[Chancellor’s Office] – The California Community Colleges Board of Governors announced the unanimous selection of former Los Rios Community College District Chancellor Brice W. Harris as the 15th chancellor to lead the 112-college system, the largest system of higher education in the country.
“Brice Harris is the right person at the right time to lead the California Community Colleges. I’ve known and worked with him for many years, and he is widely respected within the college system. He has the vision and leadership skills needed to navigate these tough fiscal times and keep us focused on improving student success,” said California Community Colleges Board of Governors President Scott Himelstein.
Harris was the longest-serving chancellor at Los Rios, with nearly 16 years at the helm, and led two local bond measures that funded facilities improvements and allowed the district to serve thousands of additional students. The Los Rios district includes American River, Cosumnes River, Folsom Lake and Sacramento City colleges, and enrolls more than 85,000 students each semester. Harris oversaw the establishment of the district’s fourth college, Folsom Lake, and provided the vision that made it home to a regional performing arts center, which was recently renamed in his honor.
Harris previously served as president of Fresno City College, and was a faculty member and vice chancellor in the Kansas City, Mo., community college system.
Dr. Brice Harris
“It is humbling to be asked to lead such a tremendous system of colleges serving the educational needs of California. The California Community Colleges have helped educate generations of citizens, and these colleges are even more important to the future of our great state,” Harris said. “Serving as the system chancellor at this time is very exciting. The efforts that retiring Chancellor Jack Scott and the board of governors have begun related to improving student success provide us all a clear road-map to a better future for our colleges and for California.”
Harris has served on a host of local, state and national boards and commissions. He was the first educator to serve as president of the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and also served as president of the Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization (SACTO). Harris serves on the American Council on Education (ACE) board, and was a member of the California Community College Chancellor’s Office Student Success Task Force.
“I enthusiastically endorse the appointment of Dr. Brice Harris as the chancellor of the California Community Colleges. He is an outstanding educational leader, as evidenced by his superb leadership of the Los Rios Community College District,” said former Chancellor Jack Scott, who retired earlier this month. “He will ably represent community colleges in state government, and I predict great progress for California community colleges under his leadership.”
Harris did his post-doctoral study at the Harvard University Institute of Educational Management, received his doctorate in education at Nova Southeastern University, his master’s in communication from the University of Arkansas, and his bachelor’s in communication from Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
“I’ve known and worked with Brice for almost 20 years, going back to my days on the Sacramento City Council. He was an exemplary chancellor at the Los Rios Community College District, broadening higher education opportunities for tens of thousands of students through unprecedented renovation and expansion of the district’s four colleges,” said Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg. “As California Community Colleges enlarge their role in educating and training our state’s workforce, I look forward to working with Brice as he takes on another leadership challenge.”
As chancellor, Dr. Harris will receive an annual salary of $198,500, plus a standard benefits package afforded to state employees. He begins his duties on Nov. 6, 2012
Harris lives in Fair Oaks, Calif., with his wife, Barbara, who is an elementary educator and he has three adult children also in the state.