The following joint statement was endorsed by the AACC Board of Directors on April 5, 2008 and the ACCT Board of Directors on July 27, 2008. It was signed by George R. Boggs, AACC President and CEO, and J. Noah Brown, ACCT President and CEO.
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Community colleges are the most diverse and inclusive institutions of higher education in the United States. Community colleges serve larger percentages of African Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and students with disabilities than any other segment of higher education, and well over half of community college students are women. Most of the women and minority higher education presidents are found in the ranks of American community colleges. However, progress has been slow in identifying and employing presidents who are representative of the student bodies and the communities served by the colleges. Presidents and trustees should mirror the populations on our campuses and be committed to the participation and success of all groups.
The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) together represent the leadership of more than 1,200 community, junior, and technical colleges throughout the United States. Both associations have long supported programs and initiatives supporting equity, diversity and inclusion that foster successful leadership at both the board and presidential levels.
ACCT, through its CEO Search Services, has helped identify, recruit, and place more women and individuals of color in the community college presidency than any other major search services organization. Several of AACC's affiliated councils support leadership development programs, many of which also receive support from ACCT. AACC also has been a leading voice on the importance of access and opportunity, for both individuals wishing to attend community colleges and those who seek to lead those institutions. Both associations maintain leadership development programs designed to equip current and future leaders with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in an increasingly diverse and demanding higher education environment. AACC’s Commission on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity and ACCT’s Diversity Committee assist in identifying opportunities to involve talented individuals in community college governance regionally and nationally. The values of diversity, inclusion, and equity are firmly embedded throughout the history and culture of both associations and the boards that lead them.
Both associations hereby commit to support diversity of leadership in the second century of the community college movement. Together, AACC and ACCT will continue and expand their collaboration to ensure that community college leaders – trustees and presidents – work in partnership to ensure the continued success of community colleges, while also ensuring the doors of opportunity remain wide open to those who aspire to a higher education and to those who seek to lead such institutions. We resolve to assist both trustees and presidents in understanding and acting upon their responsibilities to nurture and develop the next generation of competent and diverse community college leaders by increasing the participation in leadership programs designed to prepare the next generation of community college leaders.
Endorsed by the AACC Board of Directors, April 5, 2008
Endorsed by the ACCT Board of Directors, July 27, 2008
Also endorsed and supported by:
AACC Commission on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity
American Association for Women in Community Colleges
National Community College Asian/Pacific Islander Council
National Community College Hispanic Council
National Council on Black American Affairs