Texas Shake-Up

AUSTIN – John E. Roueche, the founder of the most established graduate program for aspiring community college leaders, located here at the University of Texas at Austin, is moving in July to National American University, a for-profit institution, where he will attempt to create a similar operation.

“We’ll be working with them to design and build a doctoral program,” said Roueche, who has led UT’s Community College Leadership Program for 41 years.

News of his departure to a for-profit will be a bombshell for many administrators at community colleges, and it had people buzzing here at the annual conference of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD), which is an affiliate of Roueche’s program. Big changes may loom for NISOD, one of the top supporting organizations for community colleges, many observers said.

Also in flux may be the work of the Center for Community College Student Engagement, a research and service group that falls under the program’s umbrella. Kay McClenney, an influential national expert on community colleges and student success, is the center’s director.

“Our programs are strong, well-supported and growing,” McClenney said, adding that the center’s “intent right now is to keep doing our work.”
Roueche, who is 71, had previously announced his retirement, with an August departure that has been moved up. UT has yet to announce his successor, and the Community College Leadership Program is being merged with the university’s training program for other sectors of higher education, under the new name of the Higher Education Leadership Program, as Community College Week reported this week.

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