SAN MARCOS (April 27, 2016) – San Marcos resident and former Palomar College President George R. Boggs, Ph.D., was honored recently by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) for his contributions to higher education. Boggs was one of three recipients of the AACC Leadership Award, announced at the national organization’s 96th Annual Convention on Saturday,
April 9, in Chicago, Illinois.

The other 2016 Leadership award recipients are recently retired Chancellor of the California Community Colleges Brice Harris, Ph.D., and former Chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District Wright Lassiter, Jr., Ph.D.

Boggs was Palomar’s Superintendent/President for more than 15 years, beginning in 1985. As the college’s seventh president, he served in that role longer than any Palomar College president to date. He went on from Palomar in 2000 to lead the AACC in Washington DC as that organization’s ninth president.

According to the AACC publication Community College Daily, “With his strong work ethic and creative leadership, George Boggs has played a pivotal role in bringing greater recognition and respect to America’s community colleges.” During his decade-long tenure at AACC, “he helped lead an unprecedented period of achievement for community colleges. The colleges were lauded by both the Bush and Obama administrations, and regarded as critical to preparing the nation’s workforce for in-demand jobs of the future.”

In his role at AACC, Boggs is credited with overseeing an increase in “corporate and foundation support for community colleges,” and launching several new programs including the Voluntary Framework of Accountability and the Plus 50 Initiative. He also was active in developing leadership competencies that continue to be used nation-wide.

While at Palomar, Boggs was recognized for his leadership and his engagement with the community. He took an active role in the selection of faculty and staff, bringing to the college a highly qualified group of dedicated professionals while increasing diversity.  He strengthened student support programs and initiated professional development and recognition programs for faculty and staff.  Student enrollment had grown to nearly 30,000 by the time Boggs retired from the College in 2000.

Wilma Owens, retired Dean of Career, Technical And Extended Education at Palomar said, “George’s first priority was that his staff be strong and ethical leaders.…He shared his view of the characteristics good administrators should possess. Over the years I’ve known him, he has modeled those characteristics in his activities, in his writings and in his deeds.  George always put students’ interests at the apex of everything he did and said. He was truly a visionary leader.  I think the hallmarks of his leadership at Palomar are still part of our operational philosophy.  Three key components are:

  • He urged the faculty and staff to continually develop their talents through a variety of professional development opportunities.
  • He pushed for more and stronger college/business/industry  partnerships to strengthen workforce/CTE education and to make the college more responsive to the needs of regional employers.
  • He always looked globally for ways to improve our local instructional processes.”

Boggs received the Stanley A. Mahr Award from the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce in 1994, and the City of Vista proclaimed January 15, 1994 as George R. Boggs Day.  The San Diego County Board of Supervisors proclaimed August 23, 2000 as Dr. George Boggs Day. He received the top California community college administrator award in 1994 and the top national community college CEO award in 1996.

Still active in the area of community colleges, Boggs works as a senior consultant and project leader for the California-based think tank, Collaborative Brain Trust, and teaches in the doctoral programs at San Diego State University and National American University. A prolific writer, Boggs is author of Handbook on CEO-Board Relations and Responsibilities — in addition to more than one hundred other articles and chapters in books. Many of his writings deal with the “learning college” concept, which Boggs helped develop at Palomar College and popularize throughout higher education nationally.  His latest book, Practical Leadership in Community Colleges will be out this July.

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Melinda Finn, Public Affairs Office, 760-744-1150, ext. 2365
Laura Gropen, Director, Public Affairs Office, 760-744-1150 x2152