Following his retirement from Austin Community College District (ACC), Chancellor Dr. Richard Rhodes has been asked to serve as the interim President for Texas A&M University-Central Texas. Dr. Rhodes announced his retirement in January, following 12 years of serving ACC and the Central Texas community.

“In the months since announcing my retirement plans, I have found myself reflecting on my time at ACC. I am immensely honored and proud to have served this District and our community in Central Texas,” says Dr. Rhodes. “Building pathways to education remains an important, personal mission. As interim president, I would be in a unique position to work with the institution and other four-year universities to relay the power of community colleges and build connections for students like our ACC Riverbats.”

In June, A&M-Central Texas’ longtime inaugural president, Marc Nigliazzo, announced his retirement. Pending approval from the Board of Regents, Dr. Rhodes will begin his new position on October 1. A&M-Central Texas, located in Killeen, is the only public “upper-level” university in the state, with a distinct mission of admitting students who have begun but not finished their undergraduate degrees.

“It has been my greatest pleasure to serve as Chancellor of Austin Community College District. I am confident this college will continue to thrive under the leadership of Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, and I look forward to celebrating ACC’s accomplishments and achievements in the months and years ahead,” says Dr. Rhodes.

On Monday, July 24, the ACC Board of Trustees announced Dr. Lowery-Hart as the sole finalist to serve as the next Chancellor of ACC. Dr. Lowery-Hart has served as president of Amarillo College in Amarillo, Texas, since 2014. 

He is recognized nationally for his commitment to student success and innovative approaches to higher education. Under his leadership, Amarillo College was awarded the 2023 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. The award honors the best college in the country and serves as a model for what other colleges should strive to achieve.

Dr. Rhodes signed a contract extension to serve through September to support the transition of power at ACC. 

Dr. Lowery-Hart is currently in a negotiation process with the ACC Board of Trustees and legal teams. There is a mandatory 21-day waiting period, as required by the state, before finalizing any leadership changes.