California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott stepped down Saturday, after leading the nation’s largest higher education system through its stormiest time. Scott took the helm on Jan. 1, 2009, just as the state was entering a deep financial slide. Since then, community colleges have lost $809 million, or 12 percent of their budget, nearly doubled tuition and fees, and cut course offerings by about 15 percent, all of which knocked down enrollment by roughly 485,000 students.
“That wasn’t a lack of demand, that was a lack of supply,” Scott told EdSource Today recently, during a nearly hour-long, wide-ranging conversation as his tenure wound down. (Read the full transcript here.) “All I can say is, ‘Wake up, California! Because you’re slowly hurting your future, because educated personnel make a difference.’”