California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott said today that he will retire Sept. 1 after three years as head of the country's largest higher education system.
Scott, 78, caps off a lengthy 58-year career that included 12 years serving as a state senator and assemblymember representing Pasadena, Glendale and Burbank through 2008. Scott also served as president of Pasadena City College and Cypress College, and was a distinguished professor of higher education at Pepperdine University. He became chancellor of the state's community colleges Jan. 1, 2009.
"I greatly enjoyed my work, but I knew that this was a tail end of my career," Scott told KPCC today. "...I have a lot of things I will enjoy doing in retirement, of course [spending time with] my family, but also doing a little writing, occasional speaking engagements and some other things...I was honored to be the head of the community college system, and I hope I've served them well."
The California Community Colleges is the nation's largest higher education system with 112 campuses serving 2.6-million students statewide. During Scott's tenure as its chancellor, he was forced to deal with a shrinking budget that led to reduced course offerings and lengthy waiting lists. The system lost nearly 300,000 students over those three years, because it was unable to accommodate them.