New community college liaison to ED – appointment of Jacqueline E. Woods to a Department of Eduction post - Higher Education
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New community college liaison to ED – appointment of Jacqueline E. Woods to a Department of Eduction post

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by Kathleen Kennedy Manzo


Jacqueline E. Woods, the vice chancellor for external affairs at City Colleges of Chicago and a former American Association of Community Colleges staff member, will become the second community college liason to the Department of Education, U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley announced last week.

“I can’t think of anyone better in this country to represent the community colleges,” said Dr. Ronald Temple, chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago. “Jackie has excelled in everything that she has touched. Of course she will be a major loss for us in Chicago but, in terms of maintaining a relationship between the U.S. Department of Education and colleges around the country, there is no one better.”

Woods will replace Dr. Betty Duvall, who resigned from the position last August after a little more than a year to take a teaching position at Oregon State University. Woods will become the principal policy advisor to Riley on community college issues.

Duvall said she is “delighted that they have appointed someone as quickly as they have and I’m delighted that it is Jackie. She is knowledgeable about community colleges and about the Washington scene. With the kind of continuity that her appointment gives there at the department, I think it is a wonderful opportunity for the position to grow and expand.”

As vice chancellor of the Chicago system, Woods has led the system’s business and government relations efforts, as well as resource development, grant management and community relations.

Temple, who headed the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) while Woods was vice president for institutional advancement there during the early 1990s, credits his colleague with helping to boost CCP’s resources.

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“Fortunately for us she has a great sense of what urban community colleges have needed,” Temple said. “[In Philadelphia] what was particularly important was that we were able to get the first [budget] increase from the city in years and that was due to her working with our political leadership … and pulling together some of the forces there.”

Woods was a staff member at AACC from 1979-81. She also served as a director for American College Testing Program and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.

In 1971, Woods began her career at Wayne State University in Detroit as director of the speech clinic. She has held administrative posts at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (MI), Long Beach Community College District (CA) and the Community College of Philadelphia.

Duvall said that despite the predominance of Woods’ career in urban education, her broad knowledge of community colleges and higher education nationally, and her experience with national organizations in Washington, make her a prime candidate for promoting all the institutions at the national level.

“She certainly will be able to represent all community colleges,” Duvall said. “With community colleges we need to be talking about commonalities, particularly when in national discussions. There are probably more commonalities than differences.”

In the latter part of her career, Woods has frequently been involved in the training of community college presidents and has published her research on issues relating to diversity, teaching and learning.

Currently, Woods is chair of the executive board of the Black Caucus of the American Association of Higher Education and a member of the board of the National Council on Black American Affairs/Northeast. She is a member of the American Association of Women in Community Colleges and the Community College Advisory Committee of The College Board.

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She earned a B.A. degree in speech pathology at Michigan State University and a M.Ed. in speech pathology at Wayne State University, where she has also completed doctoral coursework in that discipline.

The liaison post was created by Congress in 1992, but remained unfilled until Duvall’s appointment in May 1994.

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