Office Hours with John Gardner
Chad Brown discusses college presidency and changes in perspective. He shares the challenges and opportunities found in serving non-traditional students through the College Credit Plus initiative.
Dr. Chad M. Brown became the sixth president of Zane State College on July 1, 2015.
Dr. Brown has served in a variety of leadership roles, including provost and executive vice president since coming to Zane State College in 2005. He has a strong commitment to, and a history of success in, shaping a data-rich culture. He led the College’s efforts in continuous quality improvement during its 14 years as an AQIP institution. This involved centralizing data collection, expanding information gathering, and developing models for linking data analysis to decision making and the College’s strategic plan. This continues today as an essential component of the College’s focus on student success. Recent publications from the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program and the Community College Research Center noted Zane State’s commitment to data democratization, making it widely available to employees and imbedding its use in governance committees.
For more than a decade, Brown served as the College’s core team leader for Achieving the Dream, a national non-governmental reform movement for student success, focused primarily on helping low-income and minority students obtain college credentials. Zane State College has remained an Achieving the Dream Leader College since 2009, and under Dr. Brown’s leadership as Provost, the College was the recipient of the distinguished Leah Meyer Austin Student Success Leadership Award.
This commitment to continuous improvement, has allowed Dr. Brown and Zane State College to remain on the leading edge nationally by working closely with a variety of funders and educational innovators including; the American Association of Community Colleges, Ascendium, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, JFF, the John N Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, Lumina Foundation, MDC, the Joyce Foundation, Education Design Lab, MDRC, and the National Center for Inquiry and Improvement. Dr. Brown has also presented for numerous professional organizations including the Association for Institutional Research, State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, Women in Government, Achieving the Dream, the National Conference on the First Year Experience and Students in Transition, the Higher Learning Commission, the League for Innovation, and the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development. In January 2023, Brown was named as one of five finalists for the Community College CEO of the Year by the American Association of Community Colleges.