Frank Gornick is chancellor of a community college district in California serving one of the poorest regions of the nation. Enrollment has increased three fold since 1994 while the total district revenues have been matched with an aggressive federal and state grant program. The district consists of two colleges, as well as centers throughout the 3,000 square mile service area.
In 2002, the district was recognized by the Met Life Foundation “For excellence in promoting education and economic advancement for underserved youth and adults.”
In 2004, the college district was awarded the prestigious California Community College Chancellor’s Diversity Award for Excellence for its work in promoting and hiring a diverse administrative staff.
Campus Compact recently featured this college in its spring publication: One with the Community: Indicators of Engagement at Minority-Serving Institutions.
Dr. Gornick has led an aggressive campaign for child care in his district with a goal of placing a college-operated child care facility in every community the district serves. The district’s intent is to address the whole family’s educational needs and promote access to education through the use of these centers.
He has fostered the aggressive use of technology by forging strategic partnerships with Cisco Systems, Pacific Bell, Federal agencies, local Workforce Investment Boards and others to deliver low cost solutions of access to technology. This effort has led to one of the most advanced on-line educational programs in the state–if not the nation. Retention rates exceed 75 percent. His staff has exploded the myth that poor citizens without access to computers will shun on-line educational opportunities.
His low-key yet high energy approach to leadership encourages people by example and with enthusiasm. He has transformed the college into a district that knows what it is doing and cares about the people it is enabling.
Dr. Gornick joined forces with community college presidents, AACC and business leaders to begin the discussion of the future of education in our country. Dr. Gornick wrote an article for the Community College Journal, December/January 2006 edition titled: A Call to Action: Reclaiming our Competitive Advantage. Dr. Gornick and the other leaders are beginning the dialogue on a national level this year.