Alan Hoskins, Supervisor of Public Information
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Dr. Doris F. Givens will become the fifth president of Kansas City Kansas Community College.
Currently the Vice Chancellor of Educational Services for the Kern Community College District in Bakersfield, Calif., Dr. Givens is the first woman president in the 88-year history of KCKCC. She is also the first African American to serve as president.
Her selection was approved unanimously Thursday by the KCKCC Board of Trustees and she will begin her new duties Aug. 8, the same day the College’s faculty will report back for the Fall Semester. Coincidentally, Dr. Givens’ selection came on the same day Dr. Thomas Burke ended his 19-year career as president and 23-year career with the College.
“I am excited,” said Dr. Givens prior to beginning a two-week vacation in Switzerland. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to work with an institution already designated and designed for new opportunities for growth and establishing opportunities for students in the area.”
Dr. Givens said one of the major factors in her seeking the position was the “new entities coming into the city” such as Cerner, the Hollywood Casino, Livestrong Sporting Park and Google. “They’re great training opportunities for the College, a chance to create a workforce for the new jobs that they will bring. We will also have an opportunity to establish liaisons with the new companies. The casino alone will certainly help our hospitality area to grow and Google is so exciting, right on the cutting edge.”
Another factor was the College’s solid foundation financially and academically. “I’m really looking forward to working for an organization that is stable both in its programs and physically,” said Dr. Givens.
That has not always been the case for Dr. Givens during her 32 years of community college experience that includes six years a college president, 1½ years as Provost/CEO, 13 years as a full-time, tenured faculty member and seven years of program development. “I’ve had my challenges, absolutely,” said Dr. Givens.
Named President of Spokane Community College in Spokane, Wash., in 2000, Dr. Givens was able to erase a $500,000 deficit created by the state’s budget shortfall and mandated budget cuts, balance the budget and open a reserve account.
As Interim President at Los Angeles City College in 2003-04, Dr. Givens was able to iron out major trust and open communication issues alienating faculty from administration. “During my 2-year tenure, a culture of honest and open communication became pervasive through the institution and the faculty gained trust in the processes,” she said.
Dr. Givens found the state of accreditation self-study “in shambles” as Interim President at West Los Angeles College in 2005. “With the support of faculty, staff and students, we completed an excellent accreditation self-study by Dec. 1,” said Dr. Givens.
In 2006, Dr. Givens became the Interim Provost/CEO at the El Camino College Compton Community Education Center and after sorting out numerous enrollment problems, enrollment growth locked in at 28.4 percent in the fall of 2007.
Dr. Givens assumed her current position as Vice Chancellor of Educational Services at Kern Community College in September of 2008 where her many accomplishments included major input in a new web-based software package designed to move the District’s colleges from a paper-intensive curriculum development and approval process to a paperless process.
Dr. Givens started her collegiate career at Grossmont College where she earned an Associate’s Degree in Speech Communication in 1975. At San Diego State University, she received a BA in Speech Communication in 1977 and a Masters in Counselor Education in 1978. She also had a graduate internship at Tomball Community College in 1998 and earned her Ph.D. in Community College Leadership Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin in 1999.
From 1979-92, Dr. Givens taught and served as Department chairperson of the Black Studies Department at San Diego City College and then began her administrative career as Dean of Human Arts and Sciences at Palomar College in San Marcos, Calif., where she served from 1992-2000.