Richard Rhodes, chancellor of the Austin Community College District, will become chair of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) board of directors on July 1, succeeding William Serrata, president of El Paso Community College in Texas.
Joseph Schaffer, president of Laramie County Community College (Wyoming), will serve as chair-elect of the board of directors, effective July 1.
As chancellor of the Austin Community College District (ACCD), Rhodes leads an institution with 11 campuses and more than 100 programs of study that annually enrolls over 70,000 students. Since joining the college in September 2011, Rhodes has worked to improve pathways into higher education, strengthen awareness of the community college mission and give students the tools to accomplish their educational, professional and personal goals. Prior to ACCD, Rhodes was president of El Paso Community College for 10 years and vice president of business services at Salt Lake Community College in Utah for seven years.
Rhodes’ professional associations include the American Association of Community Colleges’ 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges; board member of the Texas Student Success Council; board member of the Texas Workforce Investment Council; and past board chair of the Texas Association of Community Colleges. He is also a board member for the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation, the Carnegie Foundation, the Educational Testing Service National Community College Advisory Council and a member of the STEM Higher Education Council.
Rhodes is active in the community, serving as past board chair of American YouthWorks as well as on the boards of local chambers of commerce. In addition, he is a board member of the Boy Scouts of America’s Capitol Area Council, Austin Partners in Education and the E3 Alliance.
New college representatives to the AACC board elected in February include:
- Michael Baston, president, Rockland Community College (New York)
- Sunita “Sunny” Cooke, superintendent/president, MiraCosta College (California)
- Michael Gutierrez, president, Sacramento City College (California)
- Vicki Karolewics, president, Wallace State Community College (Alabama)
- Rachel Solemsaas, chancellor, Hawai’i Community College
- Tonjua Williams, president, St. Petersburg College (Florida)
The board’s new council representatives are: Jay Allen, president, Itawamba Community College (Mississippi), and Mary S. Graham, president, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Steven Gonzales, interim chancellor of the Maricopa Community Colleges (Arizona), is the new institutional at-large representative, and Federico Zaragoza, president of the College of Southern Nevada, is the public at-large representative.