New Report on Executive Leadership Transitioning at Community Colleges

May 8, 2018

ACCT and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) have jointly published a new monograph designed to help community college boards smooth transitions from outgoing to incoming presidents. “Executive Leadership Transitioning at Community Colleges” gives an overview of board responsibilities, the presidential search process, onboarding, and how to prevent or resolve any problems that may arise during transitions.

The report was issued during the AACC Annual Convention in in Dallas, Texas on May 1, via a panel session that featured ACCT Chair Emily Yim, a trustee at Edmonds Community College in Washington state; ACCT President and CEO J. Noah Brown; AACC Board Chair and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College President Mary Graham, and AACC President and CEO Walter Bumphus.

“Honesty and transparency have to be at the heart of” any presidential transition process, Brown said. “While boards don’t like surprises, neither do CEOs.” Yim added that the incoming president should “honor the work the previous president did,” emphasizing “the next phase of the college” over any perception or discussion of negativity. The report likewise emphasizes the great importance of cultivating and maintaining a healthy relationship between the board and the college president.

The monograph aims to prevent surprises and support healthy, functional relationships by advising that “boards should treat the presidential transition as a strategic imperative which supports and protects the college’s well-being, assets, reputation, value proposition, and integrity, all while advancing the institution toward students’ success.”

For highlights of the panel discussion, visit Community College Daily.