Newsmakers

CEO retirements

Ray Brooks, president of Piedmont Technical College (PTC) in South Carolina since 2008, has announced plans to retire, effective January 4, 2021. The college’s second president in 50 years, Brooks has led the institution through surges in enrollment, as well as the financial and managerial challenges resulting from the pandemic. Under his leadership, the college has built stronger relationships with its communities and emerged on firm financial and operational footing.

Brooks’ many leadership successes at PTC include: 

  • Stewarding the college through a lengthy quarantine, safe return-to-campus and other challenges posed by COVID-19.
  • Fostering innovative public/private partnerships.
  • Spearheading the construction of the William H. “Billy” O’Dell Center for Manufacturing Excellence.
  • Implementing the first-in-the-state Job-Ready Guarantee to PTC graduates.
  • Facilitating the development of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing.
  • Initiating the urban-renewal project that led to a new campus in Newberry.

During his tenure at PTC, Brooks has led the college in adopting institution-wide continuous improvement systems, including implementation of the Lean methodology in a higher education setting that was recognized with the Bellwether Award ― a national prize that honors outstanding and innovative programs at community colleges. PTC is the first and only college from South Carolina to receive this award.

Prior to joining PTC, Brooks was president of Northwestern Technical College (NTC) in Georgia for 22 years, and previously served as an instructor and then coordinator of postsecondary instruction at NTC.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to have had the opportunity to share in the important work this institution does every day. This work goes on, and there’s much more to be done,” Brooks said.

Diana M. Doyle, president at Arapahoe Community College (ACC) since 2010, has announced her intentions to retire on June 30, 2021. She has served in higher education for 43 years.

While CEO of the Colorado college, Doyle oversaw launching three bachelor’s degrees (nursing, emergency services administration and advanced paramedic practice) and numerous progressive associate degrees and certificates, as well as the building of a new Collaboration Campus in partnership with the Sturm Family Foundation, the town of Castle Rock, Colorado State University and the Douglas County School District. During her tenure, ACC also established a veterans services center, significantly expanded workforce training and apprenticeship opportunities for students and community partners, and created state-of-the art science labs and classroom facilities on all three campuses. Doyle also led in the implementation of the Elevate program at ACC to give meaningful educational opportunities to students with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities.

Among her accolades, Doyle received the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) IV-West Presidential Excellence Award in 2018, the Phi Theta Kappa Shirley B. Gordon Presidential Award of Distinction in 2016, and the State Student Advisory Council President of the Year in 2014. She also received the NASPA Foundation Pillar of the Profession award for outstanding contributions to college student success in 2010. 

“We have been fortunate to not only have Dr. Doyle at the helm of ACC for the past decade, but also as an incredible thought leader who has paved the way for significant change in how postsecondary education is delivered to meet and support the needs of today’s students,” said Joe Garcia, chancellor of the Colorado Community College System.

Prior to ACC, Doyle was executive vice president of learning and student affairs at the Community College of Denver. She has also served in leadership roles at Western Nebraska Community College, Colorado School of Mines, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Illinois State University.

Kindred Murillo, president and superintendent at Southwestern College (SWC) in California, will retire at the end of this academic year. She became CEO of the college in 2017. Murillo has worked for 24 years in the California Community College System, serving her last nine years as a college president, first at the Lake Tahoe Community College District and then SWC.

Prior to serving as a college president, Murillo spent 11 years as chief business official. She began her career as an adjunct faculty at Desert Community College District. 

The tenets of Murillo’s service at SWC have been increasing student success, building strong leaders and creating a culture of equity, diversity and inclusivity for all students and employees. Brought in as a change agent with a background in organizational change, Murillo led the district in tackling campus culture issues. She guided the college’s accreditation status from warning to reaffirmation within her first year. She also tackled the backlog of personnel investigations and complaints – building trust and accountability at the district. 

Governing Board President Nora Vargas credits Murillo’s commitment to students and equity for positioning SWC as a model of equity among California community colleges. 

“Dr. Murillo’s transformative changes would have taken any other leader a decade to accomplish,” Vargas said. “The work she has done will continue to benefit our students and our community for years to come. This will be her legacy.”

Murillo’s accomplishments at SWC include:

  • Implementing hiring practices, procedures and professional development that have helped to diversify faculty, staff and administrators by almost 8 percent, and the leadership of the college by 14 percent, over three years.
  • Moving from a 17 percent diverse executive leadership team to 75 percent diverse executive leadership.
  • Increasing students transferring to a four-year university by more than 100 students this past year.
  • Entering into a partnership with San Diego State University to launch an SDSU Microsite at SWC that will provide access to four-year degrees to SWC graduates on the college’s Chula Vista campus. 

Appointments

Gary Barber is the new director of workforce development and partnerships at Washington State Community College (WSCC) in Ohio. Barber previously worked with the Ohio Department of Education to enhance career and technical education (CTE) pathway opportunities for high school students, including leveraging College Credit Plus to support early college opportunities. His experience also includes serving as a K-12 superintendent where he implemented CTE programs and pathways. 

Anthony DeMarco is the new vice president of advancement and executive director of the Foundation for Reading Area Community College (RACC) in Pennsylvania. DeMarco previously worked at Alvernia University, where he managed a successful campaign to build the Tom and Helen Flynn Complex for Recreation and the Salute to Tom Flynn Gala, which raised $2.1 million for RACC students.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
is editor of Community College Daily and serves as publications director for the American Association of Community Colleges.