On Monday, February 1, 2021, the CUNY Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Dr. Larry D. Johnson, Jr., as the next president of Stella and Charles Guttman Community College. His appointment will become effective on July 1, 2021. Dr. Johnson says this to the faculty and staff at Guttman about his selection: “I am honored and elated to be selected as the next President of Guttman Community College. During the interview process, it was evident that the students, faculty, staff, and community leaders are committed to the mission and vision of this innovative ecosystem within CUNY. The pandemic and social unrest have amplified the importance of public higher education. And as a College serving a diverse student body, our work is more critical than ever. I look forward to collaborating with you to ensure that Guttman remains one of the most student-centered, equity-minded, and data-informed community colleges in the nation.”
Dr. Johnson is now serving as the president of Phoenix College, a public community college in Maricopa County, Arizona. He will succeed Dr. Doris Cintrón, who has served as Guttman’s interim president since August 1, 2020.
Dr. Johnson has vast experience as a faculty member and administrator in America’s community college sector. He became the first African-American president of Phoenix College in its 100-year history when he was appointed in 2018. Under his leadership, the college increased enrollment by establishing a partnership with the City of Phoenix that provided educational opportunities to workers in the community. The college also received multimillion-dollar grants from the National Science Foundation and federal Department of Education to support experiential learning programs and undergraduate research in STEM.
Dr. Johnson began his career at Tallahassee Community College in Florida, where he taught developmental English and reading. He later taught at Georgia Piedmont Technical College and then Broward College, where he was associate dean for English and journalism and championed innovative strategies that increased student success, particularly for men of color. From Broward, he moved to St. Louis to serve as provost and chief academic officer at St. Louis Community College’s Forest Park campus.
Dr. Johnson earned his undergraduate degree in English literature from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, a Historically Black College. He earned his MA in humanities and a graduate certificate from Florida State University. He holds a doctorate in humanities from Clark Atlanta University.
A strong advocate of community colleges, Dr. Johnson recently completed a three-year appointment on the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Commission on College Readiness. Additionally, he serves on the boards of directors for organizations including Helping Hands for Single Moms, Enterprise Bank & Trust, Arizona Center for Youth Resources and Greater Phoenix Urban League.
Stella and Charles Guttman Community College is CUNY’s first new community college since 1971. The College opened its doors to an inaugural class of 289 students on August 20, 2012. Guttman offers associate degree programs in an innovative model emphasizing experiential education, learning communities and instructional teams, and a commitment to providing rigorous academic challenge, attentive support, and inclusive excellence. Guttman is a Hispanic-Serving Institution, with a current enrollment of 1,020 students (as of Fall 2020). Guttman was ranked as the best community college in America for 2020 by Niche.com.
The City University of New York is the nation’s largest urban public university, a transformative engine of social mobility that is a critical component of the lifeblood of New York City. Founded in 1847 as the nation’s first free public institution of higher education, CUNY today has seven community colleges, 11 senior colleges and seven graduate or professional institutions spread across New York City’s five boroughs, serving 500,000 students of all ages and awarding 55,000 degrees each year. CUNY’s mix of quality and affordability propels almost six times as many low-income students into the middle class and beyond as all the Ivy League colleges combined. More than 80 percent of the University’s graduates stay in New York, contributing to all aspects of the city’s economic, civic and cultural life and diversifying the city’s workforce in every sector. CUNY’s graduates and faculty have received many prestigious honors, including 13 Nobel Prizes and 26 MacArthur “Genius” Grants. The University’s historic mission continues to this day: provide a first-rate public education to all students, regardless of means or background.