About the Center

The Center for the Study of Community Colleges was established in 1974 by The American Community College authors Arthur Cohen and Florence Brawer along with John Lombardi, former superintendent of the Los Angeles Community College District, in order to conduct original research pertaining to community college policy and practice.

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Directors

Since 2006, the Center has been led by a national board of community college scholars,

including four permanent and two ex officio directors.

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Richard L. Wagoner

President

Dr. Wagoner is associate professor of higher education at Idaho State University. His research focuses on community college policy and practice, organizational change in higher education, and faculty issues. He holds a B. A. in English from the University of Utah, a M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from Westminster College,

and a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Arizona.

 

Dr. Wagoner is co-author of 

Community College Faculty:

At Work in the New Economy 

(Palgrave Macmillan, 2006 and 2011), written with John S. Levin

and Susan T. Kater. 

Carrie B. Kisker

Secretary & Treasurer

Dr. Kisker is president of  Kisker Education Consulting in Los Angeles, California. She holds a B.A. in psychology and education from Dartmouth College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in higher education from the

University of California, Los Angeles.

Dr. Kisker's most recent book is Creating Entrepreneurial Community Colleges,

A Design Thinking Approach (Harvard Education Press, 2021). Previous books include The American Community College (Jossey-Bass, 6th ed., 2014), with Arthur M. Cohen and Florence B. Brawer, and The Shaping of American Higher Education: Emergence and Growth of the Contemporary System (Jossey-Bass, 2nd ed., 2010) with Arthur M. Cohen.

James C. Palmer

Board Member

Dr. Palmer is professor emeritus of higher education at Illinois State University and former director the Grapevine project, which tracks state tax appropriations for higher education. He holds a B.A. in English and German from Pacific University and an M.L.S. in library science and Ph.D. in higher education from the University of California, Los Angeles. 

 

Dr. Palmer is author of numerous publications, including Financing Community Colleges: Where We Are, Where We're Going (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015) with Richard M. Romano.

 

Susan T. Kater

Board Member

Dr. Kater is associate professor of higher education at Idaho State University. For 30 years, she worked in a variety of community college administrative roles, including as special assistant to the chancellor of the Maricopa Community Colleges and associate vice chancellor of institutional research. Her research focuses on faculty work and shared governance. She holds a B.S. in education from Baylor University, 

an M.S. in exercise physiology, and a

Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Arizona. 

 

Dr. Kater is co-editor of Understanding Community Colleges (Routledge, 2013 and 2018), with John S. Levin, and co-author of

Community College Faculty:

At Work in the New Economy 

(Palgrave Macmillan, 2006 and 2011), with 

John S. Levin and Richard L. Wagoner. 

Lorenzo D. Baber

Board Member, Ex Officio

Dr. Baber is associate professor and program chair of higher education at Loyola University Chicago. Dr. Baber broadly examines equity and social justice in post-secondary education; his research foci include leadership within community college contexts; experiences of minoritized students in post-secondary STEM education; and use of critical theory to inform higher education policies and practices. 

Dr. Baber is the author of nearly forty journal articles, book chapters, and policy reports.   He holds a bachelor’s in English and a Master of Education from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, as well as a Ph.D. in education policy studies from Pennsylvania State University. 

As president of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges, Dr. Baber serves in an ex officio capacity.

Regina Garza Mitchell

Board Member, Ex Officio

Dr. Garza Mitchell is associate professor of higher education leadership at Western Michigan University. She has worked in higher education for nearly 20 years in the areas of educational leadership, student learning, distance education, and faculty development. Dr. Garza Mitchell's research focuses on leadership and technology, primarily in community colleges. She holds a B.S. in information technology, an M.A. in educational administration, and an Ed.D. in educational leadership, all from Central Michigan University.

Dr. Garza Mitchell is co-author of Developing Tomorrow's Leaders: Context, Challenges, and Capabilities (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), with Pamela L. Eddy.

As past president of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges, Dr. Garza Mitchell serves in an ex officio capacity.