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The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) has selected Dr. Bruce H. Leslie...
Alamo Colleges' Chancellor Dr. Bruce Leslie Selected for Regional CEO Award by the Association of Community College Trustees

Alamo Colleges' Chancellor Dr. Bruce Leslie Selected for Regional CEO Award

The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) has selected Dr. Bruce H. Leslie, chancellor of the Alamo Colleges, as the recipient of the Western Regional Chief Executive Officer award for 2012. The award recognizes Dr. Leslie's accomplishments at the Alamo Colleges over the past six years. Leslie was nominated for the award by the Alamo Colleges' Board of Trustees.

"During his tenure as chancellor of the Alamo Colleges, Dr. Bruce Leslie has achieved significant progress toward establishing the Alamo Colleges as the best community college system in the nation," said Alamo Colleges' Board of Trustees Chair James Rindfuss. "His visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to excellence has enabled Alamo Colleges to better serve an ever-growing number of students and to continue to make a positive impact on the community we serve," he added.

The ACCT awards committee considered the development of innovative programs, service on special committees, demonstration of a caring attitude, support for two-year, post-secondary education associations, publishing of two-year post-secondary educational concepts, awards and honors, and overall outstanding characteristics. The five regional winners are nominated for ACCT's national Marie Y. Martin Chief Executive Officer Award, which will be announced this fall.

"I am deeply honored to have been nominated for this award by our Board of Trustees," said Leslie. "The Alamo Colleges have benefited greatly from an excellent and cohesive board and an outstanding leadership team of administrators, faculty and staff. It is only with their support that we have been able to achieve all that we have since I joined the Alamo Colleges as chancellor. I look forward to continuing our journey as we strive to reach ever greater levels of excellence in serving our students and our community," he added.

In their nomination, the Board of Trustees cited a number of accomplishments and characteristics that motivated them to nominate Dr. Leslie. First and foremost is his transformational leadership. Faced with many challenges when he arrived, Dr. Leslie moved the organization toward greater collaboration. He revised the faculty salary schedule, assessed the full to part-time faculty ratio, initiated the renaming and rebranding of the Alamo Colleges, the reevaluation of the budget process and right-sizing the organization. In recognition of the success of his efforts, the Faculty Senate president publicly expressed thanks for the fair and transparent process he implemented to adopt the new faculty salary schedule. As a result of his leadership, the Alamo Colleges achieved alignment between strategic goals and actions and institutionalized best practices by adopting a Student Success Policy, a Student Responsibility Policy and an Educational Philosophy policy. The latter is founded in the Baldrige principles and established as The Alamo Way—Always Inspire, Always Improve, which has been widely implemented across the district and colleges.

The Board also noted a number of innovative programs initiated by Dr. Leslie: a strategic budgeting approach whose success was recognized with the national Bellwether award from the Community College Futures Assembly; Alamo Ideas, an in-house program that promotes and recognizes employee ideas for process improvement and cost savings; and improvements to help students succeed, including greater consistency in processes and student learning outcomes, migrating from five databases to one and more cross-college collaboration. As a result of his leadership, the Alamo Colleges have earned national awards, including the Distinguished Budget Presentation award from the Government Finance Officers Association, the Leader College award from Achieving the Dream and the Achievement of Excellence in Procurement award from the National Procurement Institute, Inc. division of ISM.

The Board took special note of the ways in which Dr. Leslie demonstrates a caring attitude toward the board, administrators, faculty and students. He resisted using layoffs and furloughs to respond to fiscal challenges and instituted forums and town hall meetings for faculty, staff and students, as well as biweekly meetings with faculty senate presidents and staff council leaders, to keep the lines of communication open. He is attentive and responsive to trustee's requests, valuing their time and providing weekly updates of information and events and improved information sharing and transparency.

The Board's nomination enumerates Dr. Leslie's service on special committees, including: SA2020, Mayor Julian Castro's initiative to improve educational attainment; the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board sponsored P-16 Council of greater Bexar County, and other community-based organizations; and, nationally, his service with RC2020 and on the board of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning. It also recognizes his participation with the Texas Association of Community Colleges, Quality Texas, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, his frequent testimony before Texas House and Senate committees and his support of trustees' efforts to establish the Community College Association of Texas Trustees.

Among Dr. Leslie's many awards and honors, which the board included in his nomination, he received the San Antonio Business Journal's 2010 Going Green award for his commitment to sustainability and the DiversityFIRST Award from the Texas Diversity Council for his dedication to diversity.

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