Eastern Wyoming College President, Dr. Jack Bottenfield, was recently called upon to participate in a national initiative called Leading Forward: The Community College Opportunity
January 27, 204
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(Torrington, WY) Eastern Wyoming College President, Dr. Jack Bottenfield, was recently called upon to participate in a national initiative called Leading Forward: The Community College Opportunity. Leading Forward is an American Association of Community Colleges initiative supported by a $1.9 million planning grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to help community colleges cultivate leaders for top administrative and faculty posts. Estimates, based on research by AACC and others, indicate that 700 new community college presidents and campus heads, 1,800 new upper-level administrators and 30,000 new faculty will be needed by 2007.
Leading Forward has brought together professors and administrators from universities that offer masters and doctoral degrees in community college administration; leaders involved in local, state, and regional leadership development programs; and representatives of community colleges in under-served areas to discuss ideas about developing the future leaders of community colleges. President Bottenfield was invited to Washington, D.C. in March to participate in the summit to learn more about the challenges and opportunities facing leaders in rural and inner city areas.
Activities planned include:
- Aa series of one-day leadership summits to gain consensus on a national leadership development framework, including shared agreement on the characteristics of effective community college leaders, a national inventory of leadership offerings, and identification of venues for collaboration.
- Development of an online leadership portfolio, a tool to implement the national framework by creating a "roadmap" for future leaders to chart their own development or to assist colleges in recruiting leaders.
- Studies of community college leadership programs supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 1960s and 1970s, and selected contemporary and emerging programs.
- Web site containing comprehensive information about community college leadership and AACC's leadership portfolio to be housed at www.ccleadership.org.
"I have always felt that you need to first start with a good person and then you can prepare them for anything. Values and ethical behavior are so important, even more so today." Bottenfield also commended AACC for recognizing the potential lack of future leaders and doing something to address the problem. "The Kellogg Foundation has been very supportive of community colleges in the past and I was pleased to once again see them support this important initiative. This is a wonderful idea and I really appreciated being included. I also learned a lot in participating."
AACC President and CEO George Boggs called the enormous number of presidents and top administrators reaching retirement age a "challenge," rather than a "crisis." The expected outcome of the grant is to develop a comprehensive plan for Leading Forward: Community College Leaders Today and Tomorrow for the next 3-5 years.