Joe Wyatt
Published March 22, 2021

The model of outstanding collaboration between the Amarillo College Board of Regents and AC President Russell Lowery-Hart has been conspicuously recognized by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

AACC Bannerlogo HomepageThe College is a finalist for the AACC’s 2021 Award of Excellence for Exemplary CEO/Board Relationship, a distinction that reflects the numerous accomplishments of the synergistic board and its appointed president.


Joining AC as a finalist for the award are Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, and Warren County Community College (New Jersey). The finalists will be recognized and the winner will be announced on May 27.


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


Chaired by Johnny Mize, the AC Board of Regents also includes Jay Barrett, Anette Carlisle (vice chair), Michele Fortunato, Dan Henke, Sally Jennings, Patrick Miller (secretary), Dr. Paul Proffer, and Dr. David Woodburn. Non-voting, appointed members representing AC branch campuses are Ronda Crow – Moore County Campus, and Sara Pesina – Hereford Hinkson Memorial Campus.


“I am beyond honored to work with a visionary Board that is so deeply devoted to empowering our students and our community,” Lowery-Hart said. “Our Regents are consistently willing to roll up their sleeves and take a hands-on approach to governance. They are truly an essential driving force behind the success of this College.”


AC’s success was never more evident than in June of 2020, when the College was named one of the Top 10 finalists for the 2021 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence – the nation’s preeminent recognition of community college achievement. The winner of the Aspen Prize will be announced in May.


Among their many additional achievements in 2020, the Regents and Lowery-Hart collaborated to close equity gaps and almost double completion rates. They also established an Innovation Outpost and the Adams Earn & Learn (paid apprenticeship) program, revived a long-dormant intercollegiate athletics program, and celebrated AC’s largest graduating class.


“The passion and commitment of our Regents is second to none,” Lowery-Hart said. “They have significantly transformed the way we define and support student success at Amarillo College.”