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RBC | Monday, April 26, Colorado Community College System (CCCS) Chancellor Joe Garcia announced the selection of Dr. Lisa Jones as the next president of Colorado Northwestern Community College (CNCC).
Dr. Jones will assume the presidency on July 15, 2021. She will succeed Ron Granger, who is retiring at the end of July.
Dr. Jones, a distinguished scholar who has led academic, equity, and innovation programs in her various roles in higher education, will be the first African-American woman to hold the presidency at CNCC and in the Colorado Community College System.
“We are excited to welcome Dr. Jones to the system and are confident she will step into the CNCC presidency with the experience and strength needed to lead the college forward as it continues to address challenges and embrace opportunities in a rapidly changing environment,” said Garcia. “At such a critical time in the college’s history, she brings both energy and an entrepreneurial mindset with over 30 years of experience as a leader in higher education, deep understanding of issues facing students from various backgrounds, commitment to reversing trends in generational poverty, and the executive experience to manage the intersection of sustaining financial health and innovation.”
Dr. Jones was selected after a six-month nationwide searched, led by an 11-member advisory search committee who worked diligently to screen, interview, and conduct virtual community forums. The committee considered highly accomplished leaders from a pool of more than 60 applicants with diverse backgrounds.
In her most recent role as Vice President of Student Development at Cedar Valley College, a Hispanic-Serving and Predominately Black Institution in Texas, she led a number of initiatives to support enrollment growth, increase college funding, and improve student success outcomes. During her tenure, she guided the institution through enrollment and retention strategies that yielded a 40% increase in overall enrollment and significant increases in target populations including veteran women, adults over the age of 25, and Hispanic and Black males.
Prior to her role at Cedar Valley College, Dr. Jones served as Vice President of Student Affairs at Henry Ford College in Michigan, where she successfully designed and implemented a diversity, equity, and inclusion master plan and leadership training program that transformed the campus culture, streamlined budget efficiencies, and focused strategic enrollment management efforts. She was also hailed for turning around a $12 million budget deficit to a positive balance within 18 months.
For Dr. Jones, the role and value of community colleges, especially in rural and under- resourced locations, is tantamount to providing supportive and empowering pathways for students to achieve upward social mobility and transforming the trajectory of futures for generations to come.
“As a first-generation, low-income, minority woman who came from an underperforming high school in Detroit, the odds were heavily stacked against me, but through my community college I was able to rewrite my story and achieve my American Dream,” said Dr. Jones. “These institutions play a pivotal role in transforming lives and communities, and I am excited to become a part of this important work at CNCC.”
With her official start date approaching this summer, Dr. Jones expressed her eagerness to work with CNCC’s dedicated faculty, staff, community, and business partners to increase credentials earned by members of the community, close educational and economic opportunity gaps among students, and support the region’s economic growth while elevating the profile of the institution.
“With over 80 years of rich history, CNCC is a jewel in Colorado’s northwestern region and no doubt will play an enormous role as the community prepares for its next chapter,” said Dr. Jones. “Through collective work, shared vision, and perseverance, I am positive that we will create new opportunities and overcome obstacles facing the region and college because that is The Spartan Way.”
PRESS RELEASE | Special to the Herald Times