TABPHE congratulates Dr. Mordecai I. Brownlee it, the next president of Community College of Aurora. Dr. Brownlee will assume the presidency on July 15, 2021, succeeding the soon-to-be-retired Dr. Betsy Oudenhoven.
Dr. Brownlee, an inclusive educator who is committed to the intellectual and economic empowerment of diverse communities, brings an impressive resume in advancing student access, expanding student support services, and empowering academic pathways at several public and private higher education institutions, including St. Philip’s College (San Antonio), the University of Charleston in West Virginia, Blinn College District (Brenham), and Houston Baptist University.
Dr. Brownlee rose to the top of a field of impressive candidates during the nationwide search process. The nine-member search advisory committee carefully screened over 80 high quality applicants and conducted open forums to actively engage the community.
“Without a doubt, that candidate was Dr. Brownlee. His impressive background and progressive leadership style make him the best fit to advance CCA’s vision, mission, and values,” said Colorado Community College System Chancellor Joe Garcia.
During his tenure at St. Philip's College as vice president for student success, Dr. Brownlee championed strategic enrollment and student success initiatives that led St. Philip’s to record enrollment and four of the largest degree and certificate awarding classes in the college’s 123-year history.
Throughout his career in higher education, Dr. Brownlee raised millions for student scholarships and academic programs – some of which went to new programs designed to retool individuals to fill high-demand employment opportunities. He has also played an instrumental role in securing several multi-million-dollar capital construction projects.
In his spare time, Dr. Brownlee serves as an adjunct professor at Morgan State University School of Education & Urban Studies and the University of Charleston School of Business and Leadership where he teaches business management, human resources, social justice, and community college leadership. He also dedicates time as a columnist and nationally recognized speaker covering a broad range of critical higher education topics including education technology; financial literacy and student debt; community college innovation; progressive legislation; and diversity, equity and inclusion.
Among his many accolades, Dr. Brownlee was twice awarded the Trusted Leaders Award by the faculty and staff of St. Philip’s College and in 2018 received the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award. Recently, EdTech Magazine featured him as one of the 30 most interesting voices in higher education who are shaping the conversation around technology and education.
Dr. Brownlee’s service on community, state, and national boards includes serving as the director of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Community College Institute; Co-Founder of the Rising Leaders Institute for the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education (AABHE), member of the My Brother’s Keeper White House Initiative in San Antonio, Community College Chair of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), ApplyTX Advisory Council, and a member of the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. He is also a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.