Wayne County Community College District is one of the largest urban community colleges in Michigan and its leader has just been named as the recipient of a prestigious award for a career of exemplary work. The inaugural award recognizes the WCCCD Chancellor for his Transformational Leadership in Higher Education.
Chancellor Dr. Curtis L. Ivery has been named CEO of the Year by the American Association of Community Colleges, or the AACC. The ceremony, which was held in New York City, recognizes Ivery’s achievements and stellar performance as Chancellor of the college. From 7,000 students to a multi-campus cornerstone institution of higher education serving more than 70,000 students each year over a six-campus district that covers more than 500 square miles, Dr. Ivery’s success in growing the college spans several years as he transformed WCCCD into an institution that provides more than 120 career and academic programs to its students and is a regional leader in workforce development and healthcare fields.
Aside from the college, Dr. Ivery has assembled academic, community, business, and government leaders across a series of roundtables and conferences to develop strategies to expand educational equity and economic mobility in the region, and throughout the nation. At the height of the pandemic, He was appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer to serve on the Michigan Coronavirus Taskforce to help address racial disparities. He also served on the committee to advise the governor on approaches and strategies towards immediate action to dissolve historical disparities that characterize systemic inequities.
The award from the AACC is in recognition of Chancellor Ivery’s outstanding accomplishments and helps to shine a light on his professional contributions to the community college field, and for modeling innovative and successful ways colleges can create meaningful impacts in individuals’ lives.
“I am honored to be the first recipient of the CEO of the Year Award,” said Chancellor Ivery. “The partnership with the AACC continues to play a major role in our successful transformation and having an impact on students’ lives at WCCCD.”
Representing more than 1,000 2-year, associate degree-granting institutions and nearly 12 million students, the American Association of Community Colleges is the primary advocacy organization for the nation’s community colleges.
With close to 50 years in operation, Wayne County Community College District has a long history of being a beacon of hope throughout the community. Established in 1967 by the Legislature of the State of Michigan, the college has been able to educate the community with no interruptions to their operations. Originally functioning by a seven-member Board of Trustees elected in 1968, the college began to build its legacy on a $1 million-dollar grant from the State of Michigan and a $300,000 stipend from New Detroit, Inc. That coupled with the anticipated student tuition of the first classes of students, WCCCD laid the foundation for what it would become today.
Receiving their accreditation in 1976 by the Higher Learning Commission, Wayne County Community College District received the highest commendation of reaffirmation with no findings in 2010 for a 10-year period.