Joe Wyatt
Published February 28, 2018

The model of outstanding leadership and teamwork exemplified by the President and Board of Regents at Amarillo College has just been conspicuously recognized by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

AACC Bannerlogo HomepageAC has been named a finalist for the AACC’s Exemplary CEO/Board of Trustees Award of Excellence, a distinction that reflects the numerous accomplishments of AC President Russell Lowery-Hart and the AC Board of Regents.


Joining Amarillo College as a finalist for the award is Clark State Community College (Ohio). The finalists will be recognized and the winners will be announced at the annual AACC convention April 28-May 1 in Dallas.


The Exemplary CEO/Board of Trustees Award of Excellence is given to the college that most exemplifies the spirit of collaboration between board and president, unity that leads to effectiveness in community college governance.


Lowery-Hart and the AC Regents embraced a culture of accountability and adopted innovative strategies that have led to momentous gains in student learning (10%), fall-to-fall persistence (12%), and graduation/transfer (22%).


Chaired by Dr. Paul Proffer, the AC Board of Regents also includes Jay Barrett, Anette Carlisle (secretary), Michele Fortunato, Dan Henke, Sally Jennings, Patrick Miller, Johnny Mize (vice chair), Michael Running (non-voting representative), and Dr. David C. Woodburn.


 Throughout the past year, the Board has participated in five full retreats focused on student success and made site visits to other schools to confer with regents there and study best practices.


The Board and President formed a leadership team that brought students to the Regents’ table for meaningful dialogue and input. The team listened to focus groups and utilized secret shoppers to assess College processes.


At each meeting Board meeting, Regents track the academic progress of 100 first-time-in-college students.

Additionally, the Board encouraged Lowery-Hart’s application and acceptance as an Aspen Presidential Fellow, furthering the leadership team’s focus on making data-driven decisions about student success.


“I am honored to work with and for our incredible Board of Regents,” Lowery-Hart said. “I am continually amazed at the caliber of their commitment to student success. This is not only a highly motivated team of great visionaries, it’s an impressive team that’s consistently willing to roll up its sleeves and take a hands-on approach to governance.


“Our Regents have significantly transformed the way we define and support student success at Amarillo College.”