Dr. Jack Scott became the 14th Chancellor of the California Community Colleges In January 2009, after serving his final term in the California State Senate.
As the chancellor of the nation's largest system of higher education, Dr.Scott led the 112 colleges through some sweeping reforms. His legacy will include his work on the Associate Degree for Transfer program and the California Community Colleges Student Success Task Force. The transfer program established a clear link between community colleges and the California State University system. It guarantees that students who follow a designated pathway of an associate degree are given enrollment priority and junior standing at a CSU.
The California Community College Student Success Task Force spent a year in creating a list of 22 recommendations aimed at improving the educational outcomes of students. The recommendations that Dr. Scott helped craft and champion will make community colleges more responsive to the needs of students and the economy. These recommendations are aimed at rebalancing priorities to focus colleges on the core missions of workforce preparation, certificate and degree attainment, and transfer to four-year universities. In January 2012, the California Community Colleges Board of Governors adopted the reform package without a dissenting vote.
Both landmark initiatives not only help students reach their educational goals more quickly, but also the state will save money because more students can be educated at the same cost.
In the Senate Scott represented California's 21st Senatorial District, which Includes Pasadena,Glendale,Burbank, a portion of the city of Los Angeles, and other surrounding cities and communities. During his senatorial tenure from 2000 to 2008, he served as chair of the Senate Committee on Education, which considers all legislative measures dealing with K-12 education and the state's colleges and universities.
He chaired the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee on Education, which oversees approximately 48 percent of California's state budget. Scott also was vice chair of the State Allocation Board for Education.
Before moving on to the Senate, Scott was elected to the California State Assembly In 1996. He authored 146 bills in the Assembly and Senate that were signed Into law. From the beginning, he has been a champion of education issues and was successful in authoring several key bills important to the community colleges. Senate Bill 361, a landmark community college financing measure, was authored by Scott and Signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006. Also in 2006, Scott led the charge in passing Senate Bill 1309 that helped address the state's nursing shortage. He Worked With Governor Schwarzenegger in 2005 to pass Senate Bill 70, a measure that strengthens career technical education programs between K-12, communrty colleges and the business Sector.
Prior to being elected to the state legislature, Scott was President of Pasadena City College (1987-95). Scott was a teacher and administrator at Pepperdine University for 10 years before he became the Dean of Instruction at Orange Coast College in 1973. Five years later he became the President of Cypress College and served for nine years In this position (1978-87).
Scott was born In Sweetwater, Texas, where he graduated from high school. He met his wife, Lacreta, While they were students at Abilene Christian University. They were married after Scott received his Bachelor's degree. He later earned a Master of Divinity from Yale University, as well as a Ph.D. in American history from Claremont Graduate University.
Dr. Scott has received numerous awards and honors. He was named Legislator of the Year by many organizations, including the California Federation of Teachers, Association of California Community College Administrators, and Califorma State University. He was named the Alumnus of the Year at Claremont Graduate University 1n 2000 and at Abilene Christian University in 2003. In 1991, Dr. Scott received an honorary doctorate from Pepperdine University.
Jack and Lacreta Scott have five children: Sharon Mitchell, Sheila Head, Amy Schones, Greg Scott and Adam Scott, who died at the age of 27. They also have 11 grandchildren.
Dr. Jack Scott retired as Chancellor of California Community Colleges on September 15, 2012. In his retirement, Dr. Scott was selected as Scholar In Residence at Claremont Graduate University.