Board of Governors names new state chancellor

Ally Browne

The Board of Governors recently announced the appointment of the new California Community Colleges Chancellor, Brice Harris, who will begin to oversee the 112-college system that enrolls approximately 2.4 million students, on Nov. 6.

Harris will be the system’s 15th chancellor following Jack Scott, who retired as chancellor on Sept. 14. Currently, Vice Chancellor Erik Skinner is the acting chancellor.

Unlike UC and CSU chancellors, a community college chancellor has no direct authority over the colleges in the system. As described on the chancellor’s office website, the head of the system leads “by influence and not authority, relying on clear communication of an inspirational and compelling vision.”

However, Harris was a fundamental member on the board that wrote a bill that plans to start rationing enrollment, starting in 2014. The new system will prioritize goal-oriented students, such as those who want to transfer to a university, in helping them to transfer and graduate on time.

“It will really enhance the education of our students,” Harris said in an online press release, noting that similar changes are happening at colleges throughout the country. “I certainly hope it’s not about limiting access. What we’re seeing in California is a re-prioritization to workforce development and an increase in opportunities for students.”

Harris served as president of Fresno City College and has been the president of the Los Rios Community College District since 1996.

Harris holds a doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern University and has also completed post-doctoral work at Harvard University.