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CONTACT:   Barbara McDonnell, 303.595.1641
Interim Director of Public Information, Colorado Community College System



(June 14, 2017 – Denver, Colo.)  Dr. Nancy McCallin, who has served as president of the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) since 2004, announced today that she will retire effective July 31, 2018. The State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education will begin the search process for her successor this fall.

In a letter to the CCCS community McCallin said “It has been an honor to serve as your president over the past 13 years.  I have been privileged to work with highly talented, committed presidents, faculty, staff and students. I believe the work we do is some of the most important work in the nation. Providing the State Board for Community Colleges with one-year notice will ensure sufficient time for the Board to embark upon a national search for my replacement and assure a smooth transition.”

Board Chair Dr. Russ Meyer expressed his admiration for McCallin’s leadership and for the legacy she will leave. Meyer stated “Dr. McCallin’s work embodies the vision of the Colorado Community Colleges to be unsurpassed at providing quality educational opportunities for all who aspire to enrich their lives. Under her leadership the Colorado Community Colleges have emerged as nationwide leaders in providing high quality education that is accessible to all. We look forward to continuing that work with Dr. McCallin over the coming year.”

The Colorado Community College System is the largest system of higher education in the State of Colorado, providing educational opportunities for 138,000 students at 13 colleges and 39 locations across the state. Overall, 34% of all undergraduate students in Colorado attend CCCS colleges.

During McCallin’s tenure the community colleges greatly increased the number of degrees and certificates conferred and the number of high school students enrolled in college courses through concurrent enrollment. In academic year 2015-16 the community colleges conferred 19,864 degrees and certificates, up 40% from five years earlier.

In 2016 the community colleges enrolled 22,117 high school students in college courses through concurrent enrollment.  The number of students in this program has increased more than 200% in the past seven years.  Conservative estimates show that this program has saved Colorado families $90 million in tuition costs since 2009.

McCallin worked with stakeholders on legislation to allow community colleges to offer Bachelor of Applied Science degrees and to require statewide transfer articulation agreements between community colleges and universities so that students do not lose credits when transferring.  CCCS colleges transferred nearly 12,000 students to four-year institutions last year. Students who transfer perform as well or better than their counterparts who started at their four-year institutions.

Since 2013 CCCS has completely restructured and redesigned how the community colleges provide remedial education. With this redesign, students needing developmental education courses are experiencing high levels of success in college-level classes.

McCallin created financial strength and stability in the community college system by increasing reserves, pursuing alternative sources of revenue, and cutting expenditures while keeping tuition affordable.

She led the campaign for Amendment 50, a successful initiative to create a dedicated funding stream for community colleges from gaming tax revenues.

Before joining CCCS McCallin was Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting under Governor Bill Owens. Prior to that she was the Chief Economist for the Colorado Legislature.  She also worked as an economist for United Banks of Colorado.

McCallin has a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and political science from Claremont McKenna College, a Master of Arts in economics from the University of Colorado-Boulder, and a Ph.D. in economics with Highest Honors from CU-Boulder.

McCallin has served in many capacities at the state and national levels. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the College Board and serves on its Community College Advisory Panel, an Executive Committee member of the National Council of State Directors for Community Colleges, a member of the Board of Directors of the Volunteers of America, a member of the Education Leadership Council, and a member of the Investment Committee of the Denver Foundation.

She served on the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education from 2011-16 and as its Secretary (2015-16), the Board of Directors of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce from 2005- 2013 and on its Executive Committee, the Colorado Supreme Court Nominating Commission, and has been a member of the Colorado Work Force Development Council since 2004. She participated in the White House Summit on Higher Education in January and December 2014 and was one of five U.S. CEOs to participate in the Transatlantic Dialogue on Higher Education. She received the Humanitarian Award of the Year from the Aurora Chamber of Commerce for her work with Katrina evacuees, the Distinguished State Director Award from Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society, and the George C.S. Benson Distinguished Achievement Award from the Claremont McKenna College Alumni Association.

In her letter to the CCCS community McCallin said that during her final year “we will continue our work to improve student graduation and retention rates with our investment in a new student career exploration and onboarding system; we will partner with businesses to create new programs to meet the workforce needs of Colorado industries; we will continue to focus on our fundraising efforts; and we will remain committed to provide quality education throughout the state!”


About the Colorado Community College System

The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is the state’s largest system of higher education, serving more than 138,000 students annually at 13 colleges and 39 locations across Colorado. Our open access mission ensures all Coloradans who aspire to enrich their lives have access to quality higher education opportunities. CCCS students save time and money with affordable tuition and fees, concurrent enrollment, and guaranteed transfer to any public university in Colorado. Online courses are available via Colorado Community Colleges Online. CCCS also oversees career and technical programs in our 13 colleges, more than 160 school districts, and six other post-secondary institutions. By partnering with business and industry, CCCS helps employers meet workforce needs and prepares students for direct entry to their chosen career pathway. The vast majority of our students are Colorado residents and, after graduation, 97% of our students stay in state, becoming the workforce that powers the Colorado economy and the heart of our neighborhoods, businesses, and communities.