The Austin Community College District (ACC) Board of Trustees approved the employment agreement of Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart during its regular board meeting on Monday, August 21. Dr. Lowery-Hart will begin his service as the ninth ACC Chancellor effective Sunday, October 1, 2023.

Dr. Lowery-Hart has served Amarillo College since 2014. Under his leadership, the college earned the title of the top community college in the nation through the prestigious 2023 Aspen Prize, a Community College Excellence award.

“I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead to take the knowledge I have gained about community colleges, the staff, and the students we serve and apply it to a larger community college system. It isn’t a copy-and-paste situation, but those skills are transferable,” says Dr. Lowery-Hart. “My first priority is to take the time to listen to the concerns and needs of the ACC community and move forward together. I began my career in Austin, and coming back will take it full circle.”

The ACC Board unanimously named Dr. Lowery-Hart the sole finalist for the next Chancellor of ACC on July 24 after an extensive nationwide, months-long search. The final employment agreement authorization culminated in the state-mandated 21-day waiting period before finalizing leadership changes. 

He replaces the current Chancellor, Dr. Richard M. Rhodes, who announced his retirement in January following 12 years of service to the college and Central Texas region. Dr. Rhodes’ final day will be Saturday, September 30.