.” A few months after the clinic began at CSI’s main campus in Twin Falls, an attorney and former prosecutor from Burley, Idaho, stepped up to provide services to students in that community’s center. Stone hopes to offer similar clinics at CSI’s other campuses. “I’m very proud of how it’s going so far,” he said. “It’s getting close to meeting expectations. There are still students, especially in the off-campus centers [in Burley, Gooding, and Hailey] that we’re not reaching, though. We could actually be serving more students.” The fledgling program hasn’t gone unnoticed. The College of Western Idaho in Nampa is hoping to begin its own free clinic with help from attorneys from Idaho’s Fourth Judicial District, as well as from Boise area law schools.


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Doug Maughan is the public relations director for the College of Southern Idaho. Laird Stone practices law in Twin Falls, Idaho. He can be reached at lstone@idaho-law.com.

Setting Up a Free Legal Clinic at Your College Key Steps:

Potential Pitfalls:

• Assess the need for a clinic. Use the student services office or similar college department to gauge interest.

• Malpractice actions

• Get approval from the student senate. • Seek assistance and volunteers through the local bar association. • Seek approval from the college’s board of trustees. • Establish clinic hours. (Don’t forget about off-campus centers, if any.) • Work with student services to create appropriate intake forms and establish scheduling services with participating attorneys.

• Attorneys using the contacts to obtain clients

Potential Benefits: • Fulfills attorneys’ pro-bono service requirements. • Can actually be fun for the attorneys to step out of their specialty and counsel students on a variety of legal needs. • Helps keep attorneys’ overall legal knowledge sharp on many issues. • Improves student outcomes by reducing stress so they can focus better on education.

• Meet with volunteer attorneys.

• Helps students who are often on very limited budgets.

• Send the list of volunteer attorneys to the state’s Volunteer Attorney Program for malpractice coverage.

• Good public relations for the college to offer its students this service

Empower Yourself with On-Demand Video from ACCT Empowered trustees empower their colleges to help students succeed. Did you know that ACCT now offers online trustee education and student success-related content? Trustee Education Topics Include: • Accreditation • Advocacy • Basic Board Procedures • Disaster Preparedness • Financial Oversight • Fundraising • Robert’s Rules of Order • The Role of the Board Chair Student Success Topics Include: • Achieving Success in the 21st Century Community College • Barriers to Access and Success • How the Student Success Movement has Changed Policies • Real Skills for Real Jobs = Real Success • Strengthening and Sustaining Student Success through Effective Governance • Technology and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) • Town Hall with Philanthropic Foundations • Voluntary Framework of Accountability Status Report • Watching Finances • What’s Next for the Student Success Movement? • And many more!

Empower yourself today at www.acct.org/trustee-education. T R U S T E E Q U A RT E R LY   W I N T E R 2 0 1 4



Recent Legal Developments Impacting Community Colleges


From the unionization of adjunct professors to rulings in cases involving background checks and employment actions involving age, race, gender, and religion, this article summarizes recent legal developments with a direct impact on community colleges and their administrators. Adjunct professors continue to be targeted for unionization by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Fresh off continued successes in organizing and representing adjunct professors in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area at Montgomery College, Georgetown University, George Washington University, and American University, SEIU is expanding its organization efforts to the college-rich Boston area.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) conducted mail ballot elections at both Tufts University and Bentley University this fall. Two hundred and eighty adjunct professors at Tufts voted in favor of SEIU representation, while the SEIU narrowly lost a representation election to cover 240 adjuncts at Bentley. Under NLRB rules, the union will be certified as the collective bargaining representative of the adjunct faculty if a majority of those voting at each institution vote for representation and will not if a majority vote against representation. If the union is certified, the institution will be obligated under the National Labor Relations Act to bargain in good faith with the SEIU over a collective bargaining agreement setting wages, hours, and working conditions for all adjunct faculty.

“The courts ruled that we had to open it up to all stuffed animals.”


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SEIU’s organizing campaign director claims that adjunct professors at Northeastern University are ready to file an election petition with the NLRB, and that the SEIU is pursuing organizing efforts at a number of other Boston-based universities. The SEIU has also filed a representation petition with the District of Columbia to represent the adjuncts at the University of the District of Columbia, moving into the public sector there. The union’s campaign director claims that many colleges rely heavily on adjuncts, who account for as many as 40 to 70 percent of teachers on their campuses. The union director also argues that adjuncts are falling behind in wages, benefits, and job security. Federal court rejects EEOC theory that criminal background and credit checks disparately impact black and male applicants. A federal district court in Maryland dismissed in its entirety a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against a nationwide event-planning firm that routinely conducts criminal background and credit checks as part of the applicant screening process. In EEOC v. Freeman (D. Md. no 8:09-cv-02573, 8/19/13), the federal court judge held that the EEOC’s use of national statistics, which it claims supports its theory that such background checks have a disparate impact on black and male applicants, is an “egregious example of scientific dishonesty.” In dismissing the complaint, the judge concluded that “the story of the present action has been that of a theory in search of facts to support it.” The judge called various aspects of the EEOC’s analyses “flawed, skewed, rife with analytical errors, [and] laughable” and concluded that the EEOC’s expert focused on an unrepresentative section of


By Ira Michael Shepard ACCT General Counsel

applicants in order to fit the commission’s theory. Finally, the judge concluded that the EEOC failed to identify a specific practice or element of the hiring process that causes the disparate impact rather than just relying on statistics. Major jury award to three university employees for racial and sexual harassment affirmed on appeal. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit recently affirmed a jury verdict of $1,078,611 to be split among three female employees of Alabama State University who claimed they were subjected to a “barrage” of racial and sexual harassment on the job, as well as retaliation for complaining to the university’s human resources department. In Weatherly v. Alabama State University (11th Cir., No. 12-13414, 9/3/13), the jury awarded each plaintiff damages between $300,000 and $400,000. The plaintiff’s counsel will also be awarded attorney fees in addition to the damages by the judge. The complaint included the common use of racially derogatory terms at the university’s administration office, both in referring to the plaintiffs and other black employees. The plaintiffs also alleged that they were constantly subjected to demeaning comments about their bodies and skin while at work, and they claimed that when they went to the human resources department to place their complaints about race and sex harassment, they were told by the HR director that the department was taking no more complaints against the offending party because an internal investigation had commenced. They also claimed that after raising their complaint with HR, all three were subjected to various levels of retaliation, including discharge, transfer, and other adverse acts. Appeals court rules that 76-year-old security guard told to “hang up his Superman cape” can proceed with age discrimination trial. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently reversed a trial court’s ruling on summary judgment in favor of an employer, holding that a 76-year-old security guard who was subjected to adverse, age-related comments while on the job is entitled to proceed with his age discrimination jury trial.

In John v. Securitas Security Services USA Inc. (8th Cir., No. 12-2129, 8/26/13), the Court of Appeals concluded that in addition to making the “Superman” comment, the plaintiff’s supervisor, who may have been the decision-maker in the employer’s decision to terminate the plaintiff, compared the plaintiff to his 86-year-old father who no longer worked and encouraged him to retire. The plaintiff was terminated following a workplace accident that he reported at the end of his shift. The HR rep who claimed to terminate him said he did so because he did not report the accident when it occurred. The HR representative claimed not to know his age. The plaintiff had no prior adverse incidents or written warnings in his HR file before termination, and he alleged that a younger employee was not fired under similar circumstances. The Court of Appeals ruled that the plaintiff raised enough facts which, if proven, would indicate that the stated reason for termination was a pretext. The court further concluded that a jury should make the final decision. The Court of Appeals further reasoned that the plaintiff stated a prima facie case of age discrimination by showing that he was over 40, that he was meeting his employer’s legitimate job expectations, that his discharge was an adverse employment action, and that his age, given the related comments of his supervisor, may have been a factor in his termination. In response to the employer challenging whether the plaintiff was meeting its legitimate job expectations, the court pointed out that there were no performance complaints in his file, and therefore he is entitled to a jury trial over both the federal and state claims of age discrimination. Library assistant who rebuffed supervisor’s invitations to join a Bible study group and attend a religious conference entitled to jury trial over religious bias termination lawsuit. A federal district court trial court in Virginia, while rejecting a plaintiff’s claims of a religiously-biased hostile work environment, rejected summary judgment on the religious bias claims raised by the plaintiff regarding a school board’s failure to renew her contract after

she refused her supervisor’s requests to join a Bible study group and attend a religious conference. In Scott v. Montgomery County School Board (W.D. Va., N. 7:08-cv-00645, 8/5/13), the plaintiff, who had served as an assistant librarian for more than 10 years, had a continuing problem with a supervisor who was hired two years after her and described her faith as “Orthodox Christianity” and herself as an “evangelical.” On her first day as the plaintiff’s supervisor, she told the plaintiff that she wanted to start their day with a devotion and prayer. While the supervisor dropped the suggestion after the plaintiff expressed discomfort, the plaintiff claimed that she continued to “coerce” plaintiff into prayer, leaving religious materials for her to review. After the plaintiff rejected the supervisor’s invitation to join a Bible study group and attend a religious conference, her annual contract was not renewed. The Court ruled that the plaintiff’s complaint of a religious hostile work environment must be dismissed because the activities complained of were not pervasive. However, the court ruled that the plaintiff was entitled to a jury trial over her claims of religious bias in the non-renewal of her contract, especially since her job performance had never been questioned and there were no adverse job reviews in her file. Moreover, two school board members wrote her positive letters of recommendation following her termination, letters the court concluded conveyed the message that the plaintiff “was a great employee.” Finally, the court concluded that the plaintiff was entitled to a jury trial on the issue as her contract had been renewed without question every year for the previous 10 years. There was no event that triggered the non-renewal other than her supervisor concluding that she was “not cooperative” after the plaintiff rebuffed her supervisor’s religious invitations.

Ira Michael Shepard is a partner with the law firm of Saul Ewing, LLP, in Washington, D.C., and ACCT’s general counsel. T R U S T E E Q U A RT E R LY   W I N T E R 2 0 1 4


Richard N. Adams Kenneth R. Allbaugh Arthur C. Anthonisen Alwin Arce Joan Athen Chuck Ayala James Ayers Steven J. Ballard Ken Bartlett Geoffrey L. Baum Elmer Beckendorf Manuel Benavidez, Jr.* Thomas M. Bennett Marilyn Blocker E. Stewart Blume George Boggs Kitty Boyle Lewis S. Braxton Harold Brock* Robert Burch Ken Burke Donald Campbell Lois Carson Dennis Christensen Gene P. Ciafre Don Coffey Brian Conley Angelo Cortinas Carole Currey Clara Dasher Robert Davidson* John Dent Beatrice Doser* Denise Ducheny Isobel Dvorsky Dorothy Ehrhart-Morrison M. Dale Ensign Nino Falcone Mark Fazzini H. Ronald Feaver Phyllis Folarin Paul Fong John Forte* Frank S. Gallagher Rebeca Garcia Robert E. Garrison* 34

Norma Jean Germond John Giardino Paul J. Gomez Maureen Grady Jane Gregory Jan Guy Gloria Guzman Diane Olmos Guzman David W. Hackett* Daniel Hall Joyce Hanes Fred Harcleroad* Thomas Harding Robert W. Harrell, Jr. Raymond Hartstein Jody T. Hendry William T. Hiering James D. Hittle* Troy Holliday Walter Howald Nancy M. Hubers Jo Ann Huerter Rosie Hussey Melanie L. Jackson B.A. Jensen* Joan Jenstead* Patricia Jones Worth Keene Bruce Ketron Dick Klassen Kirby Kleffmann* Brenda Knight Sheila Korhammer Ruthann Kurose Robert Lawrence Hugh Lee* Morrison Lewis George Little Donald Loff Gloria Lopez James Lumber Judith Madonia Molly Beth Malcolm Thomas W. Malone Doreen Margolin* Marie Y. Martin

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Montez C. Martin, Jr. Fred Mathews David Mathis Robert Matteucci Bennie Matthews Donald M. Mawhinney Robert G. McBride Robert McCray William McDaniel* Gene E. McDonald Carla McGee Jean M. McPheeters William H. Meardy Frank Mensel Michael Monteleone Della-May Moore David Murphy* Moudy Nabulsi Rich Nay Helen Newsome* Wayne Newton Ed Nicklaus Shirley Okerstrom Joann L Ordinachev Kathleen Orringer Therese G. Pauly Debra Pearson James R. Perry George Potter Pattie Powell Naomi Pursel Raymond Reddrick Rebecca L. Redman Carl Robinson Elizabeth Rocklin Herbert Roney Nancy R. Rosasco Wanda Rosenbaugh Linda B. Rosenthal William O. Rowell* Armando Ruiz David Rutledge Steve Salazar Edward “Sandy” Sanders Lydia Santibanez Evonne Seron Schulze

Anne V. Scott Virginia Scott Peter E. Sercer, Sr. Jo Ann Sharp Vaughn A. Sherman C. Louis Shields Darrell Shumway Betti Singh W.L. “Levi” Smallwood William J. Smith James Smith Lillie J. Solomon Lynda Stanley Betty K. Steege Victor F. Stewart, Jr.* James Stribling* Pete Tafoya Esther D. Tang James B. Tatum Leslie Thonesen Charles Tice Dick Trammel Celia M. Turner* Linda Upmeyer Roberto Uranga David Viar Jim Voss Franklin Walker Barbara Wallace William C Warren Nancy Watkins Lauren A. Welch Denise Wellons-Glover Mary Beth Williams Ronald Winthers Jerry Wright John Wright M.W. “Bill” Wyckoff Brad W. Young J. Pete Zepeda* * Deceased

A Lifetime of Appreciation ACCT Lifetime Membership Community college trustees give a lot of themselves — time, energy, wisdom — and ask for little or nothing in return. The gift of an ACCT Lifetime Membership is a way to thank trustees for everything they do, and to empower them to keep doing it for as long as they choose. A lifetime membership is a perfect way to… • Recognize outstanding trustees whose dedication to your college has made a difference and set an example. • Thank outgoing members for their service. • Remain involved with your peers and make a tax-deductible donation to your national association by purchasing a Lifetime Membership for  yourself.

7 REASONS TO BESTOW A LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP outstanding and retiring board members a Lifetime Membership to ACCT is a way to thank them for their service, 1 Giving recognize them among their peers, and ensure their ongoing interest in your college.


Lifetime Members receive complimentary registration to all ACCT meetings, including the Annual Leadership Congress and the National Legislative Summit, after retiring from their local boards.


Lifetime Members receive all of ACCT’s award-winning publications, including Trustee Quarterly magazine, and the Advisor and From the Desk of ACCT newsletters.

4 Lifetime Members are recognized publicly in Trustee Quarterly, on the ACCT Web site, and elsewhere. Lifetime Membership program supports and promotes ACCT’s continuing trustee education and 5 The professional development. 6 Colleges that purchase Lifetime Memberships can deduct the expense from taxes to the fullest extent allowed by law. 7 It’s just a nice thing to do — and haven’t your most exceptional trustees earned it? For more information and to submit an application, go to www.acct.org/membership/lifetime or contact ACCT’s Member Services at 202.775.4667 or acctinfo@acct.org.

Presidential Searches The Board Leadership Services staff and consultants of the Association of Community College Trustees are pleased to have assisted in the search for the following community college chief executive officers.

Clover Park Technical College, Wash.

Colorado Mountain College Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser President

Dr. Lonnie Howard President

Former Senior Fellow

Former Executive Director of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies University of Houston, Texas

“In seeking a new president for Clover Park Technical College, the faculty, staff, students, and trustees entered into a collaborative journey to find an individual with the empathy to understand the challenges our students face, the knowledge to drive our curriculum to new heights, and the character to lead our staff and faculty to new accomplishments. It is with great pleasure the board selects President Lonnie Howard as the new CEO of Clover Park Technical College.”

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

“We are really looking forward to having Dr. Hauser join us. Her demonstrated leadership experience, great energy, and strategic vision will benefit our students and employees and the many communities we serve.” — Glenn Davis, Board President

— Bruce Lachney, Board Chair

Community College of Allegheny County, Pa.

College of Southern Idaho Dr. Jeff Fox President

Dr. Quintin Bullock President

Former Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer

Former President Schenectady County Community College, N.Y.

College of Southern Idaho

“Dr. Fox is a multi-talented individual who has been outstanding as a classroom teacher and as an administrator. This, along with his dedication to education and to CSI, made him an ideal candidate. We are very fortunate to have him as our next president. Our future is in good hands.” — Dr. Thad Scholes, Board Chair

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Bullock to CCAC. In looking for a leader who can build on CCAC’s success, Dr. Bullock’s prior experiences align beautifully with CCAC’s desire to increase student success, manage challenging budgetary issues, expand workforce development, and address a number of additional priorities the college has established. We look forward to leveraging his expertise.” — Amy Kuntz, Board Chair


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Glen Oaks Community College, Mich.

River Parishes Community College, LCTCS, La.

Dr. David Devier President

Dr. Dale Doty Chancellor

Former Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs

Former Vice President for Academic Affairs

Clark State Community College, Ohio

Florence-Darlington Technical College, S.C.

“Dr. David Devier will be a tremendous asset to Glen Oaks, and he is excited and ready to start. He expresses a high level of energy and enthusiasm, along with a strong passion for education and student success … that is what stood out for me all along.” — David Allen, Board Chair

Rio Hondo College, Calif. Ms. Teresa Dreyfuss President Former Vice President for Finance and Business Rio Hondo College, Calif.

“The members of the Board of Trustees at the Rio Hondo Community College District (RHCCCD) are extremely pleased that Teresa Dreyfuss has been selected as the new president. Ms. Dreyfuss brings a wealth of institutional knowledge and financial acumen to the college, having served as chief financial officer, as vice president of finance and business, and as interim president at Rio Hondo College. Ms. Dreyfuss is an exemplary leader who will continue to position our district favorably in the future.” — Madeline Shapiro, Board President

“Dr. Doty has a rare combination of academic, technical, and business and industry experience. He has demonstrated the resolve and commitment necessary to lead River Parishes Community College to new heights.” — Dr. Joe May, President of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System

Southeast Community College, Neb. Dr. Paul Illich President Former Vice President, Research, Planning, and Information  Technology McLennan Community College, Waco, Texas

“ACCT’s Presidential Search Services did a great job for Southeast Community College during our quest for a new CEO. We’re very happy with our results and can’t wait to greet Dr. Illich when he gets to Lincoln.” — Robert Feit, Chair, Board of Governors “All of the information we’ve learned about Dr. Illich and his time at McLennan Community College has been beyond our expectations. We’re excited about him coming to SCC and continuing to lead us forward.” — Dr. Dale Kruse, Chair, Presidential Search Committee and Treasurer, Board of Governors

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Vice Presidential Searches ACCT’s Board Leadership Services is now providing assistance to chancellors and presidents looking to identify a new member of the executive leadership team for the college or district. We are pleased to announce the completion of the following searches for provosts and vice presidents.

Bellevue College, Wash. Mr. Aaron Hilliard Vice President for Human Resources Former Administrative Director of Human Resources Muskegon Community College, Mich.

Ventura County Community College District, Calif. Mr. Michael Shanahan Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Former Interim Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Division Los Angeles Community College District, Calif.

“Aaron Hilliard’s extensive experience as a human resources administrator in a community college, along with his education, wisdom, and insight made him an exceptional candidate to fill the role of vice president of human resources at Bellevue College. We look forward to the energy, vision, and innovation that Aaron’s appointment will bring to our college.”

“Mr. Shanahan comes to the district with depth of experience and expertise. We are fortunate to have attracted someone of his caliber. His knowledge and skill in working collaboratively with employees is exactly what the district needs.”

— Dr. David Rule, President

—Dr. Jamillah Moore, Chancellor

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, W.Va. Dr. Debra Teachman Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Former Vice President for Academic Affairs

Ventura County Community College District, Calif. Mr. Brian Fahnestock Vice Chancellor for Business and Administrative Services Former Vice President, Operations & Business Development Simpler Systems, Inc.

New Mexico State University – Alamogordo, N.M.

“Dr. Teachman embraces Southern’s values and is fully committed to helping our students succeed. Her enthusiasm, leadership, past experiences, and focus on innovation will enable us to enhance our already outstanding instructional programs, responsiveness to our community, and yield exciting new opportunities for our students.” — Joanne Jaeger Tomblin, President, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College and First Lady of the State of West Virginia


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“Mr. Fahnestock’s experience and record of providing quality leadership will be critical in the sustainability of the district. He has the vision and skills to help us achieve our goals.” —Dr. Jamillah Moore, Chancellor

Board Self-Assessments and Presidential Evaluations ACCT would like to thank the following colleges which have taken advantage of our Board and/or President Evaluation Services. Alamo Colleges, Texas

Pima Community College, Ariz.

Anne Arundel Community College, Md.

San Joaquin Delta College, Calif.

Cochise College, Ariz.

Solano Community College, Calif.

College of Southern Idaho

State Center Community College District , Calif.

Ohlone College, Calif.

Board Retreats ACCT would like to thank the following colleges which have taken advantage of our Board Retreat Services. Blinn College, Texas

MassBay Community College, Mass.

Brookdale Community College, N.J.

Monroe County Community College, Mich.

Central Wyoming College

Mt. San Jacinto College , Calif.

Danville Area Community College, Ill.

Navajo Technical College, N.M.

Diné College, Ariz.

Northern Marianas College, Saipan

Lone Star College, Texas

Suffolk County Community College, N.Y.

Luzerne County Community College, Pa.

Treasure Valley Community College, Ore.

Looking for a

New President, Vice President, Provost, or Vice Chancellor? OUR SUCCESS ACCT Board Leadership Services brings over 30 years of experience to every executive search. We have assisted more than 300 colleges and governing boards in successfully identifying the best candidates for new presidents and chancellors. ACCT’s services have been expanded to work with chancellors and presidents to identify the most outstanding candidates for vice presidential positions at your college. ACCT Board Leadership Services will guide you through every step of the process.

OUR STRENGTHS • We understand the needs of community colleges. • We find and cultivate high-caliber talent. • We build a unique pool of candidates for each search to “fit” the college. • We have extensive contacts with women and minorities poised to advance. • We have the advantage of the ACCT membership as a source of contacts. ACCT Board Leadership Services will hold your hand during every step of the selection process.

For more information on ACCT’s expanded services to assist with the placement of vice presidents, provosts, and vice chancellors, please contact Narcisa Polonio at npolonio@acct.org or 202-276-1983.

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Salt Lake City, UT An Intensive and Important Training Opportunity For Trustees, Presidents, and Board Sta

MARCH 20-22, 2014 Hosted by Salt Lake Community College at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus

Community College Governance Recognition Program (4 Credits)

This nationally acclaimed institute is a unique opportunity for boards of trustees, presidents, and board sta to work together, gain insights on important and timely issues, and further develop relationships. Accommodations at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center. Deadline to receive the ACCT Discounted Room Rate is February 17th.

For registration and hotel information contact: Christina Sage Simons 202.775.4462 csage@acct.org

Registration is now open:


For additional information contact: Narcisa A. Polonio, Ed.D. 202.276.1983 narcisa_polonio@acct.org



A publication of the Community College Professional Board Staff Network in cooperation with the Association of Community College Trustees

PROFESSIONAL BOARD STAFF MEMBER 2013-2014 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OFFICERS Debbie Novak, President Assistant to the College President Colorado Mountain College, Colo. dnovak@coloradomtn.edu Mechell Downey, Vice President Administrative Assistant to the President Seminole State College, Okla. m.downey@sscok.edu Tria Bullard, Secretary Director of Board and Executive Services Columbia Gorge Community College, Ore. tbullard@cgcc.cc.or.us Wendy Dodson, Immediate Past President Assistant to the President Sandhills Community College, N.C. dodsonw@sandhills.edu

MEMBERS-AT-LARGE CENTRAL REGION Heather Lanham Executive Assistant to the President Edison Community College, Ohio hlanham@edisonohio.edu NORTHEAST REGION Alonia Sharps Chief of Staff Prince George’s Community College, Md. sharpsac@pgcc.edu PACIFIC REGION Laurel Adair Executive Assistant to the President and District Governing Board Arizona Western College, Ariz. laurel.adair@azwestern.edu SOUTHERN REGION Tina Heskett Executive Assistant to the President Hillsborough Community College, Fla. cheskett@hccfl.edu WESTERN REGION Carla Patee Executive Assistant to the President and Clerk for the Board Dodge City Community College, Kan. cpatee@dc3.edu

Moving the Needle “Moving the Needle” was the theme of the 2013 ACCT Annual Congress held in Seattle, and if we use participation as a gauge, we certainly moved the needle this year! I was pleased to see the increase in attendees at both our workshop and the annual PBSN business meeting. Past Presidents Pam Perkins and Terri Grimes gave a wonderful presentation chronicling the history of the Professional Board Staff Network. There was also a panel discussion entitled “The Changing Role of the Professional Board Staff Assistant,” which included Past President Sherri Bowen, Secretary Tria Bullard, Sandhills Community College President John Dempsey, and Sandhills Board Chair George Little. Last year’s President, Wendy Dodson, facilitated this informative discussion. The annual business meeting was held on Friday, October 4, during which Professional Board Staff regional winners were honored and the ascension of officers and election of the secretary and members-at-large took place. This year’s executive committee includes President Debbie Novak, Colorado Mountain College; Vice President Mechell Downey, Seminole State College, Okla; Secretary Tria Bullard, Columbia Gorge Community College, Ore.; and Immediate Past President Wendy Dodson, Sandhills Community College, N.C. Members at Large include Heather Lanham (Central Region), Edison Community College, Ohio; Alonia Sharps (Northeast Region), Prince George’s Community College, Md.; Laurel Adair (Pacific Region), Arizona Western College; Tina Heskett (Southern Region), Hillsborough Community College, Fla.; and Carla Patee (Western Region), Dodge City Community College, Kan. Thank you all for your willingness to serve this year! I am honored to serve as your president this year. Let’s keep up the great participation we had in Seattle. Remember — our reason for being is to support and help each other, so please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can help you. Don’t forget to join our group on Facebook (ACCT Professional Staff Network) and our Wiggio group.

Debbie Novak Colorado Mountain College

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A publication of the Community College Professional Board Staff Network in cooperation with the Association of Community College Trustees

Recognizing Outstanding Professional Board Staff Members By Mechell Downey, Seminole State College, Okla. Every year, five Professional Board Staff Network members are recognized for excellence in their careers. A representative is chosen from nominations submitted from each ACCT region. These honorees are exemplary in everything they do and were nominated by their peers, presidents, and trustees. From this elite group of honorees, one is selected each year for the Professional Board Staff Network member of the year. The honorees for this year were:

Central Region and Professional Board Staff Network Member of the Year Kimberly Olsen, Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, Wisconsin Kimberly Olson has served as Executive Assistant to the President and Board at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College since 2004. Before that, she served as the distance learning network technician and ITV district scheduler from 2002 to 2004; and as student services assistant from 1986 to 2001. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in vocational, technical, and adult education from the University of Wisconsin. Kimberly has been nominated for the ACCT Professional Board Staff Member of the Year for the Central Region for the past two years and received the 25-year award at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in April 2011. She has completed numerous other important educational experiences and training during her tenure at the college. She is a member of the president’s cabinet and serves as WITC’s board appointment liaison and the board book coordinator. We congratulate Kimberly Olsen on her selection as the ACCT Professional Board Staff Network Member of the Year.

Having spent the last 41 years working in the field of education — and 40 of those years with the North Orange County Community College District — demonstrates her commitment to the higher education community. Along the way, Violet has developed handbooks, documents, newsletters, and processes for facilitating the work needed for the EOPs and the president’s and chancellor’s offices, as well as for the Board of Trustees. From the migrant farming fields in Northern California where she was born and raised the first four years of her life to obtaining a college degree and working for the Chancellor and Board of Trustees has been an impressive journey. Receiving her degree was a significant milestone in Violet’s immediate and extended family — one that had not been reached before. She has three adult children who have obtained their college degrees, one of which is well on his way to obtaining his Ph.D., as well as a developmentally disabled adult daughter who continues to live at home. She has six grandchildren that keep her thinking young in order to keep up with them. Violet says that she has been blessed with a very good life.

Western Region Gloria Rincon, Coastal Bend College, Texas

Pacific Region

Gloria grew up in Bee County, Texas, and is a Coastal Bend College alumnus. From 1976 to 1983, she worked for Bee County College (now Coastal Bend College) in various positions for administrative services, academic faculty, and the Office of the Vice President. In 1984, she became secretary to President Grady C. Hogue and has since served five additional college presidents, including current President Dr. Beatriz T. Espinoza, as their executive assistant. In addition to her executive assistant duties, Rincon has also served as secretary to the CBC Board of Trustees since 1984. She currently resides in Beeville with her husband of 43 years, Ray Rincon, whom she met at Bee County College. They have three daughters and one grandson. Gloria attended the 44th annual ACCT Leadership Congress in Seattle this past October to accept her award. The CBC Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff congratulate Rincon on this huge honor.

Violet Ayon, North Orange County Community College, California

Northeast Region

Violet has served as Executive Administrative Aide to the Chancellor/Recording Secretary to the Board of Trustees for the North Orange County College District since 1998. Before that, she served as Chancellor/Board of Trustees Secretary from 1994 to 1998. 42

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Cathy Costello, Genesee Community College, New York Cathy joined the Genesee staff in April 1989 as the Executive Assistant to the President/Secretary to the Board of Trustees. Prior to joining the Genesee staff, Cathy was the confidential secretary to the Genesee County Sheriff for five years, served as a legal



A publication of the Community College Professional Board Staff Network in cooperation with the Association of Community College Trustees

secretary, and was a secretary at Colgate University for the assistant dean of the faculty. In addition to her primary work serving the President and the Board of Trustees, Cathy has been active in the college community. One of her major contributions has been as a founding member of the staff development team, GUSTO! (Genesee Unites to Support Team Opportunities), which formed in 1995 to promote staff development opportunities with an eye toward improving internal and external “customer service.” Cathy is a co-leader of this team that continues to work towards enhancing employee engagement and retention. Cathy serves the college on various other committees, including the new employee orientation committee, special event planning committees (i.e., presidential inauguration, convocations, etc.), Middle States accreditation committees, and a training committee that plans an annual on-campus, two-day conference for employees, just to name a few. Cathy has been recognized as a GCC Employee of the Month, and in 1999 she received a State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service. Over the years, she has contributed to external organizations such as the United Way, volunteering her time to work on the local chapter’s United Way Day of Caring, and as a volunteer with Junior Achievement. She is a 2002 graduate of the year-long Leadership

Genesee program and continues to serve on the alumni committee for that organization. Cathy and her husband Leonard have been married for 38 years and have two sons, Douglas and Daniel, and a four-year old granddaughter, Leah.

Southern Region Patsy J. Bee, West Virginia University at Parkersburg, West Virginia Patsy J. Bee began working for West Virginia University at Parkersburg in 1979. Prior to her retirement this year, she served as the Executive Assistant to the President and liaison to the WVU Parkersburg Board of Governors. Patsy received her Regent’s Bachelor of Arts degree from Glenville State College in West Virginia. During her tenure at WVU Parkersburg, Patsy also served as a representative and chair of the Classified Staff Council, and as the staff representative on the West Virginia Advisory Council of Classified Employees. She was selected twice by her peers as employee of the year, received the Outstanding Contributions to Community College Education award from the West Virginia Community College Association, and was selected as the ACCT Professional Board Staff Member for the Southern Region award. Upon retirement, she received the honorary title of Executive Assistant to the President Emerita. She has been married for 43 years to David L. Bee, and she has two daughters and four grandchildren.

Professional Board Staff Network Past Presidents (l to r): Wendy Dodson, Pam Perkins, Rebecca Garrison, Terri Grimes, and Sherri Bowen. T R U S T E E Q U A RT E R LY   W I N T E R 2 0 1 4



2013 Election Results EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Central Region (2-yr Partial)



Diane Gallagher Highland Community College, IL

(2-year terms except where noted)

LeRoy W. Mitchell Westchester Community College, NY

Chair-Elect Robin M. Smith Lansing Community College, MI

Vice-Chair Roberto Zárate Alamo Colleges, TX

Secretary-Treasurer Bakari Lee Hudson County Community College, NJ

Immediate Past Chair Jean Torgeson North Iowa Area Community College, IA

REGIONAL CHAIRS Central Regional Chair Diane Gallagher Highland Community College, IL

Northeast Regional Chair William E. Coleman Mercer County Community College, NJ

Pacific Regional Chair Jim Harper Portland Community College, OR

Southern Regional Chair Randall “Mack” Jackson Midlands Technical College, SC

Western Regional Chair Robert “Bob” Feit Southeast Community College, NE

Northeast Region LeRoy W. Mitchell Westchester Community College, NY

Pacific Region Jane Strain Cochise College, AZ

Southern Region David H. Talley Palm Beach State College, FL

Western Region Kent O. Miller Mid-Plains Community College, NE


Central Region Victor Gonzalez Blackhawk Technical College, WI

Northeast Region (1-yr Term) Hector Ortiz, Chair Harrisburg Area Community College, PA

Pacific Region Diane Noriega Mt. Hood Community College, OR

Southern Region Robert Chester Albany Technical College, GA

Western Region Jimmy Sandoval Mesalands Community College, NM

(3-year terms except where noted)

Kirsten Diederich North Dakota University System, ND


Connie Hornbeck Iowa Western Community College, IA

Sean Alveshire Broward College Resigned as of September 2013

Greg Knott Parkland College, IL

Colton Crane Central Wyoming College, WY

Dana Saar (1-yr Partial) Maricopa Community Colleges, AZ

Clemon Prevost College of the Mainland, TX Resigned as of April 2013


John W. Sanders John A. Logan College, IL Resigned as of June 2013

Diversity Committee Chair Hector Ortiz Harrisburg Area Community College, PA Jean Torgeson North Iowa Area Community College, IA

Dorothy “Dottie” Smith State Center Community College District, CA Roberto Uranga Long Beach City College, CA Nancy Watkins Hillsborough Community College, FL Resigned as of April 2013

REGIONAL DIRECTORS (3-year terms except where noted)

Central Region

Cid Wilson Bergen Community College, NJ

Robin M. Smith Lansing Community College, MI

acct deadlines ACCT Congress Call for Presentations May 2, 2014 ACCT Awards Nominations June 16, 2014


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Amendments to ACCT Bylaws July 1, 2014

Submitting Resolutions July 1, 2014

ACCT Publications To order any ACCT publication, please fill out the form below and fax, e-mail, or mail your order to ACCT Publications (contact information below). Please include both a billing and shipping address and a purchase order, if necessary. As a membership benefit, book orders from ACCT members are fulfilled immediately in good faith of payment. An invoice will be sent within 2-3 weeks of your order. ACCT requires pre-payment from non-member colleges.




History of the Association of Community College Trustees: 1972 – 2012

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2012 Public Community College Governing Boards: Structure and Composition

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First in the World: Community Colleges and America’s Future (2012)

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Making Good on the Promise of the Open Door: Effective Governance and Leadership to Improve Student Equity, Success, and Completion (2011)

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Essentials of Good Board/CEO Relations (2009)

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The Trustee’s Role in Effective Advocacy: Engaging in Citizen Action to Advance Educational Opportunities in Your Community — What Trustees Need to Know About Exercising Their Voices and Influence on Behalf of Community Colleges (2009)

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The Trustee’s Role in Fundraising: From Arm’s Length to Knee Deep — What Trustees Need to Know About Institutional Advancement (2008)

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The Board Chair: A Guide for Leading Community College Boards

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Trusteeship in Community Colleges: A Guide to Effective Governance

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Community College Trustees: Leading on Behalf of Their Communities

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POSTAGE $ TOTAL $ Total enclosed $ Name: College: ACCT MEMBERS Use any of these methods to order: E-mail: acctinfo@acct.org Call: 202.775.4454 Fax: 202.223.1297 Or mail order form to the address below. (Note: ACCT members are not required to send payment at the time of order.) ACCT NON-MEMBERS Send order form and check or money order to: Attn: Publications, Association of Community College Trustees, Dept. 6061, Washington, DC 20042-6061

Address: City, State, ZIP: Phone/Email: Mail to (if different): Name: College: Address: City, State, ZIP: Phone/Email:

or bill:

www.acct.org 1233 20th Street, NW Suite 301 Washington, D.C. 20036 202.775.4667 866.895.2228

OCT. 22-25, 2014



Profile for Moire Marketing Partners

ACCT Trustee Quarterly Winter 2014  

TRUSTEE QUARTERLY is published three or four times per year as a membership service of the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT)....

ACCT Trustee Quarterly Winter 2014  

TRUSTEE QUARTERLY is published three or four times per year as a membership service of the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT)....

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