Brice Harris responds to a question during a news conference where he was announced as the new chancellor of the California Community Colleges system, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, in Sacramento, Calif. Harris, who has spent nearly 16 years as chancellor of the Los Rios Community College District, replaces Jack Scott, who retired this month after more than three and a half years in the position.
This week, Brice W. Harris took over stewardship of the California Community Colleges system, replacing retiring chancellor Jack Scott. He has his hands full to shore up a system that, since 2008, has been beset by over $800 million in state funding cuts, classes slashed by 24 percent, and a severe drop in enrollment.
But there is hope on the horizon, thanks to the passage of Proposition 30, which will prevent a predicted additional cut of $338 million in funding. Harris has said that he hopes to drill down on the message to California lawmakers that the state needs to continue investing in higher education. Denying our students access to the tools to prepare for better jobs, he warns, is a crisis in the making.
How will the new chancellor go about rehabilitating California’s community colleges? What challenges lie ahead as they prepare for the next wave of high school graduates and adult learners? Will there be enough classes, funds and opportunities to go around?
Brice Harris, chancellor, California Community Colleges