The Austin Community College District (ACC) Board of Trustees met for its regular meeting on Monday, February 13. Highlights include ACC Board Members meeting in the new boardroom, CommuniSpace updates, and Chancellor’s Priority #2.
Below are highlights from the meeting.
ACC Board Holds Meeting in New Boardroom
The ACC Board of Trustees convened in the new board room. The board officially moved to its new location at Highland Campus, Building 3000, Room 2110. Trustees previously met at Highland Business Center.
Board Accepts Resignation of ACC Chancellor Dr. Richard Rhodes
Board members officially accepted the resignation of ACC Chancellor Dr. Richard Rhodes. Dr. Rhodes informed the board in January of his plans to retire at the end of the fiscal year on August 31, 2023, after 12 years of service to the college and the Central Texas community. He is the longest-serving Chancellor in the college’s 50-year history. Read more about the Chancellor’s leadership and impact at ACC here.
Chancellor Dr. Richard Rhodes provided an update after the winter storm affected most Central Texans. First, he thanked the college’s Emergency Operations Center for their tireless efforts during the shutdown to inform and update the ACC community about closures.
Additionally, hundreds of thousands of people went without power, Dr. Rhodes announced the college’s plans to slash tuition for ACC’s Lineworker Fast Track program by 50%. The program is designed to help skill-up workers in just six weeks to accelerate into a career as a lineworker. A new cohort begins in April.
Dr. Rhodes spoke about the grand opening of the Amplify Center, a partnership between ACC and the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School for a new walk-in mental health clinic at ACC Eastview Campus. Read more about the grand opening and additional mental health counseling services at ACC here.
Dr. Rhodes also announced the hiring of a new Vice Chancellor of Human Resources. Kelly Torrico previously served as the ACC’s first Employee Relations Officer (ERO). In her new role, Torrico will support the adoption of best practices across the ACC community that strengthen ACC’s culture of collaboration, connection, and caring (the 3Cs). Read more here.
Chancellor Priority #2: Enrollment Updates
Dr. Monique Umphrey, ACC Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, and her team provided updates on Chancellor Priority #2 on enrollment. Some notable highlights from the presentation provided by Dr. Dorado Kinney, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management, and Ana Rummer, Associate Vice Chancellor of Students Affairs Operations, are as follows:
- The college completed an environmental analysis which was an evaluation of ACC’s student enrollment, marketing, and communication efforts and provided recommendations, including:
- Streamline staff roles, responsibilities, and onboarding for students
- Move communications from transactional to transformational and reinforce ACC vision and mission
- Operate on increased awareness of threats and enrollment competitors
- Highly targeted and customized marketing and recruitment efforts
- Increase touchpoints during and immediately after admissions to move students to the completion of their registration
- Creation of a centralized Admission Processing Team to increase efficiency and decrease conversion time from “submitted application” to “eligible to register”
- Development of a change management process that brings stakeholders into the process in meaningful ways for enrollment alignment
- The college is on track for the completion of a strategic enrollment management plan for new students, inclusive of enrollment targets
ACC Audit Report
The ACC Board of Trustees received an update on the college’s fiscal year 2022 audit report. The report, conducted by Weaver and Tidwell, LLP, found that ACC had a clean audit for 19 consecutive years. The report did find one IT issue, which the firm recommended system changes and access management, which has since been fixed. A full report will be released later this year.
ACC CommunitySpace Initiative
The Board of Trustees received an update on CommunitySpace, a new project by ACC’s Nonprofit Austin located at Highland Business Center’s first floor. This project will provide affordable office and coworking space to small nonprofits serving Central Texas. Nonprofit Austin at ACC’s CommunitySpace initiative also includes the newly opened ACC Grants Research Center, which provides access to national databases of funding opportunities; a nonprofit reference library; and 3C Development Services, a project that aims to provide area nonprofits with technical assistance. All participating nonprofits must show a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and be aligned with ACC’s educational mission.
The initiative also aims to strengthen connections between faculty, students, and community-based organizations for students who may be interested in working in the nonprofit sector. CommunitySpace will work with the Office of Experiential Learning to provide opportunities, including internships, work-study, and service-learning activities with member nonprofits. After expenses, all proceeds received from CommunitySpace members will be donated to the ACC Foundation for student scholarships.