ACC’s new chancellor, Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, committed to visiting every ACC campus within his first 100 days to meet with and listen to faculty, staff, and students to learn more about the successes and opportunities at each campus and the college as a whole.
Since starting at ACC, Dr. Lowery-Hart has hosted Campus Conversations at four campuses. More than 550 faculty, staff, students, and community members attended the conversations in person and virtually and shared their experiences, thoughts, and ideas.
Dr. Lowery-Hart spent these conversations listening to the challenges that each campus community faces, learning about who the students are at each campus, and addressing concerns and questions about House Bill 8, Texas’ new outcomes-based community college funding model, and Senate Bill 17, which provides guidelines for how public institutions in the state promote equity and cultivate diversity within their systems.
View a slideshow from the first two Campus Conversations below.
“I just started my third week, and these conversations have been really, really important to me. They’ve allowed me to understand where we’re really great, and I’ve heard some of the challenges that are real that I want to hear and understand,” says Dr. Lowery-Hart.
During the conversations, Dr. Lowery-Hart also explained what the college community can expect from him in his first 100 days and beyond, which includes determining a unifying purpose and goal — the college’s north star — and a clear theory of change.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to attend a campus conversation. I could hear our desire to do right by our students in every question and comment, and I could see our Chancellor engaging with us from a spirit of curiosity and not judgment,” says Sarah Lisenbe, Student Affairs Strategic Projects & Operations director. “It can be scary to speak up – and we haven’t always done a good job of making it less scary – but this truly felt like an open conversation that everyone could engage in.”
“I appreciate that Chancellor Russell is a personable, caring, data-driven individual. What I took away from the Campus Conversation is that he is going to concentrate on the infrastructure of ACC, and it gives me hope for a very bright future,” says Bernadette Hinterlong, Science Lab technician and Classified Employee Association president.
Recordings from the events are now available on the ACC Campus Conversations webpage.
The main themes emerging from these conversations will be captured and shared on the Chancellor’s First 100 Days website.
Each Campus Conversation was followed by a tour of the campus and visits with those campus communities.
The conversations launched Tuesday, October 3, at Eastview Campus. Following the conversation, Dr. Lowery-Hart toured and learned about ACC’s Dental Hygiene Program, Health Sciences Program, Nursing Program, Student Affairs, Child Lab School, and Amplify Mental Health Center.
The second conversation took place Wednesday, October 4, at Elgin Campus. He visited ACC’s Agriculture Sciences Program, Vet Tech Program, Student Affairs, and then traveled to Elgin High School to tour Elgin Welding P-TECH.
Hays Campus was home to the third Campus Conversation on Thursday, October 12. Here he discussed Instruction, toured Student Affairs, and visited the Public Safety Training Center.
The fourth event took place on Tuesday, October 17, at Round Rock Campus. Dr. Lowery-Hart had the opportunity to tour the Round Rock Early College High School and meet with students; visit with the ACC High School Programs team; and tour the Health Science Program, ACCelerator, Student Affairs facilities, Applied Trades Program, and the Toyota T-TEN Program.
The chancellor also has been meeting with student secret shoppers and hosting focus groups with students as well as faculty and staff to get an unfiltered view of how the college is received. He also had the opportunity to tour the first of ACC’s newly expanded student support centers at ACC Highland.
In addition to the Campus Conversations, Dr. Lowery-Hart will host monthly virtual Town Hall meetings with all members of his cabinet present to engage with all stakeholders of the college, share what he is learning, and answer questions. The first one will take place Friday, October 20, from 8:30 to 9 a.m. and will include an overview of what students and employees have shared about their needs and challenges.
To view the virtual Town Hall schedule and join the discussion links, visit the Virtual Town Hall webpage.
To view the Campus Conversation schedule, visit the ACC Campus Conversations webpage.