Austin Community College District (ACC) Board of Trustees appointed an interim Trustee, Dr. Manuel (Manny) Gonzalez, in a split decision, to the vacant Place 5 seat during a special meeting on Monday, April 11.
“We are extremely fortunate to have had high caliber, highly qualified finalists with a real appreciation for the value of a community college,” says Dr. Nan McRaven, ACC board chair. “I look forward to welcoming Dr. Manny Gonzalez to our Board of Trustees. Dr. Gonzalez brings with him a wealth of higher education experience and knowledge that will be helpful as we continue our work to provide affordable access to higher education and guided pathways for student success.”
Dr. Gonzalez currently serves as Regional Director, South Region, at Western Governors University. He previously served as Director of Trustees of the Community College Association of Texas Trustees (CCATT).
“I truly admire and appreciate the work ACC does. I have had the privilege of working with the college and have seen its community importance first-hand. ACC is the catalyst for social mobility. So much of life is dependent on post-secondary education, like job and housing security. ACC is a leader in this work,” says Dr. Gonzalez. “The more we can ensure and support all students, the more pathways we can create that lead to success inside and outside of the classroom.”
Dr. Gonzalez offers a diverse background in higher education. He served as the operations lead for Project Success, a Department of Education Federal Student Aid pilot program aimed at assisting 40+ under-resourced Minority Serving Institutions across 10 states. Dr. Gonzalez also has experience with health and human service policy, federal advocacy efforts, and developing policies for access to higher education.
“I am deeply committed to higher education and access to affordable education. I grew up on a community college campus. Seeing my mom earn her GED inspired me to work in those spaces to serve all students who are trying to improve their lives. Our economic foundation is rooted in education and I look forward to continuing the work ACC is doing to improve our community,” says Dr. Gonzalez.
Dr. Gonzalez holds a doctorate in Education Administration and a Master of Education in College and University Student Personnel Administration from the University of Texas, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Spanish from Trinity University.
Dr. Gonzalez will assume the Place 5 seat vacated when Trustee Nicole Eversmann stepped down for a full-time position with the Texas Association of Community Colleges. Dr. Gonzalez will serve the remainder of her term until the November election.
He will be sworn in at the Monday, May 9, board meeting.