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CEO retirements

Don Doucette, chancellor of Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC), will retire on July 1, 2022. He will have led the district for 11 years.

Doucette’s accomplishments as chancellor include a student graduation rate that has doubled in 10 years, the passage of a $40 million bond referendum to expand career and technical education facilities and programming, and establishing the Scott Community College Urban Campus in downtown Davenport. Doucette also has helped to develop strong partnerships between EICC and the 22 school districts in its service area.

Doucette noted that his most significant contribution to EICC is the development of a cooperative approach among its three colleges (Scott, Clinton and Muscatine community colleges) to leverage institutional resources. 

“We are an effective and efficient institution, capable of delivering high-quality education and student services, anywhere in our eight-county service area,” he said. “We have strong technical systems and expertise, and can meet the needs of our students, businesses and communities on very short notice.”

Before joining EICC in 2011, Doucette was senior vice president and provost of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana and its 28 campuses. Previously, he served in various leadership, administrative and teaching roles for the Metropolitan Community Colleges of Kansas City (Missouri), League for Innovation in the Community College, Johnson County Community College (Kansas), Maricopa County Community College District (Arizona) and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Doucette also helped to establish the first community college in Haiti and serves on its board. 

Alex Johnson, who has served as president of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) in Ohio for eight years, has announced his plans to retire next summer.

Under Johnson’s leadership, Tri-C renewed its commitment to providing educational access throughout northeast Ohio. He oversaw an era of increasing graduation rates and numbers at the college, the result of new investments in workforce training, capital improvements and programs serving those in low-income and distressed areas.

During his tenure, Tri-C’s nursing, creative arts, public safety, hospitality management, information technology and manufacturing programs have been reorganized into the Tri-C Centers of Excellence. Each center provides training and pathways for students entering some of the most in-demand career fields.

Johnson also oversaw a large-scale construction and development plan for the college’s campuses, the result of a $227 million capital bond issue passed in 2017.

“Alex Johnson has made an indelible mark on Tri-C and the Cleveland community,” said Tri-C Board Chair Helen Forbes Fields. “As a result of his extraordinary leadership, the college has thrived and today is considered a vanguard institution among community colleges nationwide.

Johnson said one of his most enduring memories of the college is how during the pandemic members of the Tri-C community supported each other and the college’s mission. 

“I saw great inner strength and resolve from our students, faculty and staff that continues to this day. I’ve always been proud of Tri-C, but I’ve never been prouder of the Tri-C family than I have been during the pandemic,” he said in a statement.

Johnson’s tenure as Tri-C president has been the culmination of a 40-year career in higher education. Prior to Tri-C, Johnson was president of the Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh (2008-2013) and chancellor of Delgado Community College in New Orleans (2004-2008). He also previously was president of Tri-C’s Metropolitan Campus (1993-2003). Johnson also served as chair of the American Association of Community Colleges board of directors for the 2019-2020 term.

Johnson’s experiences inspired him to write two books on leadership: Change the Lapel Pin (2018) and Capturing Change (2021).

Appointments

Sharon Bommer is now dean of business and applied technologies at Clark State College in Ohio. Most recently, she was an assistant professor in the engineering management, systems and technology department at the University of Dayton.

Margaret Horten is the new director of early childhood education at Cleveland State Community College. She has worked at the Tennessee college for 11 years, starting as an adjunct instructor and then transitioning to the faculty in the early childhood education program.

About the Author

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