Dr. Malcolm will retire in August 2024 after more than 12 years of service to the college

Austin Community College District (ACC) Executive Vice Chancellor of Operations & Public Affairs, Dr. Molly Beth Malcolm, will retire in August 2024 after more than 12 years of service to the college and the Central Texas community. 

Since joining ACC in September 2012, Dr. Malcolm has inspired and led the development and growth of the college’s government and community relations programs and led safety and operations initiatives and offices at the college. 

“It has been my honor to serve ACC and our community for the past 12 years. This journey has been an immensely fulfilling chapter of my life,” says Dr. Malcolm. “Education is in my DNA. I started my career as an educator — teaching and counseling young students in the public schools. I was elected to the Texarkana College Board of Trustees in 2006, which launched my career in higher education and passion for building partnerships that bring us together for a common cause. ACC became a home for that very mission, and for more than a decade I have devoted my time and energy to serving this college, our students, employees, and the community-at-large.”

“It’s difficult to imagine an ACC without the touch of Dr. Molly Beth Malcolm. She is someone who brings that rare combination of wisdom, integrity, and compassion into everything she does. I’m proud and honored to call her my colleague and my friend,” says Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, ACC Chancellor. “When you think of the many incredible achievements of this college over the past decade, Molly Beth has been there — an instrumental figure in our good work. She is someone who truly embodies our mission to serve, and the programs, initiatives, and progress she made will resonate long into the years to come.”

Under her leadership, ACC has been recognized for its work in public affairs, operations, and philanthropy. Some highlights include:

  • Voters approved two general obligation bonds — one in 2014 that created new learning spaces for the community, including a new campus in Leander and the redevelopment of the former Highland Mall, and another in 2022, which will fund additional campus growth and facilities that support high-demand programs and career fields in the region.
  • ACC worked closely with local, state, and national leaders to redefine the purpose and scope of a community college. ACC was the lead change agent for the state to allow community colleges to offer high-demand bachelor’s degree programs to provide students with more affordable pathways to in-demand careers in the region.
  • The college received a $5 million donation to support student scholarships through the ACC Foundation.
  • ACC developed the old Highland mall into a mixed-use development, Highland, which includes a signature campus and 91 acres of green space that were originally impervious cover. The green space centers on the untold history of the original use of the land once owned by St. John Baptist Association.
  • The college established three strategic incubators in Bioscience, Fashion, and Manufacturing and grew partnerships with companies such as Tesla, Samsung, Baylor Scott & White, Toyota, NXP, Apple, Army Futures Command, University Federal Credit Union, St. David’s Healthcare, Ascension Seton, and more that help build a skilled workforce and connect students with real-world experience.
  • The college was named the home of the Army Software Factory — the only active Army military installation located on a college campus in the nation — designed to connect Soldiers with ACC faculty and programs that can help solve operational problems around the world.
  • The college was recognized for its strategic and thorough response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The college developed international partnerships with colleges in Europe.
  • ACC’s Police Department was recognized by the Texas Police Chiefs Association Best Practices Program and achieved a clean Texas Commission on Law Enforcement audit of training and personnel files. 
  • ACC was awarded numerous regional, state, and federal grants to fund initiatives designed to boost learning programs and better directly connect the college’s work with the demands of our local workforce.
  • The college was named one of the nation’s first 10 Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campuses.
  • ACC grew and developed three cultural centers, including the African-American Cultural Center, Asian American & Pacific Islander Cultural Center, and Latino/Latin American Studies Center.   
  • The college created Nonprofit Austin at ACC —  a center to support nonprofit organizations in Central Texas — and the Veterans Resource Center and the Military Families Center
  • The college formed its first Alumni Network to keep Riverbats connected in our community.    
  • ACC grew and restructured its Regional Advisory Committees to help strengthen the link between the College District and the community.

“Molly Beth Malcolm has been an energetic, enthusiastic catalyst for Austin Community College’s efforts to improve educational access for everyone and support the workforce needs of area employers. She is leaving an impressive legacy as a tireless champion for higher education here in Austin and throughout the state,” says City of Austin Mayor Kirk Watson. “I am very grateful for Molly Beth’s friendship and her public service, and I wish her all the best in retirement, although I’m waiting to see what a Molly Beth Malcolm ‘retirement’ really looks like.”

Throughout her career, Dr. Malcolm has worked to improve public and higher education as a teacher, counselor, and administrator. She earned her doctorate of education degree in Educational Administration from The University of Texas at Austin. A licensed professional counselor, she earned an undergraduate degree from Southern Methodist University and a Master of Science from Texas A&M University–Texarkana.

She is a professor of practice at The University of Texas at Austin, where she teaches doctoral students “Politics and Policy of Higher Education,” and serves as a voting member of the Graduate Studies Committee for the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy.

Before coming to ACC, Dr. Malcolm was the only woman ever elected as chairperson of the Texas Democratic Party. She was also elected and served as a Texas community college trustee for six years. She was instrumental in founding the Community College Association of Texas Trustees, where she served as president and is a life member of the Association of Community College Trustees.

Currently, Dr. Malcolm serves on the Executive Committee of the University Federal Credit Union Board of Directors. She also serves on the Austin Healthcare Council Executive Board, Austin Economic Development Corporation Board, The University of Texas UTeach Natural Sciences Advisory Council, National Security Innovation Council, Austin Chamber of Commerce Government Relations Council, the Texas Lyceum Advisory Council, and the Opportunity Austin 5.0 Steering Committee.

Dr. Malcolm has been the recipient of numerous awards recognizing her state and community commitment. In 2023, she was selected for the Leadership Austin Honorary Alumnus Award. She was selected for the 2022 Top 50 Women Leaders of Austin, was profiled in the Austin American-Statesman’s “Extraordinary Women” series, and received the Chancellor’s Leadership Excellence Award. In 2019, she received the League for Innovation in the Community College Innovation of the Year Award for the ACC Fashion Incubator.  

Dr. Malcolm’s last day as executive vice chancellor of Operations & Public Affairs of Austin Community College District will be August 31, 2024.