Compton College was in major problems. Due to the fact of considerable fiscal troubles and experiences of corruption on its governing board, the Accrediting Commission for Local community and Junior Faculties revoked the institution’s accreditation in 2005. It took 12 a long time to get it again. There’s a real likelihood that reaccreditation would not have took place had its trustees not hired Keith Curry in 2011 to provide as the College’s 12th president. This proved to be a seriously wise organization final decision.
“What Dr. Curry and the Compton Faculty neighborhood completed in regaining ACCJC accreditation is not a wonder – it is in its place a testament to what great, centered leadership and a devoted college or university that wishes to serve its community can do when they perform jointly,” claims Pasadena City University President Erika A. Endrijonas.
Because Curry turned its CEO, Compton has accomplished approximately $118 million in renovations and new building design tasks. He also has secured over $250 million for added design and scholar achievement initiatives. In amazing manner, Curry has considerably enhanced the institution’s business affairs though at the same time developing it as a nationally-recognized leader on fairness in higher education and learning. “Racial Equity is vital for me as we transform the procedures, techniques, units, and constructions of Compton Faculty,” he clarifies. “We cannot continue to do organization as standard for the reason that the college student populace we serve right now is various than the a single that was below in 1927 when Compton Junior Faculty was established.”
Shedding accreditation is painfully consequential. It’s a serious enterprise dilemma. When this takes place, schools and universities are no for a longer period eligible to acquire university student monetary assist, grants, or other resources of funding from the federal federal government. It also implies that some pupils can’t get jobs in professions and roles that explicitly involve potential hires to have gained certificates and levels from accredited establishments. Some schools and universities finally close when their accreditation is stripped. Fortuitously, this worst-situation final result did not arise at Compton.
Substantially of the College’s survival is attributable to Curry’s incredible leadership. But some of it is also due to a legislative invoice that California State Assembly member Mervyn Dymally, a Black and Indigenous gentleman, introduced soon just after the establishment misplaced its accreditation. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed AB 318 into legislation in 2006, which resulted in $30 million in unexpected emergency funding that enabled Compton to continue on functioning as element of a different close by group college district. The calendar year it was reaccredited, Curry secured $11.3 million from the state to transition Compton again to an impartial higher education. He convinced point out legislators of the institution’s worth.
Compton School is in the community where tennis megastars Venus and Serena Williams used most of their childhood years. Loads of other perfectly-known Black entertainers and leaders grew up there, far too. Them, a 10-episode Amazon horror series, is about a Black spouse and children that was terrorized just after relocating into Compton during the 1950s when the community was overwhelmingly white. The racial demographics shifted in subsequent a long time, at 1 position getting predominantly Black. Today, only 1% of its inhabitants are white. Therefore, Compton College or university plays a critical purpose in offering instructional possibilities to a lot more than 90,000 individuals of color who get in touch with that community home.
“Compton College is a phoenix, a spectacular case in point of rebirth and ascension, and an inspiration for us all in increased education who work at the intersection of accessibility and fairness,” asserts Francisco C. Rodriguez, Chancellor of the Los Angeles Local community College District. “This amazing rise of the University is marked by a lot more than President Curry’s boundless energy and infectious charisma – it’s fueled via his eager leadership capabilities and adept execution of a apparent, strategic eyesight to offer academic providers that uplift his neediest pupils out of poverty towards boundless opportunity and achievements.”
Regaining accreditation and continuing to deliver access to racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse people in the neighborhood exactly where he was born and lifted have been just two dimensions of Curry’s presidential agenda. Making sure that students’ essential requirements are met, that conditions are produced to aid their success, increasing the range of learners who transfer to four-calendar year establishments, and transitioning graduates to worthwhile professions have also been continually higher priorities of his. Student homelessness and foodstuff insecurity are among the most vexing difficulties confronting local community faculties across California. Compton has been a standout chief not only in the condition, but also in the country in strategically responding to these difficulties by using innovative packages, policies, and partnerships. The Higher education lately secured $80 million in the 2022-2023 California budget to create a 250-mattress student housing facility.
Some noteworthy figures have publicly praised the institution’s survival and applauded its management on fairness. Just one of them is Initial Lady Michelle Obama who proudly wore a Compton University sweatshirt to the 2019 nationwide College or university Signing Day event. “We are fortunate in this place to have an astounding neighborhood university system, and Compton School has a fantastic story to inform,” she exclaimed to the audience of extra than 10,000 learners. “The university fell on some challenging periods a couple decades in the past, but they buckled down, they worked difficult and now they are again on their ft and supplying an exceptional, cost-effective education and learning to 1000’s of pupils every 12 months.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom also regarded Curry’s leadership in 2020 by appointing him to a statewide taskforce on larger education and learning, equity, and COVID-19 restoration. Walter G. Bumphus is president and CEO of the American Affiliation of Local community Faculties, an firm comprised of far more than 1,000 diploma-granting institutions that collectively enroll practically 12 million learners. “Dr. Curry has worked tirelessly to guarantee that Compton School is properly positioned to provide its college students and the group,” he asserts. “A correct phoenix, Compton has risen from the ashes to develop into one of the most pupil-centered schools in the nation. Dr. Curry’s ongoing operate to elevate below-resourced pupils is a design for all neighborhood faculties across the state.”
In addition to primary racial equity on his campus, Curry is one particular of 30 commissioners doing work to tackle racial inequities across all of California’s community schools. He co-launched Black University student Success 7 days, an yearly series of activities and legislative pursuits for neighborhood colleges all through the condition. He is also presently foremost a countrywide group of industry experts who are creating options to declining Black pupil enrollments at community colleges and 4-12 months institutions. Past year, he gained the Fairness Champion Award from the California Local community Colleges Chief Instructional Officers.
Compton College or university Trustee Sharoni Little has invested much more than two a long time educating at the College of Southern California Marshall College of Small business, has labored with hundreds of executives, and has served as a company chief range officer. Among their broad array of governance responsibilities, she and the other trustees have to make rough, extremely consequential business conclusions on behalf of the establishment. Minor states of Curry, “his unapologetic motivation to ‘walking the talk’ of equity and excellence implores all stakeholders to hold every single other accountable for fostering and sustaining an inclusive institutional lifestyle.”
Naming Curry president 12 a long time ago is the ideal company determination the trustees at that time could’ve designed. He’s an inspiring instance for all CEOs in greater schooling (as nicely as those in company contexts) of how to direct in tough situations, build an fantastic national reputation for the ideal points, and increase hundreds of thousands of bucks to progress an institution, whilst concurrently holding equity at the prime of one’s government leadership agenda.