New Chancellor Dr. Stephen Head: Equal Access to Education and Keeping Communities Competitive & Prepared for Future

Cover1Story by Darwin Campbell, African-American News&Issues

HOUSTON – Dr. Stephen Head looks forward with great vision and positive optimism for the communities that are part of the Lone Star College System.

Head was appointed as the fourth chancellor of the Lone Star College  System after a thirty-year history of high-level positions at LSCS including President of Lone Star College-North Harris,  Executive Vice Chancellor, acting Chief Executive Officer, interim President at Montgomery College and President of Kingwood College.

Lone Star College System, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area, is nationally recognized, globally connected and locally focused.  Known for its innovative and visionary thinking, Lone Star College System is the fastest-growing community college in the nation and a major contributor to the local and regional economy.

“I place a high value on the success of our students and on having joint goals to work to improve communities,” he said. “I want people to know that I care first about building confidence in individuals and helping them pursue and reach their academic goals by giving them an equal opportunity and equal access to education.”

According to Head, his focus is on student access, equality, success and completion; academic quality; workforce programs in alignment with community needs; and collaborative agreements with educational, business and local civic organizations.

Dr. Head brings a wealth of education and experience to meet the needs of a growing college system.

He received his Ph.D. in History from Texas Tech University. He earned a Master of Arts degree in History and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Lamar University in Beaumont Texas. In addition, he is a lecturer in the higher education doctoral program at Sam Houston University and teaches classes in community college leadership and higher education finance, and he has taught a number of History undergraduate and graduate classes for LSCS and university partners. Head also has served on the board of five area chambers of commerce and three economic development districts or councils.

He has also held significant community positions such as chairman of the board for the Humble Area of Chamber of Commerce, board chair for Kingwood Medical Hospital for five years, and chair for the Economic Outlook Conference for South Montgomery County Chamber (The Woodlands)—one of the largest and most prestigious conferences of its kind.

He was a founding member of the North Houston Economic Development Council (Greenspoint area) and on the original board of the East Montgomery County Improvement District and the EMCID Foundation Board. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Greater Greenspoint Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone, Greenspoint Management District, Greenspoint Bayou Coalition, and is chairman of the North Harris Education Alliance.

In addition to his work, Dr. Head has been recognized as a Shirley B. Gordon, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Outstanding Leadership award winner; and Citizen of the Year by both the Houston Intercontinental Chamber of Commerce and the Acres Home Chamber of Commerce.

The college opens its doors in the fall of 1973 and the 16-member staff welcomed 613 students to the first classes held at Aldine High School.

Currently, the Lone Star College System is growing at a rapid rate. In just 40 years, Lone Star College System has grown to six colleges, multiple centers and two University Centers with 78,000 credit students and a total of more than 90,000 students.

There are also about 25,000 distance learning students and both numbers are projected to increase in coming years.

LSCS is now the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and is one of the fastest-growing community college systems in the nation.

“My goal is to work to keep that momentum going, eliminate barriers that have hindered people and build the kind of confidence in them that will help each become skilled workers and lead to good jobs and salaries in the workforce,” he said. “I believe that anyone can be successful if given and equal opportunity.”

That is why Head is dedicating his administration to finding employees that share the same mission he envisions and support network that works for the student – starting with hiring the best professors and instructors committed to making the success of students a number one priority.

One of the greatest positives that will help bolster Head and LoneStar College attempts to rocket past others and become the premier college system in America is the planning that has education centers placed strategically in every community.

LoneStar College has locations in Victory Center, Cy Fair, Kingwood, Montgomery, North Harris, Tomball and University Park. Another site in East Aldine is being planned and is coming soon.

“We want the college to be the center part of the community,” he said. “We want first generation college attendee and first timers to get and education and have that opportunity to determine their own future.”

His other plan includes not only being an example, but also bringing the kind of values that include operating the college on a sound, fiscally conservative model based on data, efficiencies, accountability and common sense.

“We will be making some financial decisions to help get us ready for the future,” he said. “We want to ensure the finances stay sound and in good shape as we grow into the future.”

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