Dr. Gaye Lynn Scott assumed the role of ACC’s vice chancellor of instruction in January 2023. She was appointed to the role after Michael Midgley was named the senior vice chancellor of student information systems. 

She has been at ACC for 36 years, previously serving as the dean of social and behavioral sciences and a professor of government — including serving as the government department chair for nearly five years — and, most recently, the associate vice chancellor of academic programs. 

We asked her to tell us about her new role, what she’s learned so far, and her priorities.

What does a vice chancellor of Instruction (VCI) do?
Every day is different for the VCI. At its most basic the VCI supports everything related to instruction — the credit and non-credit workforce and transfer instructional programs, support services (e.g., libraries, faculty development, academic technology), distance education, and all dual credit programs. It’s a job that is wide-ranging and always interesting — solving problems, supporting innovations, and building internal and external partnerships. The job requires strategic leadership, creativity, responsiveness, occasional crisis management, as well as political and empathetic decision-making.

How did your previous roles at ACC prepare you for this one?
I started at ACC as an adjunct faculty member in the fall semester of 1987. I have worked my way up from adjunct faculty to full-time faculty to regional department head to collegewide department chair, dean, associate vice chancellor, and now VCI. That experience gives me a wide, deep, and broad perspective on ACC — who we were, who we are, and who we want to be. I can understand various perspectives, and I can see things at various heights, from “on the ground” to 30,000 feet. I think my experiences help me do this work, recognizing ACC’s strengths AND opportunities. I am still learning, but that’s the fun of working at ACC — you are always learning.

What are your short-term (6-9 months) and long-term priorities (next academic year on)?
In the first six months, I have focused on learning, asking questions, building a communications plan, and getting comfortable with the scope and breadth of this role. 

My goals for next year are threefold: 

  • support an intentional culture of data literacy in instruction, 
  • develop and launch an instructional strategic planning process, and 
  • build a more transparent budgeting process that is data-informed and reflects strategic goals. 

What have you learned/done in your time so far?
I have learned so much — I’ve visited the Impact Lab, Fashion incubator, and Creative Arts spaces at Highland Campus, the Army Futures Command Software Factory at Rio Grande Campus, our Continuing Education programs at Northridge Campus, and our applied technology programs (welding, automotive, building construction, etc.) at Riverside and Round Rock campuses. I have yet to visit the health sciences programs, the Public Safety Training Center, the Fire Academy, and some other notable spots, but I’ll be making more visits in the next few months. 

I have dealt with challenging and complex personnel, legal, and student issues. I have presented to the Board of Trustees on several Chancellor’s Priorities, testified before a Texas House committee, helped write two congressional earmark requests, and developed instructional budget requests for the coming year. I have helped put together the instructional Student Information Systems implementation team, a new “Two-generation” partnership with AVANCE Austin, and a proposal for Continuing Education skilled trades classes at a Travis County-owned building. 

I have asked lots and lots of questions, made some mistakes, asked more questions, and offered advice and suggestions to the leaders I support. The job is different every day, but ACC’s mission drives my work and my commitment to this role, along with the brilliant faculty and staff I support across instruction, and most importantly the students whose lives we change for the better with the instructional programs that we offer. 

Watch the video Dr. Scott shared with ACC faculty as a perspective on her first few months in the role HERE.