Brice W. Harris was named Chancellor Emeritus of the California Community Colleges by the system’s Board of Governors upon his retirement in April of 2016.
He was selected as the leader of the largest system of higher education in the nation in 2012 after serving 16 years as chancellor of the Los Rios Community College District in the Sacramento region, five years as president of Fresno City College and nearly two decades as a faculty member and vice chancellor in the Kansas City, Missouri community college system.
Dr. Harris spent his 45 year career working to improve student success and access in American community colleges. While California Community College Chancellor, he was instrumental in leading the implementation of the nationally acclaimed Student Success Initiative, piloting the community college bachelor’s degree in California, and enhancing career technical education in the system. In Los Rios he led the charge to expand access for thousands of students by overseeing the establishment of the district’s fourth college, Folsom Lake, and developing five additional educational centers in underserved areas of the region enabling the district’s enrollment to nearly double during his tenure.
Harris understands the important connection between community colleges and the economy and served as a member of the board of the California Chamber of Commerce. As an active member of the business community, he chaired the Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization (SACTO), was the first educator to serve as president of the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and served as chairman of the board of the Northern California World Trade Center.
He is also a recognized leader on national education issues having served on the board of the American Council on Education (ACE) in Washington, D.C. He is past chairman of the board of the California Community College Chief Executive Officers, member of the Board of the American Association of Community Colleges and a former commissioner of the Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges.
Harris is also active in the arts having served on the board of the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, as board president of the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra, and a board member of the Kansas City Museum.
Harris studied at the Harvard University Institute of Educational Management, received his doctorate in education at Nova Southeastern University, his master's in communication from the University of Arkansas, and his bachelor's in communication from Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
He received lifetime achievement awards from both the American Council on Education and the American Association of Community Colleges in 2016, was named “Sacramentan of the Year” in 2010 by the Sacramento Metro Chamber, and was honored as the “Humanitarian of the Year” by United Cerebral Palsy of Sacramento.