These are perilous times for community colleges. State and federal departments of education are pressing the nation’s two-year career and technical colleges to be accountable while the colleges experience reductions in state funding and try to streamline services.
That pressure is intensified by a growing national expectation that community colleges should be at the forefront of our nation’s economic recovery, educating people who aspire to return to the middle class. One wonders how community colleges can manage these expectations.
Like a captain guiding his ship through troubled waters, college presidents depend on more than their own abilities. They must have the support and input of an able and capable crew. A safe journey begins with the relationship between the college president and the institution’s board of trustees.