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Dr. Richard M. Rhodes Named ACC President/CEO

The Austin Community College District Board of Trustees officially named Dr. Richard M. Rhodes the college’s next president/CEO upon voting unanimously June 6 to approve his contract. He will assume office September 1.

Dr. Richard Rhodes

Dr. Rhodes will succeed Dr. Stephen B. Kinslow, who is retiring after 34 years of service to the college, including six years as president. Dr. Rhodes currently serves as president of El Paso Community College (EPCC) and chair of the Texas Association of Community Colleges.

“Dr. Rhodes is an exceptional leader who will expand the critical role ACC plays in this region,” says Dr. Barbara Mink, chair of the ACC Board of Trustees. “His experience aligns perfectly with the college’s challenges and opportunities, and we know we have found the right person to continue and advance ACC’s successes.”

During Dr. Rhodes’ tenure at EPCC, enrollment increased 62 percent. Other significant accomplishments include the creation of the College Readiness Consortium (a partnership of EPCC, the University of Texas at El Paso, and 12 school districts), the development of several Early College High Schools (reaching a total of 365 associate degree graduates in May), implementation of dual credit/concurrent enrollment programs with area high schools (increasing from 63 to 5,000 students over 10 years), and comprehensive technological advancement.

Dr. Rhodes’ initial contract with ACC covers a three-year term, through August 31, 2014.

“ACC is an outstanding institution, and I am honored to serve as its next president,” says Dr. Rhodes. “I look forward to coming to Austin and getting to know students, faculty, staff, and the community as we work together to enhance the college and create new opportunities in higher education and workforce training.”

The board named him the lone finalist for the position in May.

As president/CEO, Dr. Rhodes will maintain authority over all aspects of college’s operations. Duties include providing leadership in the achievement of the goals of the Master Plan and Student Success Initiative, working with the Board of Trustees in the development and implementation of legislative and institutional advancement strategies, submitting the annual Master Plan and budget for board approval, ensuring sound fiscal practices, and expanding the fiscal resources of the ACC District. ACC currently has eight campuses across the area, with plans for two new campuses in the coming years. The college had more than 45,000 credit students in spring 2011 and also enrolls nearly 15,000 non-credit Continuing Education and Adult Education students each year.

Prior to becoming EPCC president in 2001, Dr. Rhodes was vice president of business services at Salt Lake Community College in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also previously served with EPCC as interim president and vice president of financial and administrative services, as well as comptroller and accountant at New Mexico State University. Dr. Rhodes earned his Ph.D. in Community College Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin, interning at ACC in the early 1990s.

Dr. Kinslow will remain on board until Dr. Rhodes begins. Dr. Kinslow joined ACC in 1977 as an assistant dean and has held numerous leadership roles, including twice serving as interim president before accepting the official post in 2005. He has led ACC through historic growth and change.

“Dr. Kinslow has dedicated his career to serving the college and this community, and his influence will have a lasting impact,” says Dr. Mink. “We thank him for positioning ACC for a seamless, successful presidential transition.”

Dr. Kinslow lauded the selection of Dr. Rhodes by the Board of Trustees.

“The college will thrive under the direction of Richard Rhodes,” says Dr. Kinslow. “ACC has found a leader who is dedicated to continuing to make college more accessible and affordable, and his commitment to student success and community partnerships will benefit the college as well as the region as a whole.”

Additional information about the ACC presidential transition is available at austincc.edu/transition. Learn about Dr. Kinslow’s legacy at austincc.edu/legacy.

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5 Responses to “Dr. Richard M. Rhodes Named ACC President/CEO”

  1. Roberta McGuffin says:

    I hope that he will be sympathetic to the plight of students with learning disabilities.

  2. Chris Eddleman says:

    Sorry I read that wrong he is from Texas although I still feel the position should have been filled by some of the great people already at ACC.

  3. Chris Eddleman says:

    Personally I feel that there are many qualified and dedicated people here at ACC and that the decision to hire someone out of of state is a controversial issue. Although I would like congratulate Dr Rhodes, Good luck!!

  4. Margaret Aoki says:

    Having worked with Dr. Rhodes at SLCC, I know first-hand that ACC has made an excellent choice.

  5. Zachary Hodges, President Houston Community College Northwest says:

    ACC is getting an outstanding President. One of the best in the country for sure.