Alex Delaney-Gesing
Features Editor

     Earlier this month, LCCC’s President Dr. Roy Church was named by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) as the Regional Chief Executive Officer of the Year for the central region.

      According to the Association of Community College Trustees’ website, the ACCT is a nonprofit educational organization of governing boards that represents more than 6,000 elected and appointed trustees of community, technical, and junior colleges in the United States.

     As a result of this prestigious honor, Church is qualified to win the ACCT’s national CEO of the Year award at the annual leadership awards conference in October in Chicago.

Five other community college presidents from across the country will also be in the running for this award. They include the presidents of Howard Community College in Maryland (representing the northeast region), Highline Community College in Washington (of the pacific region), Midlands Technical College in South Carolina (southern region), and Southeast Community College in Nebraska (of the western region).

      Church’s eligibility for this award came as a result of meeting seven specific criteria required by the ACCT.  Of these, they included the CEO’s initiation in the development of innovative programs within their post secondary institution (community college).

     One of the most innovative programs established under the tenure of Church includes the University Partnership in 1995. The first community college in Ohio to have such a program, LCCC grew its University Partnership from five to six colleges with a dozen bachelor degrees to 12 colleges today delivering over 40 bachelor and master degrees. With this type of opportunity for students, families are able to save an average of $50,000 per degree programs.

Interim Vice President, Strategic and Institutional Development Tracy Green said, “Under Dr. Church’s leadership, he really took the need [of Lorain County] and opportunity [for LCCC] to heart and created one of the most innovative models recognized in Ohio as the most affordable and best value of higher education in the state.

“The common thread in each of these seven areas [of criteria] has really been his eye on the opportunities, positive outlook, and hope that this community has and the role that LCCC can make on our local community,” Green continued, “ He’s always been driven by the insight that community colleges should be responsive to the needs and aspirations of their community, and so all of his work has really been grounded around that and the impact has been absolutely extraordinary.”

     In a press release, Dr. Church expressed his heartfelt thanks in receiving the award and nomination: “I am truly honored to receive this award and I accept it on behalf of everyone at LCCC,” Church said. “Without the tireless work by the great team we have at LCCC we could not accomplish all that we have set out to do.”

     Nominated by LCCC’s board of trustees, Church was considered to be an easy choice for the distinguished award.

“He has transformed the institution into a nationally-recognized community college serving the needs of the community across its four cornerstones of education, economic, community and cultural development,” Larry Goodman, chairman of LCCC’s Board of Trustees said in a press release earlier this month.

“The board of trustees saw his [Dr. Church’s] success record at LCCC as being the most transformational,” Green said.

     “His passion for the comprehensive community college mission has developed LCCC into a dynamic institution of higher education rooted in serving the most important needs and opportunities of this community,” said Goodman.