Austin Community College District (ACC) is preparing for a transition in its board leadership with the departure of Trustee Nicole Eversmann.
“ACC would not be where it is today without the leadership of Trustee Eversmann,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC chancellor. “Thousands of students have come through our doors, made a life for themselves and their family during her tenure. Nicole has had their best interest in mind from the beginning. As a student herself, Nicole came to the Board with a vision like no other Trustee before her. She carried that perspective with pride and has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to our students and our mission.”
Eversmann was elected to the Place 5 seat in November 2016 and has served more than five years on the board. She was the first, and remains the only, ACC student to be elected to the college’s Board of Trustees. Eversmann was elected Board secretary in December 2020.
Eversmann started her journey at ACC as a student in fall 2013. She attended classes at seven of the college’s 11 campuses, worked as a student employee for the ACC Honors Program, served as an officer of the college’s Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, and was selected to serve as a student representative of the college’s Futures Institute.
“As a student at ACC, my engagement with the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the ACC Futures Institute gave me a special appreciation for the role of community colleges in making society better,” says Eversmann. “With multiple trustees exiting the Board in 2016, I saw running for the Board as an opportunity to continue to support the implementation of guided pathways and to bring the student perspective into the center of more strategic planning discussions.”
After graduating ACC in 2017, Eversmann transferred to the University of Texas at Austin where she went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in Government and will graduate from UT’s LBJ School of Public Affairs with her master’s degree in May 2022.
She is leaving the board to accept a full-time position with the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC) where she will continue to advance the mission of the community college as Director of the Community College Association of Texas Trustees (CCATT). In this role, Eversmann will offer her experience and knowledge of the community college to develop annual professional development events for CCATT members and support legislative advocacy at the state and federal levels.
“Thanks to the high-quality leadership at ACC, I have learned a great deal about student success, institutional accountability, community college innovation, and effective higher education governance. I am confident that ACC will continue to thrive, and I look forward to continuing my advocacy for funding and legislation that will support all community colleges,” says Eversmann.
During her tenure on the ACC Board of Trustees, Trustee Eversmann supported innovative collaborations that transformed the landscape of higher education, approved progressive policies on behalf of students and employees, and promoted fiscal responsibility to keep tuition affordable. Since joining the board, the college has been recognized as a leader college in equity, diversity, and inclusion, was appointed to multiple national college leadership organizations including the League for Innovation in the Community College, and tracked the highest student success rates in the history of ACC.
“When my term began in 2016 there was a Board policy that set the price of out-of-district tuition and fees through a formula related to the property tax revenue levied from inside the ACC District. As Trustees, we agreed to redesign the out-of-district pricing structure and began incrementally decreasing out-of-district fees to reach compliance with the new policy. I am proud that the operating budget for Fiscal Year 2022 reflected full compliance with that tuition policy.”
During her time, the Board also was recognized with multiple accolades for its work to promote the community college mission and student success. Among those accomplishments, the board was recognized with Phi Theta Kappa Leadership Award. The distinction celebrates community college Boards of Trustees for their leadership and outstanding commitment to student success. Only four Boards nationwide were selected for this honor. In addition, through Nicole’s advocacy, ACC was awarded the Western Regional Equity Award Recipient from the Association of Community College Trustees. The distinction recognizes the college’s equity-focused work and initiatives. Individually, Nicole was elected to serve as the Very Large College Director (Central) with the Community College Association of Texas Trustees (CCATT).
“Nicole began her tenure as a Trustee of the College first as an ACC student and then as a graduate and alum. She has given this Board a new important perspective over the past five years,” says Dr. Nan McRaven, ACC Board Chair. "We are a better Board and College because of Trustee Eversmann's service to the College and our community. I have no doubt she will continue to serve our students — and thousands of others in Texas — with the same knowledge, sense of care, and thoughtfulness that we have seen on this board as she assumes her new role with the Texas Association of Community Colleges.”
ACC Trustees serve six-year terms and are elected at-large by registered voters who live within the ACC District, which includes the City of Austin as well as the Austin, Leander, Manor, Del Valle, Round Rock, Elgin, and Hays school districts.
Eversmann’s resignation comes approximately 9 months before the end of her term. Her seat is up for election in November. ACC Trustees expect to appoint a replacement to serve out the remainder of her term. The process to identify her replacement will be announced in the coming weeks.
To learn more about the ACC Board of Trustees, visit austincc.edu/board.