Delaware County Community College Concludes National Search, Hires First Female President


Dr. L. Joy Gates Black

DCCC LogoDr. L. Joy Gates Black, currently vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and Student Success at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas, has been unanimously selected by Delaware County Community College’s Board of Trustees to become the school’s next president.

Dr. Gates Black will succeed Dr. Jerry Parker, who will retire on June 30, after 40 years of service to the college, including 14 years as president. She will be the college’s fourth president since its founding 50 years ago. She also will be the first woman and the first African-American to head the college.

A well-respected administrator with decades of experience at both community colleges and four-year institutions, Dr. Gates Black was chosen by the Board of Trustees after an extensive national search to lead Delaware County Community College, which annually serves 28,000 credit and non-credit students.

“While we will miss the expert leadership and stewardship of Dr. Parker, we believe that Dr. Gates Black’s extraordinary track record in prioritizing and driving student completion represents a perfect fit with the college and our new strategic plan,” said Michael L. Ranck, chairman of the college’s 13-member Board of Trustees.

“We look forward to a seamless transition based on the qualifications and expertise she brings to the helm.”

In her current position as vice chancellor at Tarrant County College, which serves more than 100,000 credit and non-credit students at multiple campuses, Dr. Gates Black is the chief academic and student services officer.

“Every community college is focused on student success and completion,” Dr. Gates Black said. “But what attracted me to this role is that Delaware County Community College has made a meaningful, tangible investment in both success and completion as measurable outcomes.

“The new strategic plan represents an honest and thoughtful examination of where the college is today, and where it aspires to be. I look forward to working with the college and the community to achieve these strategic goals and collectively move to the next level of achievement.”

Similar to Delaware County Community College, Tarrant County College is an Achieving the Dream Leader College. Achieving the Dream (AtD) is a national, evidence-based, non-governmental, reform movement that seeks to increase the academic and training success of students, with a special focus on students of color and low-income students.

More than 200 institutions of higher education throughout 35 states and the District of Columbia are part of the AtD network, which serves more than four million community college students. Roughly 90 AtD institutions are considered “leader” colleges. Dr. Gates Black leads the AtD initiative at Tarrant County College, and was instrumental in Tarrant achieving leader status.

Dr. Gates Black has held a number of positions at community colleges across the country. These include:

  • Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Management at Eastfield College in Mesquite, Texas
  • Dean of Student Affairs at San Antonio College in Texas
  • Assistant Vice President for Administration and Dean of Equity and Diversity at Los Angeles City College
  • Associate Dean of Admissions for the Los Angeles Campus of the University of Redlands in Redlands, Calif.
  • Assistant Dean at the Cambridge College’s Springfield Campus in Cambridge, Mass.
  • Adjunct faculty member at the Dallas Campus of the University of North Texas

“While community colleges share many common denominators, what makes the model so strong is how community colleges mirror the communities they serve,” she said. “To best understand Delaware County Community College’s future opportunities, I really want to listen to the college community and learn about the great things already happening here, and to engage the overall community on a broad scale.”

A U.S. Air Force veteran and native of Dayton, Texas, Dr. Gates Black is married and has four adult children and five grandchildren.

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