EDITOR'S CORNER: Boggs Announces Retirement as AACC Head
By Paul Bradley
WASHINGTON — George R. Boggs, president of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) for a decade and a community college advocate for more than 40 years, has announced his retirement from the association effective Dec. 31, 2010. Boggs made the announcement in a letter to the AACC Board of Directors Oct. 21.
Boggs cited both personal and professional reasons in announcing his decision to step down.
“My wife and I are looking forward to returning to California, where most of my family lives and where we plan to build a new home,” Boggs said. “I feel honored to have served community colleges during a period of their most dynamic growth and achievement. Our colleges have never had greater visibility or respect from policy leaders, the business community and the public at large.”
Boggs began his tenure at AACC in 2001, succeeding David R. Pierce and becoming the organization’s eighth CEO. Over the following decade, he helped lead an unprecedented period of achievement and recognition for this largest sector of higher education.
“George Boggs was the right leader at the right time as community colleges really came into their own,” said Mary Spilde, chair of the AACC Board of Directors and president of Oregon's Lane Community College. “He has an incredible work ethic, but he also practices creative leadership that empowers staff to seek innovative ways to serve and advocate for community colleges. He will leave a dynamic legacy, and we are grateful for his lifelong commitment to community colleges.”
Under Boggs’ stewardship, community colleges have assumed greater visibility and support than ever before. The colleges were lauded by the Bush Administration as critical to preparing the nation's workforce for in-demand jobs of the future, and a Community Based Job Training Grant program was developed to provide $250 million per year to the colleges.
President Obama in July proposed the American Graduation Initiative, a 10-year, $12 billion program to expand capacity and innovation in community colleges that would allow them to graduate an additional 5 million students. That legislation passed the House Sept. 17 and is now under consideration in the Senate.
Prior to joining AACC, Boggs served for more than 15 years (1985-2000) as president/superintendent of Palomar Community College District, serving San Diego County and enrolling more than 26,000 students. Prior to that, he was associate dean of instruction (1981-1985), division chair (1972-81) and instructor of chemistry at Butte College in Oroville, Calif.
He is a graduate of the Community College Leadership Program at The University of Texas at Austin, earning his Ph.D. in Educational Administration there in 1984. He earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry from The Ohio State University and his master's degree in chemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
A national search for the new AACC president will begin early in 2010, with the executive committee of the AACC board coordinating the effort on behalf of the 32-member board. “We intend to conduct a search that is national, inclusive, and thorough,” Spilde said.