Dr. Jermaine Williams Announced as New President of Montgomery College

by Patrick Herron
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Montgomery College’s Board of Trustees announced Dr. Jermaine Williams as the new president of Montgomery College at an event earlier today at the college’s Rockville campus.

Dr. Williams currently serves as the president of Nassau Community College in New York.

Former Montgomery College president DeRionne Pollard left Montgomery College earlier this year to become president of Nevada State College after serving over ten years as president.  Dr. Charlene Mickens Dukes has served as the interim president of Montgomery College since Pollard’s departure and will continue in the position until Williams officially becomes president in the first quarter of 2022.

Per Montgomery College:
Dr. Jermaine Williams has been named as the next president of Montgomery College, a community college located in Montgomery County, Maryland. The College’s Board of Trustees made the announcement today in a communication to students, faculty, and staff. Dr. Williams will be introduced to the College community in the Theatre Arts Arena on the Rockville Campus this afternoon.Dr. Jermaine Williams will become Montgomery College’s 11th President.Dr. Williams brings nearly 20 years of higher education experience, including 17 years working at diverse multi-campus institutions, and currently serves as president of Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York.

“Throughout the search process, Dr. Williams impressed both the Board of Trustees and the Presidential Search Advisory Committee with his passion for educational excellence and the shared mission of community colleges,” said Michael J. Knapp, chair of the College’s Board of Trustees. “Dr. Williams’ work in higher education has focused his energies on improving access for students, as well as retention and graduation. He has paid special attention to mitigating social inequities for historically underrepresented people. His impressive track record of leadership and achievement drew the Board to him as a leader who would fit the needs of the College in this critical moment.”

Dr. Charlene Dukes will continue to serve as interim president of the College and will work closely with Dr. Williams and College leadership to help ensure a smooth transition. Dr. Williams will officially begin his role as president of the College in the first quarter of 2022.

“Montgomery College has long been a leader among community colleges nationally and I am excited to be joining the ranks at this time of change and great urgency,” Dr. Williams said.

Dr. Williams has served as the president of SUNY Nassau Community College (NCC), a Hispanic Serving Institution, since 2019. NCC is the largest single-campus community college among the 30 community colleges in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Dr. Williams has focused his energies there on improving access for students, as well as retention and graduation, with special attention to mitigating social inequities for historically underrepresented people. He has been widely lauded for his inclusive leadership style and for building teams that create strategic programing and policies to improve student outcomes.

“The heart of any organization is unequivocally its people. Institutions don’t drive themselves,” Dr. Williams added. “It’s the people who build them and nurture them. And I can see that Montgomery College has been fortified by people who believe that care, compassion, and equity are the hallmarks for addressing unmet student needs.”

Known as a collaborative leader, Dr. Williams focused on supporting the mission and spirit of community colleges. Having taught at two-year and four-year institutions for more than eight years, he has experienced higher education from several important vantage points. Dr. Williams’ view of higher education as a public good informs his personal passion about enhancing access, completion, and post-completion success. His professional approach to student success is deeply rooted in equity-minded systems and data-informed analysis.

Dr. Williams has published and spoken on access, equity, and achievement in national and international settings. His doctorate of education in educational administration, with a higher education specialization, is from Temple University. He also holds certificates from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. Dr. Williams was selected to participate in the Aspen Institute’s Rising Presidential Fellowship in 2018 and held a New Presidents Fellowship in 2021. He is actively engaged in the community, serving on several boards of directors. Dr. Williams is a father and husband who values family time with his spouse and two children.

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