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College takes home national award for equity
Photos and Story by James Hill
Portland Community College received the National Equity Award from the Association of Community College Trustees.
The award was based on PCC’s efforts to hire a more diverse workforce and to ensure opportunities for access to education for women and students of color.
“Diversity has been one of the board of directors’ top goals,” said District President Preston Pulliams. “It has been one of my top priorities, too. We’re thrilled to bring home this honor.”
Jim Harper, who chairs the PCC board of directors, praised the leadership of Pulliams. “This prestigious national award is given to the community college that has most demonstrated expansion and continuous improvement in creating a fair and impartial work environment for faculty and staff,” Harper said, adding that the award is particularly valued because of the college’s continued commitment to equity.
Portland Community College is the most racially and ethnically diverse institution of higher education in Oregon. The Board of Directors and District President Preston Pulliams have set the tone for the entire college in ensuring the expansion of opportunities for women and minorities. At the district level, the Board has made diversity one of its seven goals and is one of six key areas of the College’s strategic plan. When Dr. Pulliams arrived at PCC in 2004, he formed internal and external diversity committees charged with assessing whether PCC was meeting the needs of its students, staff, and multi-ethnic communities and partners. The result has been an increase in the percentage of part-time faculty, full-time faculty and managers who are people of color, increased investment in staff development that improves cultural competency, and enhanced programming to better serve PCC’s diverse communities, both internally and externally.
The award was presented at the association’s annual retreat in San Diego in September. The association is a nonprofit educational organization of governing boards, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern more than 1,200 community, technical and junior colleges in the United States.
Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon, serving approximately 88,200 full- and part-time students. For more PCC news, please visit us on the Web at www.pcc.edu/news. PCC has three comprehensive campuses, five workforce training and education centers, and 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area. The PCC district encompasses a 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon and offers two-year degrees, one-year certificate programs, short-term training, alternative education, pre-college courses and life-long learning.