AC wins national award for effectiveness in community college governance


By Joe Wyatt

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) has honored Amarillo College with its Award of Excellence for Exemplary CEO/Board Relationship, a national distinction for which only one community college is selected annually.

The award is given to the college that most exemplifies the spirit of collaboration between board and president, unity that leads to effectiveness in community college governance.

“I am honored to work with our incredible Board of Regents,” AC President Russell Lowery-Hart said. “I am continually amazed at the caliber of their commitment to student success. It’s an impressive group of people who are consistently willing to roll up their sleeves and take a hands-on approach to governance.”

Lowery-Hart and the AC Regents have embraced a culture of accountability and adopted innovative strategies that led to the College being recognized by the Aspen Institute in 2021 as one of the Top 5 community colleges in the nation. 

The AC Board has prioritized ongoing self-assessment and evaluation activities. Board members attend retreats and new Regent orientations that promote leadership values.

Chaired by Johnny Mize, the AC Board of Regents also includes Jay Barrett (secretary), John Betancourt, Anette Carlisle (vice chair), Michele Fortunato, Sally Jennings, Dr. Paul Proffer, Peggy Thomas, and Dr. David C. Woodburn.

Non-voting members representing regional branch campuses are, Ronda Crow (Moore County Campus, Dumas) and Sara Pesina (Hinkson Memorial Campus, Hereford).

“Our Regents have significantly transformed the way we define and support student success at Amarillo College,” Lowery-Hart said.

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