Jackson, Mississippi – Dr. Daniel Phelan, President of Jackson College in Michigan, has been appointed to serve on Phi Theta Kappa’s Board of Directors, effective December 9, 2015.
Phelan was appointed to fill the College Administrators Representative position recently vacated by Dr. Walter Bumphus, President and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). His appointment can then be renewed in April for a three-year term.
Phelan is Chair-Elect of the Board of Directors for AACC, Co-Chair of AACC’s Higher Education Act Reauthorization Task Force, and Chair-Elect of the Higher Education Research and Development Institute (HERDI). He also serves as a board member for the Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCCSE) and has served on AACC’s 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges.
Phelan holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Iowa State University, an M.B.A from St. Ambrose University and both a B.A. in Business Administration and an associate degree in liberal arts from Mount St. Clare College (now Ashford University). He has been honored as the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) CEO of the Year for the Central Region and as a Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction award winner for his support of Phi Theta Kappa.
Although Bumphus’ term expired in April 2016, he indicated his desire to vacate the position prior to Phi Theta Kappa’s NerdNation Annual Convention in National Harbor, Maryland, which coincides with AACC’s Annual Convention in Chicago.
Bumphus also explained that since Phi Theta Kappa is an affiliated council of AACC, he cannot serve on the boards of all 32 affiliated councils. He pointed out that his predecessors, Dr. David Pierce and Dr. George Boggs, served on the Phi Theta Kappa board prior to the organization applying for and being granted affiliated council with AACC in December of 2010.
“My decision in no way is reflective of any dissatisfaction with the mission and operations of the organization. Rather, I have always held and continue to hold Phi Theta Kappa in the highest regard,” Bumphus said. “I have observed both as a board member and as a college president the wonderful opportunities that Phi Theta Kappa provides community college students. As I have often stated, the organization is a ‘game changer’ in the lives of many of our students.
“I wish the staff, the board, and the entire organization the very best in the future.”
According to Phi Theta Kappa’s Constitution, the two-year college administrator to the Board of Directors is elected by the Executive Committee (International Officers) from recommendations made to the Executive Director by the active chapter advisors. The decision to appoint Phelan was unanimous.
“We would like to thank Dr. Bumphus for his years of service to the Board of Directors,” said Interim Executive Director Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner. “Dr. Bumphus has partnered with Phi Theta Kappa on many important initiatives, including the Community College Completion Corps (C4), a joint convention with AACC and the Heads Up America effort. We are grateful for his leadership.
“We also look forward to a strong continued partnership with AACC and all of our college administrators, who will be well-represented by Dr. Phelan.”
As a first-generation college student, Phelan has said he understands the life-changing possibilities higher education can provide, and that he believes community colleges are “special places where opportunity and hope meet.”
Phi Theta Kappa, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, U.S. territorial possessions and eight sovereign nations. More than 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 134,000 students inducted annually.