Since its inception in 1944, the University of Texas at Austin’s Community College Leadership Program has established a reputation as one of the country’s top talent generators for community college administrators. Its graduates include Texas standouts like Austin Community College President Richard Rhodes and Western Governors University Texas Chancellor Mark Milliron.
But with the departure of its longtime leader and restructuring involving the program, some fear that the university’s commitment to community college issues may be on shaky ground.
John Roueche, who has been the CCLP director since 1971, is leaving this summer. He is joining the National American University, a for-profit university with a presence in Austin, and heading up its soon-to-launch Roueche Graduate Center, which will also focus on doctoral programs in community college administration.
The man the center is named after shrugs off distinctions between its funding model and that of his longtime employer. “It’s proprietary,” Roueche said, “but you know how public universities raise their money; we’re so reliant on proprietary organizations and companies.”