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STLCC Board Appoints Harris as Chancellor

November 16, 2007

Zelema Harris
Chancellor Zelema Harris
The St. Louis Community College Board of Trustees at its regular monthly meeting Nov. 15 appointed Interim Chancellor Zelema Harris, Ed.D., as permanent chancellor. She was given a three-year contract.

Harris served as president of Parkland from July 1990 through June 30, 2006. While at Parkland, she established an award-winning faculty development center; led the college in receiving national and state awards in college planning processes; and directed the college in achieving distinction as a top provider of online education in Illinois. In addition, she has received many awards, including the American Association of Community College’s Leadership Award and CEO of the Year from the American Association of Community College Trustees. She previously served as president of Penn Valley Community College in Kansas City, Mo., which is part of the Metropolitan Community College system.

"The members of the Board of Trustees are extremely pleased to have reached this agreement with Dr. Harris," said Robert C. Nelson, board president. "We respect Dr. Harris’ leadership and the job she has done to date. We have just what we needed right here - without having to conduct a costly search. This appointment ensures the college will continue to provide a challenging learning environment focused on the needs of our students and the community."

"I am grateful to the trustees for their confidence in my leadership," Harris said. "My decision to accept this appointment was based on the solid foundation left by Dr. Henry Shannon. I am ready to work with the Board of Trustees, and I look forward to meeting and managing the challenges ahead, and continuing our work of expanding minds and changing lives for the students and community."

Harris was appointed interim chancellor in August following the retirement of Chancellor Henry Shannon.

Harris earned her master of science and doctorate of education degrees from the University of Kansas. She holds a bachelor of science degree from Prairie View (Tex.) A&M University. She has three grown children and is a resident of Decatur, Ill.