The Austin Community College District (ACC) Board of Trustees held its first meeting of 2021 on Monday, January 11, in a virtual format due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Below are highlights from the meeting.
The board received an update on the Chancellor’s priorities. ACC Chancellor, Dr. Richard Rhodes, discussed updates on two of his priority areas.
Priority One: Reduce Equity Gaps in student access and success by increasing diversity and strengthening student programming and training for faculty and staff. Highlights include:
Priority Six: Foster a safe physical and cultural environment in which students and employees can thrive. Highlights include:
The board unanimously approved the 2021 state legislative priorities for the 87th Texas Legislative session. Priority requests include flat funding from the 2019 biennium and a special item in the state budget to help fund workforce programs targeted to those who have been displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic. ACC also plans to ask for the ability to offer more than three baccalaureate degrees. Read more on the priorities here.
The board approved new members of the Regional Advisory Committees (RAC). The RACs represent the district's north, south, and central service areas and are designed to strengthen the link between the college and the community. During the first RAC meeting in April 2019, members drew lots to determine who would serve one-, two-, and three-year terms. All members will now serve three-year terms. New members include:
Dr. Rhodes informed trustees that fall 2020 commencement honored more than 3,400 completers from summer and fall 2020. More than 14,500 graduates, friends, family, and community members joined to watch the virtual ceremony. ACC looks to welcome future graduates in spring 2021. Dr. Rhodes noted portions of the newest phase of ACC Highland will host some in-person classes starting in January.
He also announced ACC student Jack Russell was selected for the prestigious 2020-21 Terry O’Banion Student Technology Award, a national honor from the League of Innovation. The award, presented to one student nationwide, recognizes outstanding technology students. Jack is a student in the Computer Science and Information Technology program. Learn more about his honor here.
Dr. Rhodes recognized ACC’s commitment to reducing barriers to student success through open educational resources (OER). Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education invited ACC to serve as an early adopter and contributor to the new statewide OER repository called OERTX. Through the creation of the institutional ACC HUB on OERTX, ACC is expanding our ability to discover, create, and disseminate OER among ACC faculty. Read more about ACC Hub on OERTX here.
Lastly, Dr. Rhodes announced ACC signed a letter of intent with Texas A&M University-Central Texas. The partnership builds new, seamless undergraduate and graduate transfer
pathways for ACC students for Business Administration and Computer Information Systems students. Read more on the partnership here.