Tri-C Selects Three Finalists for College President
Candidates to visit College, participate in town halls in early April
Following a series of virtual interviews, the Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) Presidential Search Advisory Committee has identified three finalists for consideration as the College's new president.
"The Presidential Search Advisory Committee has done an incredible job over the past six months, selecting seven candidates from a diverse pool of 29 applicants, then arriving at three highly qualified finalists," said Tri-C Trustee Victor Ruiz, who also serves as committee chair. "We look forward to welcoming the finalists to Cleveland over the next several weeks as we take these final crucial steps toward naming the College's next president."
The finalists are:
Michael A. Baston, J.D., Ed.D. (President, Rockland Community College)
Since becoming president in 2017, Baston has led numerous initiatives spurring growth and increasing educational pathways at Rockland Community College in Suffern, New York. Under his guidance, the college launched a new hospitality and culinary arts center, career skills and English skills academies to address middle-skill workforce needs and secured $30 million in grant, capital and other funding.
As a national Guided Pathways and Equity Transfer Initiative coach for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), Baston is noted for his work with two- and four-year college leadership teams across the nation, helping them integrate student success initiatives to advance college completion and labor market entry success.
Among many other professional honors and activities, Baston is chair of the Black Male CEO Educators network and a member of the AACC Board of Directors, chairing their Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Annette Parker, Ed.D. (President, South Central College)
In 2013, Parker became the first woman and person of color to serve as president of South Central College, a community college in Faribault and North Mankato, Minnesota. Her industry knowledge and broad higher education experience have helped her serve students and the community.
In 2017, Parker supported a grassroots effort that culminated in the college joining Achieving the Dream (ATD). South Central became an ATD Leader College in 2022.
She also works closely with state and federal officials to secure capital bonding and state and federal grant appropriations, most recently a $2.06 million earmark in the federal omnibus spending bill to develop a manufacturing workforce in partnership with business and industry. She has secured more than $40 million in grants that support SCC's programs, partnerships, and strategies during her tenure.
Parker serves on various national boards to advance her college's mission and support regional economic competitiveness. These include the National Academy of Science Symposium on Imagining the Future of Undergraduate STEM Education, the MIT Work of the Future Task Force Advisory Board and the Center for Occupational Research and Development, where she serves as vice chair.
Colette Pierce Burnette, Ed.D. (President, Huston-Tillotson University)
Cleveland native Pierce Burnette is president and CEO of Huston-Tillotson University, the oldest institution of higher learning — and only historically Black university — in Austin, Texas.
Since her 2015 arrival, Pierce Burnette has been on a singularly focused mission to ensure that any and all barriers to student success are addressed and, ultimately, eliminated. Her unwavering commitment led Huston-Tillotson to forge strong partnerships with organizations such as Apple, Texas Parks & Wildlife, Indeed and Bank of America, along with independent school districts and sister institutions of higher education throughout the region.
Pierce Burnette is a present or past member of numerous boards including E3 Alliance, Austin Community Foundation, Leadership Austin, Austin Transit Partnership, Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce and the Austin Area Urban League, DISCO and Waterloo Greenway Conservancy. She also serves as co-chair of the Central Texas Collective for Racial Equity.
The finalists will visit Tri-C on April 7, 11 and 13 to meet with various stakeholders and participate in town hall forums with students, faculty, staff and community members. Town halls will take place in person (masks required) and will be livestreamed. Additional information, livestream links and full bios of the finalists will be posted on the College's Presidential Search webpage.
Following the candidate visits and review of College and community feedback, the Board will select Tri-C's next president. An announcement is expected in early May.
The new president will succeed Alex Johnson, Ph.D., who will step down June 30.
March 31, 2022
By Anthony Moujaes, 216-987-3068 or firstname.lastname@example.org