On the move
Meghan Hughes, who has served as president of the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) since 2016, has announced that she will step down from her position, effective August 31.
As the fifth president of CCRI and its first female CEO, Hughes is recognized as a higher education visionary who led the transformation at the community college with a focus on student success through an outstanding education that leads to strong learning outcomes, degree attainment and robust labor market opportunities. She also has made closing equity performance gaps at the center of her work. Under her leadership, the college achieved the highest graduation rates in more than 20 years, outpacing national two-and three-year graduation rates, and was named the 2019 two-year college of the year by Education Dive magazine.
Hughes is also recognized for her advocacy to create a free college tuition program at CCRI, which has become a model for similar programs across the country. Since the program launched in 2017, the RI Promise Scholarship program has boosted enrollment and graduation rates, in particular for low-income students and students of color.
Hughes is also known for her leadership in creating partnerships with government and industry. CCRI’s Division of Workforce Partnerships trains more than 4,000 Rhode Island residents annually in short-term, labor-market driven credentials and is the leading educational partner for General Dynamics Electric Boat for its submarine building facilities in Connecticut and Rhode Island. CCRI is also poised to launch the state’s first GWO training program in support of multiple offshore wind farms expected to be constructed in the coming years.
“President Hughes has been a bold, visionary leader at CCRI,” Gov. Dan McKee said in a release. “From making community college more accessible, to increasing graduation rates, and working together to create innovative job training partnerships in key sectors like offshore wind, President Hughes has been a true partner on our team and a key part of our Administration’s work to strengthen our state’s higher education ecosystem.”
Frank Chong, president of Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC), is the recipient of the 2023 Harry Buttimer Distinguished Administrator Award, the oldest and most prestigious award from the Association of California Community College Administrators.
Chong, who has led the college since 2012, was recognized for numerous leadership efforts, including helping to pass the largest bond measure in the county’s history that has resulted in technology and facility updates, new athletic facilities, building renovations and construction, and sustainability improvements. He also steered the idea of affordable student housing via a 352-bed housing project opening this fall. In addition, he has led the college’s response and recovery from multiple devastating wildfires in the community and the creation of a new ethnic studies department and Intercultural Center. During Chong’s tenure, the SRJC Foundation endowment has grown from $26 million to more than $75 million.
John Cox, president of Cape Cod Community College (4C), was recognized this month at the Massachusetts State House for his work in leading mental health awareness at the college and his support of suicide prevention efforts. Alongside several other recipients, the award came from the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention at its Leadership in Suicide Prevention ceremony.
Among his efforts in this area, Cox has supported the college’s Student Wellness Office, which is staffed with licensed mental health professionals. 4C also has trained more than 100 faculty and staff in suicide prevention, bystander training, mental health first aid, crisis intervention, and has launched a campus-wide peer education training program. This past September, the college hosted the inaugural Suicide Prevention Summit in the region and partnered with local coalitions to host events for National Survivors of Suicide Day, Suicide Prevention Day and World Mental Health Day.
Cory Darling is now director of campus safety and emergency management at Central Oregon Community College. Most recently, he was chief of the Sunriver Police Department from 2018 until his retirement in 2022.
Craig Lamb, vice president of corporate and continuing education at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (New Jersey), has been named president of the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (NCATC), an affiliated council of the American Association of Community Colleges, which brings together a network of higher education and industry-led strategic partners. In September, Rowan-Cabarrus hosted the NCATC fall conference, which drew attendees from its network of 170 community colleges and strategic partners to learn the latest practices in supporting manufacturing employers.
Benjamin E. Rohdin is now vice president for enrollment management at LaGuardia Community College in New York. He previously served as interim vice president for enrollment management and student success and associate vice president for enrollment management and student success with New Jersey City University.
Erin Van Egmond has been named executive director of the Grand Rapids Community College Foundation. She has served as the foundation’s associate director since 2015 and has worked at the Michigan college since 1998.